Lemay, women’s soccer club begin quest to re-claim WAC title

After playing Boise State, women’s soccer kicks off at home against Colorado College. The team is coming off a 13-7-2 where they finished as the WAC runner-up.

Wolverines celebrate after shutting out SJSU on Sep. 6, 2021 (Photo courtesy of UVU Athletics)

The Utah Valley women’s soccer team is set for another impressive year in what will be head coach Chris Lemay’s sixth season. The upcoming season is filled with conference and non conference rivals, headlining plenty of rematches to mark on your calendars. 

Lemay has high expectations for his club, stating, “We expect to compete at a very high level and our goal is to win WAC championships.”

The team is coming off an impressive 13-7-2 finish in the 2021 campaign, where they made it to the WAC Championship but fell 3-0 to Grand Canyon University. Under Lemay, the team–who has already competed twice in the NCAA Tournament, winning once– is expected to do the same as the previous year: make it back to the big dance. 

After opening on the road against Boise State, the Wolverines return home for a five-game home stretch that is highlighted with games against opponents such as the Alabama Crimson Tide, and future Big 12 member; the University of Central Florida.

The team will then travel to Provo,  to take on the NCAA runner-up BYU Cougars in the UCCU Crosstown Clash. After playing BYU, the Wolverines kick off conference play, including a WAC Championship rematch in Phoenix, Arizona, and finish their season at Clyde Field on Oct. 29 against the Utah Tech Trailblazers for senior night. 

“We are excited to be hosting UCF and Alabama,” said Lemay,. “We also have last year’s national runner-up and preseason #3 in BYU at South Field and that one should be really fun.” 

In conclusion to the season, he WAC Tournament is set to take place from Wednesday, Nov. 2, to Sunday, Nov. 6, in Seattle, Washington. The Wolverines could be set up with a slight advantage, with a schedule with 10 of 19 regular season home games, where they had a dominant 6-2-2 record in the 2022 season. 

The team will have plenty of stars such as Heather Stainbrook, Jenna Shepherd, Megan Sullivan, Nicole Olunda and Nicole Ray returning, offsetting the loss of key seniors such as forward Amber Tripp, Breanna Dewaal, and goalkeeper Brooklyn Nielsen. 

“I am really excited to see some of our experienced veterans gelling with some exciting new incomers to the program,” stated Lemay. “We should be a fun team to watch as we have a lot of technically gifted soccer players.”

Even though the WAC Preseason Poll has not yet been released, the Wolverines are expected to  have a high ranking in the West Division and be in contention for the WAC Championship title and an NCAA tournament bid based on their success in previous years.

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