Photo credit: Johnny Morris
Utah Valley University vs University of California Davis
Where: Orem, Utah.
When: Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m.
UVU’s men’s soccer team has had its fair share of struggles over the last few weeks. The team has lost three games in a row, being outscored 9-1 overall. The Wolverines started off the season strong, outscoring opponents 10-1 and dominating the pitch both on offense and defense.
The direction of this season is becoming reminiscent of the past year. UVU went 4-1 until Sept. 15. The team then lost seven and tied one until they eventually got a win on Oct. 12 — almost a full month later. The team will be looking to find its stride soon, seeing as WAC play begins Sept. 22.
Quick Glance: University of California Davis
Location: Davis, Calif.
Conference: Big West Conference (BWC)
2017 Season: 11-7-3 (overall), 7-2-1 (conference), 7-2-2 (home), 4-5-1 (away)
2018 Season (through Sept. 10, 2018): 4-0-1
University of California Davis had an impressive season last year. The Aggies consistently dominated the Big West, winning seven games and tearing through regular season play. The superb season eventually ended in heartbreak for UC Davis, when the Aggies fell in the conference final to Cal State Fullerton in penalty kicks.
The Aggies continue to look powerful on the field in 2018. The team has yet to lose a game, as the team has outscored opponents 10-2 and won four out of five games. Three games straight, UC Davis have scored three goals per game and have been a difficult task for opposing defenses. UC Davis recently was ranked No. 17 nationally in the United Soccer Coaches poll and has showed no signs of slowing down.
Forward Adam Mickelson has been dangerous so far. The junior striker is tied for fourth in the conference with three total goals, and has assisted on three goals as well. In the 2017 season, Mickelson led the team in total scoring with four goals and seven assists on the year. With five shots on goal so far this season, he is a player that UVU will need to continually keep in check.
Goalkeeper Wallis Lapsley is an intimidating force between the posts. Standing at six feet and five inches, the junior ranks fourth in the BWC with 17 total saves. Carrying quite a bit of experience, Lapsley started all 21 matches for the Aggies last year and finished at No. 36 in the nation for minutes played.
UC Davis will be a big test for UVU. So far the Aggies have shown that they can score in large numbers, and keep their opponents off of the board. It will be essential for UVU to go into conference play with confidence, and a big win against a sterling opponent would go a long way.