OPPONENT PREVIEW: UVU takes on the University of Michigan

Where: Ann Arbor, Mich. at U-M Soccer Stadium

When: Aug. 25 at 12 p.m. MST

The first ever battle of the Wolverines will be taking place this Sunday, Aug. 25 as both Utah Valley University and the University of Michigan will be playing their second games of the season. UVU coming off of a 3-1 loss to Michigan State and UM cruising to 5-0 win over Marshall University.

  • Quick Glance: University of Michigan
  • Nickname: Wolverines
  • Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Conference: Big Ten
  • 2018 Season: 9-9-1 (overall), 5-5-1 (conference play), 8-3-0 (home), 1-6-1 (away)

UM is off to a racing start in the 2019 season after dominating their opener. A consistent Big Ten powerhouse, the Wolverines are as they’ve had nine consecutive winning seasons. Home field advantage is huge for UM as they’ve had a winning record at home every season since 2012.

The Wolverines are coached by Jennifer Klein, who is in her second season with UM. Klein is only the third coach in UM women’s soccer history. Though she is only in her second season as a head coach she has had much success as an assistant around the nation — most notably on the staff of the 2016 NCAA champion University of Southern California Trojans.

UM returns their leading-scorer from last season, junior midfielder Nicki Hernandez. She tallied eight goals to go along with six assists and 22 total points, which led the team in those two categories as well.

Goalkeeping was a mystery for UM last season as they split time between three keepers. This is something UM could very well do again this season with all three of those keepers returning. The problem was consistency, as there were 28 goals given up between the three.

A key matchup to watch for on Sunday between UVU and UM is sophomore midfielder Meredith Haakenson against UVU’s defense. Haakenson netted a brace in their opening game, whereas UVU’s defense had a shaky start in their opener giving up three goals. Watch for Haakenson to be on the attack early against UVU.

Photo courtesy of Rey Del Rio

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