|Vandals Set for Opener|
MOSCOW, Idaho—The University of Idaho opens the 2014 soccer season Friday evening with a match against a familiar foe. The Vandals travel to Seattle to take on the Redhawks of Seattle U at 5 p.m. PT.
The Vandals and Redhawks were both members of the Western Athletic Conference last season and met battled on the field in the final three games of the season. Since the end of the 2013 season Idaho has moved into the Big Sky Conference and hired a new coach to roam the sidelines.
“Overall the team is rearing to go,” first-year Idaho coach Derek Pittman said. “We are excited to be able to play somebody different than ourselves.
“We are looking forward to playing Seattle U. It will be a good measuring stick for us as we go into the season.”
Similar to last season the Vandals have a wealth of youth on the roster. The Silver and Gold welcomed nine freshmen and a total of 11 newcomers at the start of fall training. Combined with the sophomore class there are 19 underclassmen ready to take the field.
Sophomores Alyssa Pease and Elexis Schlossarek return as the leading point scorers from 2013. Each player totaled six points. Pease netted three goals last season, topping the list of active scorers for the young Vandals.
Seattle U emerged triumphant from the WAC Tournament last season, earning its first ever trip to the NCAA Tournament. Senior Stephanie Verdoia, a two-time First Team All-WAC selection, returns for Seattle U. The reigning WAC Offensive Player of the Year finished with a total of 15 goals, 12 assists and 42 points in 2013.
Idaho will close out the weekend with its first home match against Texas Christian University on Sunday. It will be the first time Idaho and TCU have met on the pitch. TCU will be coming off a Friday match at Washington State.
“It will be nice to come home and play our home opener the day before school starts,” Pittman commented. “Hopefully we will have a big group of fans out there to support us.”
Sunday’s match is set for a 1 p.m. start.