By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- After claiming a Northwest Conference co-championship and qualifying for the NCAA Division III Tournament in 2017, the Willamette University men's soccer team has announced its schedule for the 2018 season. The Bearcats will play 10 of 20 games at the soon-to-be renovated Sparks Field, which is set to be completed for preseason workouts.
Willamette will play three exhibition games -- two at Sparks Field.
The Bearcats will open the exhibition schedule against Warner Pacific College at the Portland Timbers Eastside Facility on Sunday, Aug. 19 at 5:30 p.m. (PDT). Three days later, the Bearcats will play the first match on the new Sparks Field when they host Multnomah University (Ore.) on Wednesday, Aug. 22 at 7 p.m. (PDT). WU will battle the Willamette Alumni on Sunday, Aug. 26 at 2 p.m. The game will complete a doubleheader following the Willamette women's soccer Alumni game, set for 12 p.m.
Regular season action for the Bearcats will begin with two games at home. The Bearcats will host William Jessup University (Calif.) on Friday, Aug. 31 at 1 p.m. (PDT) and will take on crosstown rival Corban University on Saturday, Sept. 1 at 7 p.m.
After playing Corban, the Bearcats will head to California for a pair of games in Santa Cruz. Willamette will face University of California-Santa Cruz on Thursday, Sept. 6 at 4 p.m. (PDT). WU and Albion College (Mich.) will meet on the UCSC field on Friday, Sept. 7 at 2 p.m.
The Bearcats will return home to take on Wisconsin Lutheran University on Sunday, Sept. 9. Game time is set for 1 p.m. (PDT).
Northwest Conference competition begins for both defending co-champions when Willamette plays at Pacific Lutheran University on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 12 p.m. (PDT). Last year, both teams finished 9-3-2 in the NWC to share the conference title. Each team won 2-1 on its home field.
After taking on the Lutes, the Bearcats will remain in Tacoma, Washington, to battle University of Puget Sound on Sunday, Sept. 16 at 2:30 p.m. (PDT).
The first home game of NWC play for the Bearcats is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 22 against George Fox University at 2:30 p.m. (PDT). Willamette will travel to Forest Grove, Oregon, to play Pacific University on Sunday, Sept. 23 at 12 p.m.
Willamette is slated to host Whitworth University on Saturday, Sept. 29, before competing against Whitman College on Sunday, Sept. 30. Both games will be at 2:30 p.m. (PDT).
After playing Whitman at Sparks Field, the Bearcats will face a three-game road trip, starting with a match-up at archrival Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon, at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6. The Bearcats will play at Whitman a week later on Saturday, Oct. 13 and will travel to Whitworth on Sunday, Oct. 14.
Back in Salem, the Bearcats will play at home against Pacific on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 12 p.m. (PDT). WU is slated to take on George Fox in Newberg, Oregon, on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 2:30 p.m.
The final three games of the regular season are set for Sparks Field. Willamette will play Puget Sound on Saturday, Oct. 27 and will battle Pacific Lutheran on Sunday, Oct. 28. Both games will start at 12 p.m. (PDT). The Bearcats will close out the regular season with Senior Day during a rivalry match versus Linfield on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 1:30 p.m. (PDT).