(MSUB Athletics release)
BILLINGS – Introducing a full slate of games for the upcoming 2018 fall season, Montana State University Billings women’s soccer coach Stephen Cavallo announced his team’s schedule on Friday.
“We are excited for the upcoming fall season, as we continue to learn and grow from the challenges the GNAC presents,” said Cavallo. “The spring semester has been strong for us, and I believe we have made a lot of improvements since the fall. It will be up to our players to work hard over the summer so we can hit the ground running in August.”
The ‘Jackets will open their regular season at Colorado Christian University on Aug. 30, looking to turn the page on narrow 2-1 losses against the Cougars in each of the last two seasons. The opener will be followed by a game against Wayne State College (Neb.) two days later, as MSUB faces a team it hasn’t played since Sept. 7, 2002 in a 2-1 overtime win at home.
The home debut for MSUB is scheduled for Sept. 6-8 with the Fifth Annual Rimrock Classic in memory of Trevor Wildberger. The ‘Jackets will play Nebraska Kearney for a second straight season, after a 2-1 loss to the Lopers on the road last year. Black Hills State will make its second straight appearance at the tournament, where it lost to the ‘Jackets 4-1 in 2017.
Great Northwest Athletic Conference play begins with a home game against Central Washington University on Sept. 15, the first of six league home matches on the 2018 slate. MSUB then heads to Oregon to take on Western Oregon and Concordia University on the West Coast from Sept. 20-22.
MSUB’s longest home stretch in conference play is from Sept. 27-Oct. 6, the finale also being the Yellowjackets’ annual MSUB Kicks Cancer game against Seattle Pacific.
After a four-game road stretch in the middle of October, the ‘Jackets have their final two home matches against Simon Fraser on Oct. 25 and Western Washington on Oct. 27. The game against the Vikings is the final regular-season contest, and will be Senior Day for the Yellowjackets’ graduating players.
MSUB will look to make a return trip to Portland, Ore., as Concordia will play host to the top-four regular-season finishers in the 2018 GNAC Championships. The ‘Jackets are in search of their first playoff berth since the 2015 season, when they took fourth place.
“A strong start to the season is the ideal path towards conference play and postseason aspirations,” Cavallo said after the team went 3-12-2 overall and finished seventh in league play at 2-8-2 in 2017. “The team’s goal is to earn a spot in the GNAC Championships.”
The Yellowjackets’ 2018 schedule also includes a trio of preseason exhibition matches which will all be played in Billings. MSUB opens against Rocky Mountain College on Aug. 17 at Herb Klindt Field, before hosting Carroll College on Aug. 20 and Yakima Valley Community College on Aug. 26.
MSUB’s schedule features four doubleheaders with the Yellowjacket men’s soccer team, on Aug. 26, Sept. 27, Oct. 4, and Oct. 6.
All home games and select road contests throughout the 2018 season will feature live video and live statistics, available online through MSUB’s Stretch Internet portal here.