Pacific men's soccer released its 2018 schedule today which highlights 11 home matches and two road contests against teams that finished 2017 ranked top-10 in the nation.
"I am pleased that this schedule has given us the opportunity to compete against teams from six different conferences in the non-conference portion of our schedule," head coach Ryan Jorden said. "We have a number of out of region opponents that will be a great challenge for us this fall."
The Pacific Tigers are coming off of a season in which they finished second in the West Coast Conference at 4-2-1 and made a run to the team's second NCAA second round game in two years. Pacific's 2018 schedule sets the Tigers up nicely to return to the NCAAs thanks in part to 10 regular-season home matches; three more than in 2017.
The season opens with back-to-back exhibitons. The first is at home against Westmont on August 11, the second will be at UC Davis five days later. The regular season opens on August 24 at Knoles Field against Alabama – Birmingham.
Seven days later, the Tigers will open a four-match home stand against Cal, a team that finished the season 37th in nation in RPI and received votes in the final United Soccer Coaches poll of 2017. Pacific will then take on Marist and UC Riverside before closing the 12-day home stand against regional-rival Sacramento State on September 11. The four-match home stand is scheduled to match the longest in the program's five-year history.
The Tigers will turn their attention to two big road games against top-75 RPI teams from 2017 against San Jose State and the defending national champions, Stanford. The Tigers will play San Jose State on September 16 and take on Stanford in a rematch of last year's NCAA second round matchup on September 20. In the last meeting between the Tigers and the defending National Champs, Pacific took the Cardinal to penalties, but fell just short of the upset.
Pacific returns home for a match against UC Irvine before hitting the road again for a trip to Western Michigan, the final non-conference matchup of the season. The Broncos finished 2017 ranked ninth in the nation.
"The WCC continues to grow in strength," Jorden said. "We know that this year will not be an exception. Our non-conference schedule should prepare us for the rigors of West Coast Conference play."
WCC play kicks off on October 7 against Saint Mary's at home and is followed by two more home matches against Santa Clara and the defending WCC Champs, San Francisco. On Friday, October 26 and Sunday, October 28, the Tigers head to southern California to take on Loyola Marymount and San Diego.
The Tigers will play their final home regular-season contest on November 3 against Portland and hit the road a week later to close out the regular season at Gonzaga on the 10th.
With a strong performance throughout the season, the Tigers can play in their third-straight NCAA Tournament. The NCAA Tournament's first round opens on November 15.