Cheney, Wash. – After a pair of exhibition matches last week, the Eastern Washington University soccer team officially begins its 2015 regular season with nonconference contests at UTEP this Friday, Aug. 21, and at New Mexico State this Sunday, Aug. 23.
Friday night's match is set to kickoff at 6 p.m. PT while Sunday's encounter will get underway at 12 p.m. PT.
The preseason exhibition matches gave head coach Chad Bodnar a chance to see how his young players would compete at the NCAA Division I level. During their match against Gonzaga, 14 of the team's new members shared playing time with 10 of the 14 players being freshmen.
Quoting coach Bodnar, "I was impressed. We are ahead of where we might have thought we were. We have a lot to work on obviously, but I was impressed with a lot of the young players' performances."
Last year UTEP went 12-5-4 and finished third in Conference USA. The Miners won 8 matches at their home turf last season, posing a tough challenge for a young EWU team.
New Mexico State is similar to Eastern in that the Aggies' squad includes a lot of new players, including 16 freshmen. NMSU finished 5th last year in the Western Athletic Conference with a 5-17 overall record.