The Utah Tech University men’s soccer team begins its conference games Sept. 30, at 7:30 p.m. at the Greater Zion Stadium against Grand Canyon University.
History of Utah Tech vs GCU
Utah Tech’s record against GCU is two wins, 10 losses and zero ties. GCU was ranked in the No. 1 spot in the 2021 Western Athletics Conference men’s soccer standings with an 8-2 record. Previously Dixie State University was ranked No. 8 in the same standings.
Where the two teams have played each other before, Utah Tech is hungry for the win this time.
Utah Tech forward Larsen Rogers, a sophomore psychology major from Albuquerque, New Mexico, said: ”A lot of people, especially the conference, put us pretty low in the rankings, so I’m excited to prove them wrong. I feel like with the team we have, and the players we have, we’re going to be able to show that we’re better than what they think we can do.”
Head coach Jonny Broadhead said the environment and advantages can be in the team’s favor because GCU has never played at the Greater Zion Stadium.
”Grand Canyon is really good, we are 0-2 against them in our first two meetings, but they have never been here before.” Broadhead said. ”[Our] field’s a little bit different than theirs, so them going somewhere new should give us any advantage we can get.”
”They won’t let us beat them [by playing] anything but our best, so we will have to be at our best Friday night.” Broadhead said.
After the game against GCU, the team will continue its energy to its game Oct. 2 against United States Air Force Academy.
History of Utah Tech vs AFA
Utah Tech has a record of zero wins, two losses and zero ties against AFA. The last matchup between the Trailblazers and AFA came out on top with a 2-0 lead.
In the 2021 standings, Utah Tech ranked just below AFA. AFA had a total record of 6-5-2, compared to Utah Tech’s 3-6.
This year, AFA has started the year with a 1-4-2 record in non-conference play and got their one win against San Francisco.
Utah Tech forward Taylor Rogers, a freshman psychology major from Albuquerque, New Mexico, said “My goals are to compete, grow more as a team, get closer, and try to win.”
Broadhead said defending and better quick decisions will be a significant help to winning the conference games.
Broadhead said: ”Our defending from our front three will have to have some discipline. As well as, decision making on the ball and off the ball. We need to know where we’re going. I had a hard time holding on to the ball for long enough spells to keep other teams honest defensively.”
These goals can make a big impact on the team as they head into its first two WAC games.
The teams hope to keep a higher ranking in the standings prior to last year and implement the work done in practice for the conference games this weekend.
After Utah Tech beat Gonzaga on Sept. 23, they made the 100th win mark in the Trailblazer NCAA history. The Trailblazers now hold an NCAA record of 100 wins, 126 losses, and 21 ties.
Since then, the Trailblazers ranked eighth in the Spring 2022 rankings. The team has goals to prove the rankings wrong and work hard to win games to have a higher ranking than last year.