TAMPA, Fla. - The University of Tampa women's soccer team will kickoff the 2019 season in non-conference play, hosting the Gulf South's West Alabama Tigers. Last year's kickoff provided an entertaining matchup between the two programs, ultimately the goal-fest concluded in a 4-4 tie.
The Matchup: University of Tampa Spartans (0-0) vs. University of West Alabama Tigers (0-0)
Date/Time: Friday, September 6 at 7 p.m.
Location: Pepin Stadium || Tampa, Fla. || 417 North Boulevard, Tampa, Fla. 33606
About the Spartans: Last season, UT found a home-field advantage as they logged a six-match unbeaten streak at Pepin Stadium. The Spartan lineup returns 22 of 29 players from last years' squad, including nine starters. Megan Bromwell owned the role as the starting keeper, starting in 16 of 17 appearances, and the junior recorded four shutouts in 2018. Emily Cady, a senior from East Lake HS, led the team with eight goals. Sunshine State Conference Freshman of the Year, Moeko Morse, tallied six goals and one assist as she played in all 17 games for Tampa. Head coach Erin Switalski is entering her fifth year at the helm after compiling a 7-6-4 (5-3-2 SSC) record in 2018. The Spartans fell in the first round of the SSC tournament, 1-0, in a double-overtime gut-wrencher against Embry-Riddle.
About the Tigers: This will be the opening game of the year for UWA, picked fourth in the GSC preseason poll. After a fourth-place finish in conference last year, the Tigers return two D2CCA First Team All-Region players in TeMia Pride and Anele Komani. Pride set the single-season record at UWA with 18 goals in 2018. The senior forward racked up 98 shots, 52 of which on target (.520 SOG %), and she was named GSC Co-Player of the Year. Komani ended the year with eight goals and five assists. A London, England native, the junior mid-fielder was named First Team All-GSC and netted three game-winning goals in the 2018 campaign. Graeme Orr is entering his ninth season as head coach at West Alabama. He has led the program to seven GSC tournament appearances in his first eight seasons. UWA went 12-6-1 (9-4 GSC) last year and defeated Valdosta State 2-0 in the first round of the GSC tournament.
All-Time Series: Last year was the inaugural meeting between the Spartans and Tigers. UT opened the 2018 season in Livingston, Alabama and went to double-overtime in a 4-4 draw. The two program's combined to score four goals in the final six minutes of the first half. UT laced 36 shots in total, 25 on goal, the most total shots since October 28, 2014. Cady registered two of her eight goals in the season opener. Bromwell appeared in the second half and made five saves in the final 65 minutes.
Tickets: General Admission ticket prices for all Tampa regular season athletic events are $5. Youth (ages 12 and under) are admitted free of charge. Students and faculty/staff are admitted free with a valid UT ID.
Text Alerts: UT also offers a free text messaging service that sends text alerts following all Spartan events. To sign up, please register at www.tampaspartans.com.
Front Row: Download the official app of UT Athletics on the Apple or Android store. Look for Tampa Spartans Front Row app to receive notifications from your favorite Spartan teams. The app is completely free.