Defending Champion Racers Announce 2017 Women’s Soccer Schedule
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Women's Soccer - Mon, Jun. 12, 2017

LIMA, Ohio – The University of Northwestern Ohio women's soccer program and Head Coach Stuart Gore released the 2017 schedule. The Racers completed their 2016 campaign as the NAIA National Champions and captured the WHAC regular season and tournament championships for the third straight year. 

With the Racers finishing the 2016 season ranked first in the NAIA Coaches' Poll, the non-conference schedule is loaded with four out of the seven matchups against fellow top 25 opponents with two others receiving votes.

"Our non-conference schedule once again pits us against some of the best of the best in the country," Gore noted in light of the 2017 campaign.

The Racers will begin the 2017 season with two home games against the Knights of Marian (Ind.) University and the Bruins of Bellevue (Neb.) University on August 22 and 25, respectively.

"Marian and Bellevue are programs that have only gotten stronger and will want to make waves this season," Gore commented.

The Racers then hit the road for a four-game stint against teams ranked in the top 10, arguably one of the toughest stretches of games for any team this season. The Racers first head to the West Coast to take on Westmont College and Vanguard University in California.

"Westmont's soccer history says it all as it is consistently one of the best programs in the NAIA," Gore remarked. "With Vanguard comes a different style of soccer. Coach Dodge's experience coupled with his talented players makes his team very difficult to play against."

The Racers then return to the Midwest to take on two teams they have faced previously in the National Championship Final, the Spring Arbor (Mich.) University Cougars and the Blue Raiders of Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) College.

"Spring Arbor has always been a stellar program, but they have really raised the bar in recent years, as top programs do. They have fantastic fan support at all of their home games, which makes the atmosphere at SAU a unique place to play," said Gore. "The same can also be said for Lindsey Wilson, as it is a program renowned for playing an attractive European style of soccer. We are really excited for both contests against top-ranked teams, and we expect both games to be top notch."

For their last non-conference matchup, the Racers welcome the Tigers of Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) University to Lima, Ohio, before WHAC play kicks off.

"ONU is yet another program that is highly respected within the NAIA, and I'm sure they will be looking to continue to make their mark," Gore stated. 

He also sees another challenging road ahead for his Racers as the WHAC always has tough competitors. 

When asked about the upcoming WHAC conference matchups Gore commented, "I feel Coach Oliver at Siena Heights has a roster filled with a lot of strength and experience, which makes them a huge threat to anyone they face. There have also been a few head coaching changes within the league, so I'm certain that players and coaches from those teams will be looking to make a new impression on the league. Our conference is always so unpredictable, and the standings can change dramatically from Wednesday night to Saturday evening. WHAC teams always give everything they have no matter who they're playing, and we're no different."

The full schedule with dates and game times can be found at this link and on www.UNOHRacers.com.