The Wildcats have a challenge and an opportunity in front of them this weekend.
On Sunday night, under the lights at Wildcat Soccer Field, the Weber State University women’s soccer team will host No. 1 UCLA at 7 p.m.
The Bruins (4-0-0), who face BYU in Provo on Friday night, are the highest-ranked team to ever come to Ogden for a match, and the highest ranked team the Wildcats (1-3-0) have ever faced.
Sunday’s match is the first-ever meeting between the Wildcats and Bruins, and the second of three meetings with Pac-12 teams this season.
Weber State defeated North Dakota State on Friday night, capturing the 1-0 win on freshman central defender Haley Thomas’ 40-yard shot. The Wildcats nearly pulled a weekend sweep, holding a 1-0 led at Grand Canyon on Sunday before the Lopes rallied in the final two minutes and won the match in overtime.
The highest-ranked team the Wildcats have previously faced is No. 4 Washington in 2004. Weber State’s last meeting with a top 10-opponent was in 2015 when the Wildcats opened the year at No. 7 North Carolina.
Junior midfielder Madison Garlock leads the Wildcats in shots with 12 after four games and garnered an assist on senior midfielder Kelsi Jones’ 12th-minute goal on Sunday at Grand Canyon.
Defensively, Thomas, a freshman from Kennewick, Washington, and sophomore central defender Gabrielle Vivier-Hannay, from Winnipeg, Manitoba, have helped the Wildcats to a .97 goals-against Average.
While the Wildcats’ overall record is just 1-3-0 after four matches, all three losses were by one goal and two were in overtime. Further, Weber State has outshot three of its four opponents and has created quality opportunities to score in every match.
Following Sunday’s match with the Bruins, the Wildcats will return to the road, heading to Denton, Texas, to face the University of North Texas on Sept. 8.
Justin Johnson is an Athletic Communications Assistant at Weber State University. For more information about Weber State University athletics, please visit: http://www.weberstatesports.com.