Raider men face tough soccer schedule







FAIRBORN — The Wright State men’s soccer team will face a challenging 2018 schedule that is highlighted by trips to Virginia and Cincinnati and nine home games for the Raiders.

The Raiders are coming off a fourth place finish in the Horizon League last season, while posting a 10-7-1 record and a 6-3 conference mark. WSU returns a talented group with a lot of experience, and will look to mix that experience with youth as the team adds 13 newcomers to the program. The Raiders will look to compete for a Horizon League championship once again, as they will try to earn their sixth consecutive birth in the Horizon League Postseason Tournament.

The Raiders return many key contributors including 2017 Horizon League Defender of the Year Dan Bent. They also bring back second team all-league players in forward Stefan Rokvic and goalkeeper Joel Sundell, as well as a 2016 second team all-league midfielder in Jackson Dietrich, who did not play in 2017 due to a knee injury. Midfielder Brayden McNitt will also look to have a strong sophomore season after earning a spot on the Horizon League all-freshman team last season.

Here is a look at the WSU schedule.

George Mason (exhibition): The Raiders open up their preseason Saturday, Aug. 11 in Fairfax, Va. The Patriots went 5-9-2 in 2017 but defeated No. 19 Coastal Carolina and tied Fordham University, which was one of the final eight teams in the NCAA tournament.

Longwood (exhibition): The Raiders will host Longwood at Alumni Field in a preseason match Saturday, Aug. 18. The Lancers finished 2017 with a 1-15-2 overall record.

UNC Asheville: The regular season begins as the Raiders host UNC Asheville Friday, Aug. 24. The Bulldogs finished with a 2-15-1 overall record, and a 1-6-1 record in the Big South Conference.

Fort Wayne: The Raiders play their first regular-season road game Monday, Aug. 27 against the Mastodons, which went 5-9-4, and tied Wright State, 0-0, to open the 2017 season.

Bowling Green: The battle for the I-75 Cup will take place at Bowling Green Friday, Aug. 31. The the Raiders currently hold the cup, defeating the Falcons, 2-0, at home last year. BGSU went 7-9-1 in 2017, but five of those losses came to nationally ranked opponents on the road.

Cincinnati: Wright State will visit Cincinnati Monday, Sept. 3, and is coming off its third straight victory in this rivalry, having defeated the Bearcats, 4-2, last season. Cincinnati, which finished 7-9-1 last year, is led by former Wright State All-American Hylton Dayes.

Northern Kentucky: Wright State will open Horizon League action on the road in Highland Heights Saturday, Sept. 8 against the Norse. NKU finished the season with a 7-6-4 overall record, and went 3-4-2 in Horizon League play. The Raiders won, 1-0, at home in 2017.

Eastern Illinois: After a four-game road stretch, the Raiders will return home to take on Eastern Illinois Tuesday, Sept. 18. The Panthers went 4-9-6 in 2017 and 2-2-1 in Summit League play. Wright State defeated the Panthers, 2-0, on the road last season.

Cleveland State: The Vikings went 7-10-2 and 4-3-2 in Horizon League play last season, and will travel to Alumni Field Saturday, Sept. 22. The Raiders will look to avenge their two losses to CSU from last season. A 4-0 loss knocked them out of the Horizon League Tournament.

Duquesne: The Raiders will conclude their three-game home stand with a meeting against Duquesne Tuesday, Sept. 25. Wright State edged out the Dukes, 1-0, on the road last season. Duquesne was 3-13-1 in 2017.

Detroit Mercy: The Raiders visit Detroit Saturday, Sept. 29. The Titans posted a 7-8-4 overall record, and went 4-4-1 in Horizon League play in 2017. The Raiders defeated UDM, 3-1, in last year’s match.

Virginia: The Raiders will travel to Charlottesville Tuesday, Oct. 2 for one of their toughest games. The seven-time national champions finished last season with a 12-4-5 record, and were 11-3-1 at home. The Cavaliers made the ACC Tournament championship game, losing in penalty kicks to Wake Forest, and earning the number 11 seed in the NCAA tournament in 2017.

UIC: Wright State will host UIC Saturday, Oct. 6 at Alumni Field. The Flames won the Horizon League Tournament title in 2017, and qualified for the NCAA tournament after finishing with an 11-6-3 overall record. UIC went 6-2-1 in Horizon League play, but Wright State defeated the Flames, 2-0, on the road last season.

West Virginia: Wright State will host WVU Tuesday, Oct. 9. The Raiders lost, 4-1, on the road to the Mountaineers last season. WVU posted a 9-6-4 overall record and defeated No. 5 Michigan State in 2017.

Oakland: The Raiders travel to Rochester, Mich., Saturday, Oct. 13 to take on Oakland. Wright State defeated the Golden Grizzlies, 2-0, in 2017. Oakland finished with a 6-10-1 overall record, and a 3-5-1 conference record but defeated Big Ten programs Ohio State and No. 20 Michigan last season.

IUPUI: IUPUI comes to Fairborn to take on the Raiders Saturday, Oct. 20. In their first season in the Horizon League, the Jaguars finished 0-15-2 including a 2-0 loss to Wright State.

Marshall: Wright State will travel to Huntington, W.Va., for a clash against the Thundering Herd Tuesday, Oct. 23. Marshall went 8-10-1 and posted a 5-2 home record in 2017. Wright State has not played Marshall since 2013, but the Raiders lead the all-time series, 7-5.

Green Bay: The 2017 Horizon League regular-season champions will host Wright State Saturday, October 27. The Phoenix defeated the Raiders, 2-1, in 2 OT at Alumni Field last season. Green Bay had an overall record of 9-5-3 and went 7-1-1 in conference play but lost to UIC, 2-0, in the Horizon League Tournament championship game.

Milwaukee: Wright State will conclude its regular season at home with a match against Milwaukee Friday, Nov. 2. The Panthers went 10-5-4 overall and 6-3 in the Horizon League and in 2017. Wright State lost, 3-2, to the Panthers in OT in Milwaukee last season.

The Horizon League Tournament begins with the No. 3 and 4 seeds hosting the No. 5 and 6 seeds Monday, Nov. 5. The top seed will host the semifinals Thursday, Nov. 8 as well as the finals Saturday, Nov. 10.

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