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Women's soccer takes on Utah Valley preview

The Memphis Women's soccer team will take on the Utah Valley Wolverines in the first round of the NCAA Division I tournament. 

The Tigers are scheduled to play the champions of the Western Athletic Conference. UVU (12-4-4, 10-2-2 WAC) has not lost any of their last eight games; six of them being wins and two of them ties.

This game will be the first ever meeting between the Wolverines and the Tigers. Memphis (8-3, 6-1 AAC) is making their third straight appearance in the NCAA tournament and the fourth time in the past five seasons. The Wolverines have now made the NCAA tournament three times in program history.

Utah Valley appeared in the 2015 and 2017 tournament and lost both times. Memphis has lost their last three appearances in the NCAA tournament. The Tigers have competed against Power 5 opponents the last three times and lost all of them. 

The match is at the East Carolina campus and scheduled for April 28 at 2pm EST. The game is broadcasted by ESPN3.

By the numbers

Memphis has four play players that have scored three goals: Tanya Boychuk, Clarissa Larisey Lisa Pechersky and Grace Stordy. The Tigers have outscored opponents 17-9 and outshot opponents 177 to 70. Eight players have scored at least one goal for the Tigers. Boychuk has taken the most shots for the Tigers, totaling 25 with nine on the frame. 

The Wolverines have played nearly twice as many games as Memphis has. After 20 games, Utah Valley has established a significant stat sheet. Three players for UVU have scored five goals each. Heather Stainbrook, Sadie Brockbank and Jenna Shepherd are all tied for the most on their team.

Brockbank leads the Wolverines attack, leading the WAC in total shots, 80, and a conference best 44 shots on goal. She is also tied for the most assists on the team with five. She has also received five yellow cards, the most on her team. 

Utah Valley also has four players that scored four goal each: Julianna Carter, Heather Stainbrook, Anna Pickering and London Miller. 

Tigers Goalkeeper Elizabeth Moberg has secured the net well for Memphis, making 23 saves, playing in every game and allowing .081 goals per game. The Tigers have averaged 1.55 goals per game and averaged more than 16 shots per game. 

UVU starting goalkeeper Isabel Jones-Dawe has played and started in 18 of the 20 games for the Wolverines. She has accrued 54 saves and helped Utah Valley to a 10-4-4 record during her starts. She has allowed an average of .91 goal per game.

The urgency for both teams

The last three times the Tigers have played in the tournament were followed by first round losses. Losses to Washington State, Wisconsin and Arkansas have ruined their previous three trips to the tournament. The fourth time in five seasons has given Memphis another chance, this time against a powerful team from Utah. 

Utah Valley University has had their last two trips end early as well, losing both times in the first round. Losses to Stanford and BYU have been letdowns for the Wolverines. They will hope the third trip to the NCAA tournament in program history is the charm. 

The winner of the game will play the Arkansas Razorbacks on May 1. 

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