SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – The Lawrence Technological (Mich.) University men's soccer team opens the 2019 season with the toughest non-conference schedule to date, playing three teams that finished in the 2018 Postseason Top 10 – No. 5 Rio Grande (Ohio), No. 7 Cardinal Stritch (Wisc.), and No. 10 Spring Arbor (Mich.). The Blue Devils open the season at Martin Methodist (Tenn.) University on Saturday, August 24 with opening kickoff set for 5 p.m. EDT.
Lawrence Tech follow their season opener with four more road games including a 2018 NAIA Opening Round rematch at Rio Grande on August 31 at 7 p.m. They travel to Cardinal Stritch on August 7 at 7 p.m. followed by their home opener on Wednesday, September 11 at 7 p.m. They close the non-conference schedule with trips to Huntington (Ind.) on September 14 at 3 p.m. and Taylor (Ind.) on September 20 at 7 p.m.
"We wanted to take on the best programs out there to prepare us for conference play and challenge ourselves to see if we can achieve the goals we've set for the upcoming season," Lawrence Tech Head Coach Will Dyer said. "We only have one non-conference home game this year as we needed to travel to take on several of the best programs in the NAIA."
They open conference season with 2018 NAIA Final Four participant Madonna (Mich.) University on September 28 at 2 p.m. They follow up their tough WHAC opener with home games against Michigan-Dearborn on October 2 at 7 p.m. and Concordia (Mich.) University – Ann Arbor on October 5 at 4:30 p.m.
The Blue Devils hit the road for three straight conference games starting with Aquinas (Mich.) College on October 9 at 7 p.m. followed by Cleary (Mich.) University on October 12 at 7 p.m. and close their trip at Rochester (Mich.) University on October 16 at 1:30 p.m. at Ultimate Arena in Pontiac, Mich.
Lawrence Tech returns back to Blue Devils Stadium on October 19 for a repeat of the 2018 WHAC Tournament Championship game, hosting Indiana Tech at 4:30 p.m. as part of Homecoming Weekend. They host Siena Heights (Mich.) University on October 23 at 7 p.m. followed by road games at Lourdes (Ohio) University on October 26 and Cornerstone (Mich.) University on October 30. They close the season with a home contest against University of Northwestern Ohio on November 2 at 7 p.m.
"Four brand new coaches, Madonna coming off an amazing final four run in the NAIA National Tournament, plain and simple we have some of the best coaches in the country in our conference," Dyer said. "We are in for a battle each and every game. We've got a target on our back now and now we have to see if we can back up last year's success as it's a whole new year and no one cares what you've done in the past."
All Home Games will be Played at the newly expanded Blue Devils Stadium in Southfield, Mich.
SCHEDULE BY THE NUMBERS
5 – Games to start the season on the road.
6 – Home games at the newly expanded Blue Devils Stadium.
12 – Road games including games at Rio Grande and Cardinal Stritch – Both Finished 2018 inside the Top 10.
- Play five teams that earned a spot in the 2018 NAIA National Championship Tournament - Madonna (Final Four Team), Huntington, Rio Grande, Cardinal Stritch, and Spring Arbor.
- Blue Devils face four teams that finished 2018 in the NAIA Top 10 - Madonna (4), Rio Grande (5), Cardinal Stritch (7), and Spring Arbor (10).
- Enter the 2019 season as reigning WHAC Tournament Champions.
- Host two of the top three teams in the WHAC Preseason Poll;
- Travel to top ranked Madonna, who finished 2018 ranked fourth in the NAIA.