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Spring soccer kicks off first home game of spring | Sports

By the end of the spring season, the Vols women’s soccer team will have played both professional opposition and two teams that were ranked in the top 13 nationally last season.

This weekend, they play a Cincinnati soccer team that went 11-5-4 last year and finished fourth in the American Athletic Conference.

Tennessee will take on the Bearcats at Regal Soccer Stadium on Saturday, April 9; it is the first home game for the Vols soccer team amongst a tough schedule of spring exhibition matches.

The Bearcats are perennial contenders in the Atlantic Athletic Conference, having won the conference championship seven times, most recently in 2015. Cincinnati has seven NCAA tournament appearances.

Tennessee won their only previous meeting with the Bearcats — a 2002 second-round NCAA Tournament game that was played in Knoxville. Thanks to a late goal on that November day, the Vols beat Cincinnati and advanced to soccer’s Sweet Sixteen.

The Vols have enjoyed moderate success against AAC teams, boasting a 4-5-0 all-time record against opposition from that conference.

Last Saturday, the Vols played a top-tier professional squad, as they traveled to Cary, North Carolina, to face the reigning champions of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), the WNY Flash. The Flash relocated in 2017 as the NC Courage.

The Vols spring opponents include the No. 13 Clemson Tigers and last year’s NCAA tournament runner-up, No. 2 West Virginia.

On April 1, the Vols played their third spring exhibition game against Clemson and lost 1-0. Their previous friendly games were against Columbus St. and the NC Courage, which finished with a 6-0 victory and 3-0 loss, respectively.

Tennessee will finish their spring season with a home doubleheader at Regal Soccer Stadium on April 22. They face both West Virginia and Wake Forest. The Mountaineers will be the…

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