WEEKLY NOTEBOOK (PDF w/stats)
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- All nine Summit League teams will be in action during the opening weekend of the college soccer season with all but Western Illinois playing two matches. Five squads get their seasons underway Thursday with South Dakota getting things started by hosting Wyoming at 4 p.m. CT. The Coyotes are the only Summit League team playing at home on the opening day of action (watch the match).
• The league's nine members combined to go 9-5 during exhibition play, outscoring their opponents 48-10.
• The Leathernecks, who only won two matches during the 2017 campaign, went 2-0 in exhibition play with Division I road wins at Illinois-Chicago and Green Bay. North Dakota and North Dakota State also went unblemished in a pair of exhibition matches.
• The remainder of Thursday's slate includes: North Dakota State at Wisconsin, Western Illinois at Missouri State and Omaha at Memphis, while Denver is playing Colorado State in the first of three Colorado Cup matches this season for the Pioneers.
• The reigning Summit League Tournament champs also play Colorado Colorado in a cup match on Sunday.
• NDSU, who returns 10 starters, remains in the Badger State to take on a Green Bay team it owns a 4-2 all-time record against.
• Omaha, who has eight starters back from 2017, will cross back over the Mississippi River to conclude its opening weekend with a tilt on Sunday at Arkansas State.
• The Fighting Hawks play their first official match as a Summit League member in Louisiana on Friday at Nicholls State. UND topped South Dakota 2-1 in an exhibition match on Aug. 11 in East Grand Forks. Those two will wrap up regular-season conference play in Vermillion on Oct. 28.
• UND will remain down on the bayou to wrap up its opening weekend at Southern in Baton Rouge.
• South Dakota State plays a pair of Big 12 squads during the opening weekend before returning home to Brookings for six-consecutive matches.
• Purdue Fort Wayne opens its season by hosting a pair of fellow Sycamore State squads as Ball State (Friday) and Indiana State (Sunday) both visit the Mastadons.
• Oral Roberts is opening their season about as far south as you can go in the Continental United States. The Golden Eagles are competing in the UTRGV Invitational in Edinburg, Texas, which is located on the southern tip of the Lone Star State. ORU opens play vs. Portland State on Friday.
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ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Through 36 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 115,000 at nine institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Purdue Fort Wayne (Purdue University Fort Wayne), the University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced 12 NCAA Champions along with over 100 Academic All-Americans, and nearly 125 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit www.thesummitleague.org website