As it looks to build on its 2021 Horizon League Championship season, the Oakland University men’s soccer team has released its 2022 roster.
The Golden Grizzlies, led by the most recent Horizon League Coach of the Year award winner, Eric Pogue, finished the 2021 season with a 12-7-2 record and qualified for the NCAA Tournament.
The Golden Grizzlies cruised through conference play with an 8-1-1 record and stormed through UIC and Cleveland State to win the Horizon League.
The season ended in the first round of the NCAA Tournament when Oakland fell to Northern Illinois, 2-1.
Pogue and the Golden Grizzlies will now enter the 2022 season with heads full of steam, looking to defend their 2021 title and return to the NCAA Tournament.
The team will open the season with three exhibition games. He will host Saginaw Valley and Ohio State on August 13-16 before heading to Ohio to face the Akron Zips on August 19.
“We’ve put together another class-leading 2022 fall schedule that will help us achieve our ultimate goals in mid-November of winning the Horizon League Championships, advancing in the NCAA Tournament and being a program. nationally recognized,” Pogue said.
After its three exhibition games, Oakland travels to Nebraska to face Creighton and Omaha in late August.
September will begin with a two-game home game as the Golden Grizzlies host DePaul and Butler. Oakland will face Butler on September 4 but won’t return home until September 28.
Between home games, Pogue will take the Golden Grizzlies on a four-game road trip. They will face Purdue Fort Wayne, Grand Canyon, Michigan and Bowling Green.
Pogue spoke about the tough non-conference schedule facing the Golden Grizzlies this season.
“Planning a non-conference roster that includes national and regional powerhouses like Creighton, Grand Canyon, Michigan, Akron, Ohio State, Butler, DePaul, WMU, BGSU, Omaha and SVSU will be a tough test week in and week out, but this experience will give us will ultimately help prepare us for the ever-challenging Horizon League Championship race,” Pogue said, “We want to play the best teams we can in Oakland University men’s soccer.
After the non-conference slate, Oakland will settle into a series of Horizon League games. The Golden Grizzlies will face a conference opponent in eight of their final nine regular season games.
Pogue says the tough non-conference schedule will give his team two chances to clinch their ticket to the NCAA tournament — one via a general offer and another via victory in the Horizon League tournament.
“Our schedule will give us two good opportunities to compete in the NCAA Tournament, one as Horizon League Tournament Champions and two potentially receiving an NCAA At-Large, which we have done twice before with strong non-conference results,” Pogue said.
If Pogue and the team can build on last year’s success, they’ll find themselves with another chance to claim their spot in the NCAA Tournament and maybe even advance to the second round.