UNI football opens 2022 season with Air Force

Santo Tomas Team


Soccer No. 21 UNI in Air Force
Noon CT (11 a.m. MT) | September 3
Falcon Stadium | Colorado Springs, Colorado
TV: Altitude and Mountain West
RADIO: Panther Sports Network with J. W. Cox and Scott Peterson

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – UNI soccer opens 2022 season loaded with pre-season All-Americans Matthew Cook, spencer cuvelier Y Benny Sap III.

UNI faces the Air Force in the first meeting of the teams. The Panthers have a chance to be the first FCS team to beat the Falcons, who are 25-0 against the division. Air Force is on a 15-game winning streak in season openers.

Cook ranks in the top 10 among all Panthers in multiple career stat categories, including No. 4 among all placekickers in field goal percentage at 80.3% with a career record of 53- 66. He is fifth on the all-time list for number of field goals made.

Cuvelier is on Buck Buchanan’s watch list for Defensive Player of the Year and is nominated for the Allstate AFCA Good Deeds Team, which is the nation’s highest award for citizenship. Cuvelier opened last season with the National Player of the Week honor for forcing six turnovers, recovering two fumbles and scoring 15 tackles. He reached double figures for the 10th time in his 19 career games. Despite an injury that cut short his 2021 season, Cuvelier finished fifth in the Missouri Valley Football Conference in tackles per game.

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In addition to preseason All-America honors, Sapp is the first Panther to appear on Reese’s Senior Bowl watch list. He was third in the league in interceptions. He finished with four on the season and scored two in a single game against St. Thomas.

The Panthers return with a strong 21-player corps that started in 2021 to complement the three preseason picks from across the United States, including the returning player from MVFC. Deion McShane at the wide receiver.

Coach brand farley he is entering his 22nd season with the most wins of any Panther coach (168-93). He also has the most MVFC wins of any coach in the league. He has four wins against FBS opponents, including three wins against Iowa State (2007, 2013, 2016).



UNI is proud to have honorary captain John Walker join the team on the field for his birthday during the pre-game coin toss. Walker turns 58 on game day.

Walker attended UNI before enlisting in the Air Force in 1985. During his time of service that spanned more than two decades, Master Sgt. Walker was named Noncommissioned Officer of the Year by the 182nd and also Noncommissioned Officer of the Year by the State of Illinois. He also received the National Defense Medal and the United States Air Force Achievement Medal with five oak leaf clusters.

Walker served as a middle school history teacher and elementary school principal and was an inspiration to his four children. His daughter, Kaitlyn, followed in her footsteps as an educator, and her son, Nicholas, is a soccer team manager. Two of his children have already graduated from UNI and the fourth intends to start in the fall of 2024.


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The UNI Alumni Association will set up a tailgate for Panther fans from 7-10am just outside Falcon Stadium near Lot No. 2. The event is free to all who support Purple and Gold. Join UNI for games, food, and a cash bar.

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