Field Hockey Releases Final 2012 Schedule
Aug. 13, 2012
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Villanova Field Hockey team has released their final schedule for the 2012 season. The Wildcats are expected to face four 2011 NCAA Tournament teams as well as eight squads that either ranked or received votes in the final Kookaburra/NFHCA Division I Poll for the 2011 season.
The team is scheduled to open their season in the Robert Morris Tournament during the weekend of Aug. 24th-26th. The Wildcats will kick-off regular season play at Rider University on August 31st. Rider received a high number of votes in the 2011 Kookaburra/NFHCA Division I Poll, but fell short in making the top 20 list. During the first week of September, the Wildcats will play a pair of matches at Villanova Stadium against LaSalle and St. Francis on Wednesday, Sept. 5th and Friday, Sept. 7th, respectively. Villanova defeated LaSalle in both the 2010 and 2011 matchups and are 30-5-1 all-time when playing the Explorers. The meeting between St. Francis and the Wildcats will mark the first-ever contest between the two teams.
Villanova will then go on to play UNC, one of their most difficult opponents this season, on Sunday, Sept. 9th in Newark, Del. The Tar Heels ranked first in the 2011 Kookaburra/NFHCA Division I Poll and finished second in the NCAA Tournament after a 3-2 loss to Maryland in the finals. The last time Villanova played UNC was during the 2010 season where they came up short 7-1, but the team is looking to change history and pull a win over this dominant field hockey force. The team will see its first BIG EAST Conference action at Syracuse on Friday, Sept. 14th. The Wildcats and the Orange last faced off in the semifinal round of the 2011 Big East Conference Championship where Syracuse took the win 3-0 and went on to win the Conference Title. The following day, Villanova will take on Kent State at Syracuse on Saturday, Sept. 15th. The two institutions have split their four history matchups 2-2.
After a week of rest, Villanova's schedule brings them back home to take on BIG EAST powerhouse Connecticut on Sunday, Sept. 23rd. The Huskies went 6-0 in BIG EAST Conference play and finished second in the Conference after a championship loss to Syracuse in 2011. UConn ranked fifth in the 2011 Kookaburra/NFHCA Division I Poll and made it to the semifinal round of the NCAA Field Hockey Tournament where they fell to UNC 4-3.
Villanova will finish out the month of September with a pair of games the weekend of Sept. 29th and 30th at Rutgers and at home versus Bryant, respectively. The Wildcats defeated Rutgers 2-1 last season in a close BIG EAST matchup and are looking to improve their 17-13-1 all-time record against the Scarlet Knights. Villanova and Bryant's contest will mark the first time the two teams will meet. A game had been scheduled for the 2011 season, but due to Hurricane Irene, was subsequently cancelled.
The month of October will open with a game at St. Joseph's Wednesday, October 3rd. In both the 2010 and 2011 seasons the matchups between these two teams have resulted in an overtime decision. Villanova claimed the overtime win 3-2 in 2010, but fell short to St. Joseph's in a 3-2 loss last season.
Villanova continues a three-game away stretch with games at Liberty and Richmond on Oct. 6th and 7th, respectively. Liberty, a Big South Conference member, went 6-11 in the 2011 season. The game will mark the first matchup between the two schools. Villanova will face another tough opponent away versus Richmond on Oct. 7th. The Spiders received a high number of votes in the 2011 Kookaburra/NFHCA Division I Poll and made it to the first round of the NCAA Field Hockey Tournament where they lost to BIG EAST Champion, Syracuse 2-0. Back at Villanova Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 13, Villanova will take on BIG EAST opponent, Providence. Providence finished 4-14 overall and 1-5 in the Big East last season.
Following a week-long break, Villanova will travel to another BIG EAST opponent, Louisville, on Saturday, Oct. 20. Louisville and Villanova finished tied for third place in the Big East after finishing the 2011 regular season at 3-3. The Cardinals received votes in the 2011 Kookaburra/NFHCA Division I Poll and in 2012, will host the BIG EAST Championship Tournament at Trager Stadium. On Sunday, Oct. 21, Villanova will play at Indiana for only the third time in team history. The Wildcats will have to come to the game ready to play the Hoosiers who were 6-1 at home last season.
The regular season rounds out for Villanova Field Hockey with two home matches. Villanova will take on Penn on Wednesday Oct. 24th. The Wildcats claimed a 2-1 victory over the Quakers last season and are looking to build upon the 14-12-2 record against the Philadelphia rivals. The final regular season game is against BIG EAST Conference matchup Georgetown on Friday Oct. 26th. Georgetown finished 1-5 in the BIG EAST last season; included in that record was a 2-0 loss to Villanova.
Upon the conclusion of the regular-season contests, Villanova will head to Louisville, Ky. for the BIG EAST Championship on Nov. 3rd and 4th before entering the NCAA Tournament, scheduled to begin on Nov. 10th.