DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire field hockey program, led by 21st-year head coach Robin Balducci, has announced its 19-game schedule for the upcoming 2011 season.
The schedule includes 14 non-conference games in addition to the five America East league matchups and eight home games at Memorial Field. The Wildcats, who went undefeated in 2010 America East conference play and were edged in overtime at the league championship game, will battle three teams that advanced to the 2010 NCAA tournament as well as four other teams that were ranked in the final NFHCA Coaches Poll.
New Hampshire starts the 2011 season with a road trip to Ohio State University, which advanced to the national semifinals a year ago. The 'Cats open Aug. 27 against those Buckeyes. One day later, UNH battles Kent State University, which won the MAC tourney title and lost to American University in an NCAA play-in game.
UNH plays its home opener Sept. 2 against regional rival Brown University, which closed the '10 season by winning four of its last five games, including the last three, and then the 'Cats hit the road to play two more regional rivals, Providence College (Sept. 4) and Dartmouth College (Sept. 11); the intrastate rival won 10 games a year ago. In between, however, the 'Cats play host to Rutgers University on the 10th.
The Wildcats return to action the following weekend with home games against College of the Holy Cross (Sept. 16; 7 p.m.) and Northeastern University (Sept. 18), another team that won 10 games last season.
A neutral-site game against Northwestern University – those Wildcats won 11 games in 2010 – at Louisville on Sept. 25 is next on the schedule. UNH then faces Louisville, a nationally-ranked team that went 13-7 and advanced to the Big East semifinals.
The month of September concludes with the America East conference opener at home against Fairfield (Sept. 30; 3 p.m.), but then New Hampshire begins October with road games against 2010 NCAA tourney participant Michigan State University (Oct. 2) and league combatant University of Vermont (Oct. 7).
UNH finally has a stretch of home games with four of its next five contests at Memorial Field, and it begins Oct. 9 against Stanford University, which also advanced to the NCAA tourney a year ago.
After a road game against league rival Boston University (Oct. 14), the 'Cats battle Boston College (Oct. 16) – one of the other aforementioned nationally-ranked teams – and the University of Maine (Oct. 21) in Durham.
The Wildcats conclude the America East portion of its 2011 schedule Oct. 29 at University at Albany for a rematch of the 2010 league title game, and then the 'Cats play Harvard University (Oct. 30) in the regular-season finale before returning home.
Postseason play begins Nov. 4-6 at the America East Championship tournament with the top four teams advancing to compete.
Click here to visit the online schedule page.