DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire field hockey program, led by 23rd-year head coach Robin Balducci, announced its schedule for the upcoming 2013 season.
The 19-game schedule, highlighted by eight home games at Memorial Field, features eight teams that ended the 2012 season ranked in the top 20. Five of those opponents competed in last year's NCAA tournament, including two that advanced to the semifinals.
UNH opens the 2013 season at the Temple Tournament against one of the aforementioned semifinalists, the University of Maryland, on Aug. 31. One day later, the Wildcats play host school Temple University.
The Wildcats continue on the road with a west coast trip to play Stanford University (Sept. 6) – another one of the aforementioned NCAA tourney participants – and University of the Pacific (Sept. 8), a team the 'Cats defeated 7-1 in Durham in 2012.
New Hampshire plays its home opener Sept. 13 against Providence College and then Northeastern University travels to Memorial Field for a Sept. 15 clash; the Wildcats were overtime victors against both those teams a year ago.
UNH travels to Maine to play a neutral-site game against Central Michigan University on Sept. 21. The following weekend, the 'Cats hit the road to battle the University of Massachusetts (Sept. 27) and welcome Harvard University to Durham on Sept. 29.
The month of October is highlighted by three NCAA tourney teams and two other nationally-ranked squads from '12. The month opens with a home game against Boston College (Oct. 4) and two days later UNH will be on Long Island (N.Y.) to play Hofstra University – it will be the first meeting between the UNH and Hofstra field hockey programs since 2001.
The America East conference slate begins Oct. 11 at home against the University of Maine, and then the 'Cats make their second trip to the Empire State in as many weeks to battle Syracuse University (Oct. 13).
UNH heads back to New York when the Wildcats resume conference play with an Oct. 18 road game against University at Albany. The 'Cats play host to Bucknell University, a team they have not faced since 1985, on Oct. 20.
New Hampshire's first ever meeting against new conference member UMass-Lowell takes place Oct. 25 at Memorial Field, then the Battle of the 'Cats is Oct. 27 at the University of Vermont.
UNH closes America East conference play Nov. 1 with a Senior Day game against Fairfield University – the 'Cats defeated the Stags twice in OT a year ago – and, for the second consecutive year, the Wildcats end regular-season play against intrastate rival Dartmouth College in Hanover on Nov. 3.
The America East Championship will be played Nov. 7 & 9 at the site of the highest seed – UNH earned that honor each of the last three years – and the tourney winner will battle the NEC tournament champion in a Nov. 12 NCAA play-in game.