ORONO, Maine -- University of Maine field hockey head coach Josette Babineau has announced the team's 2013-14 schedule. The Black Bears will face a total of six teams who competed in the NCAA tournament last season including hosting the Big Ten's Michigan Wolverines, Colonial Athletic Association power Northeastern, the defending A-10 champions in UMass and the defending America East champion Albany Great Danes.
Maine kicks off the 2013-14 campaign by hosting a pair of 2012-13 NCAA tournament participants as they welcome UMass to the Maine Field Hockey complex on Friday, August 30 before hosting Michigan on Sunday, Sept. 1.
"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to host strong non conference opponents in UMass, Michigan, Central Michigan, Northeastern and Bryant," commented Babineau. "To have a total of eight home games on our field including our conference opponents is important to our program."
The Black Bears follow by diving into a tough five-game road stretch, beginning with a contest at the Atlantic Coast Conference's (ACC) Boston College Eagles on Tuesday, Sept. 3. Maine will then travel to face Hofstra on Saturday, Sept. 7 before meeting up with Quinnipiac the following day. Maine's road trip continues with a pair of neutral site contests in Burlington, Vt. The Black Bears will take on ACC foe Virginia, who competed in the NCAA tournament a season ago, on Saturday, Sept. 14 before closing out the Sheraton Catamount Classic with a contest against Brown on Sunday, Sept. 15.
Maine returns home the following weekend where it will host Central Michigan on Sunday, Sept. 22. The Black Bears welcome UMass-Lowell to the America East and Division-I action with a contest in Orono on Saturday, Sept. 28, although the game will not count towards conference records.
Maine opens America East play on Saturday, Oct. 5 when it hosts defending America East champion Albany before dipping out of league play for a home matchup with Bryant on Sunday, Sept. 6.
America East play continues on Friday, Oct. 11 when the Black Bears travel to face border rival New Hampshire. Maine then returns home to face CAA power and 2012-13 NCAA tournament participants in the Northeastern Huskies.
Five of Maine's final six games will be on the road beginning with a showdown at Dartmouth on Tuesday, Oct. 15. More conference action follows as Maine travels to Fairfield on Saturday, Oct. 19 before battling Yale the following day. The Black Bears will meet the Pac-12's Cal Golden Bears in neutral site action at Boston University on Sunday, Oct 27. A season ago, Cal hosted a NCAA tournament play-in game. Maine finishes its five game road trip on Monday, Oct. 28 when it travels to Providence.
"Our schedule is competitive and exciting," added Babineau. "We look forward to playing Virginia in the Sheraton Catamount Classic for the first time as well as traveling to Boston to play The University of California."
The Black Bears close out the 2013-14 regular season by hosting America East foe Vermont on Saturday, Nov. 2.
"Our schedule will be challenging but will prepare us well for our conference opponents and the America East Championship," said Babineau.
Maine looks to build off its 10-10 season a year ago as it returns all four of its top scorers including America East co-offensive player of the year Annabelle Hamilton (North Vancouver, British Columbia) (nine goals, six assists), co-rookie of the year Cassidy Svetek (Burlington, Ontario) (nine goals), junior world cup participant Holly Stewart (North Vancouver, British Columbia) (five goals, four assists) and junior forwardHannah Keating (York, Maine) (five goals). The Black Bears also return a solid nucleus on the back line in Nicole Sevey (Skowhegan, Maine), a unanimous selection to the America East all-rookie team, America East second team selection Zoe Berkey (Duncan, British Columbia) and senior leader Kaitlynn Stymiest (Corinth, Maine).