PISCATAWAY, N.J. (July 17, 2013) – The Rutgers women’s soccer team unveiled its 2013 schedule Wednesday, announced 13-year head coach Glenn Crooks. The Scarlet Knights’ 18-game slate features three opponents – Virginia, UCF and Princeton – that qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2012. RU will play 11 home matches in 2013, the most since matching that mark in 2009.
“It’s a really good schedule,” Crooks said. “We’ve got two very good scrimmages against West Virginia and Richmond, so I really like our preparation. Our independent games [Drexel, Army, Delaware, Fordham, William & Mary, Princeton, Virginia, Bryant, Villanova] – every one of them is a big challenge.
“That’s how we’re kicking it off, but then we go down to Virginia and that will be a particular challenge. There are no gimmes in the independent games, or the conference games. It makes for a very tough schedule.”
RU opens the season at Yurcak Field against Drexel on Friday, Aug. 23. The Scarlet Knights last played the Dragons in 2011, when they opened that season by topping the Colonial Athletic Association foe, 1-0, in Piscataway.
Crooks will lead his squad to West Point, N.Y., on Sunday, Aug. 25 for an early morning match against Army. It will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools. The following weekend marks RU’s first full weekend of competition “On the Banks,” as the Scarlet Knights will battle Delaware on Friday, Aug. 30 and Fordham on Sunday, Sept. 1.
The Scarlet Knights face the biggest test of their non-conference season on Friday, Sept. 6, when they square off with perennial NCAA powerhouse Virginia in the University of Virginia Tournament. The Cavaliers finished 2012 ranked No. 10 in the NSCAA Coaches Poll after besting RU, 6-1, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. UVA fell, 3-2, in its Sweet Sixteen match against Duke.
RU’s second match of the weekend will be against William and Mary, another historically dominant CAA opponent.
“We play Virginia, then William & Mary that Sunday, which is a very good team – a perennial NCAA Tournament team,” Crooks said. “That’s a very huge weekend for us in terms of moving closer to our conference games.”
Following its stint in Virginia, the squad returns to the friendly confines of Yurcak Field for three consecutive home matches. All three matches will be part of doubleheader action with the men’s soccer team, as RU’s match with Bryant at 5:30 p.m., on Friday, Sept. 13 will precede the men’s 8 p.m. meeting with Princeton. On Sunday, Sept. 15 the women’s squad faces in-state foe Princeton at 2:30 p.m., following a noon match between the men’s team and South Carolina.
The final doubleheader of 2013 will be played on Friday, Sept. 20, when long-time rival Villanova visits Yurcak Field for a 5:30 p.m. match. The men’s squad will follow by opening its American Athletic Conference schedule against SMU at 8 p.m.
Rutgers opens its conference slate on Friday, Sept. 27 at Cincinnati. RU has won the past four meetings against the two schools and holds an 8-2-1 advantage all-time.
The Scarlet Knights close out the weekend on Sunday, Sept. 29 with a trip to Louisville, before playing their next three matches – Memphis (Friday, Oct. 4), Houston (Thursday, Oct. 10) and SMU (Sunday, Oct. 13) – in Piscataway.
The squad will make a trip to the Sunshine State from Oct. 18 – Oct. 20 to play UCF and USF, respectively. UCF finished last season ranked No. 20 in the NSCAA Coaches Poll.
RU closes its regular season with a pair of home matches, taking on Connecticut on Thursday, Oct. 24 before celebrating Senior Day against Temple on Sunday, Oct. 27. UConn eliminated Rutgers with a 3-1 victory in the first round of the BIG EAST Championships last season. The Scarlet Knights will play Temple for the first time in eight seasons.
The American Athletic Conference Tournament will be played from Nov. 3 – Nov. 10, as Rutgers looks to qualify for its 14th consecutive postseason tournament. Crooks guided RU to 13-straight trips to the BIG EAST Championships.
NCAA Tournament play begins on Friday, Nov. 15 and runs until the championship match on Friday, Dec. 6. RU looks to capture consecutive NCAA Tournament bids for the second time in program history and first time since snagging bids in 2008 and 2009.
23 DREXEL (Piscataway, N.J.) 7 p.m.
25 Army (West Point, N.Y.) 1 p.m.
30 DELAWARE (Piscataway N.J.) 7 p.m.
1 FORDHAM (Piscataway, N.J.) 1 p.m.
6 Virginia (Charlottesville, Va.)@ 4 p.m.
8 William and Mary (Charlottesville, Va.)@ noon
13 BRYANT (Piscataway, N.J.)$ 5:30 p.m.
15 PRINCETON (Piscataway, N.J.)$ 2:30 p.m.
20 VILLANOVA (Piscataway, N.J.)$ 5:30 p.m.
27 Cincinnati (Cincinnati, Ohio)* 7 p.m.
29 Louisville (Louisville, Ky.)* 1 p.m.
4 MEMPHIS (Piscataway, N.J.)* 7 p.m.
10 HOUSTON (Piscataway, N.J.)* 7 p.m.
13 SMU (Piscataway, N.J.)* 1 p.m.
18 UCF (Orlando, Fla.)* 7 p.m.
20 USF (Tampa, Fla.)* 1 p.m.
24 UCONN (Piscataway, N.J.)* 7 p.m.
27 TEMPLE (Piscataway, N.J.)* 1 p.m.
3-10 AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE TOURNY TBD
NCAA Tournament Nov. 22 - Dec. 8
First/ Second/ Third Rounds and Quarterfinals at Campus sites (Nov. 22 - Dec.1)
Women's College Cup at WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary, N.C. (Dec. 6-8)
BOLD CAPS denote home matches at Yurcak Field, Piscataway, N.J.
@ - Denotes University of Virginia Tournament
$ - Denotes doubleheaders with Rutgers men’s soccer
* - Denotes American Athletic Conference match
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