BETHLEHEM, Pa, - Lehigh head women’s lacrosse coach Jill Redfern released the Mountain Hawks’ 2013 schedule on Wednesday which features games against four teams who finished in the top 16 of last season’s final RPI. Lehigh will play 16 regular season games, nine at home and seven on the road. In total, the Mountain Hawks will face four squads (Florida, Navy, Penn and Penn State) who advanced to the 2012 NCAA tournament.
“We've worked hard all fall to meet the challenges our 2013 schedule,” said Redfern.
New teams on this year’s schedule are Florida, Yale, Penn and Howard. Lehigh did play the Gators two seasons ago. Since, Florida has jumped among the nation’s elite, receiving the No. 1 seed in last season’s NCAA Tournament and advancing to the National Semifinals where it succumbed to Syracuse. The Penn Quakers are coming off an impressive season in which they won the Ivy League and finished 16th in the final RPI.
“We like the excitement that playing new teams provides,” said Redfern. “We look forward to meeting each of these teams this spring.”
Lehigh will face three of the top 10 teams in the Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook ranking recently released: Florida (2), Penn State (9) and Penn (10). Four opponents who finished in the top 16 of last season’s final RPI were Penn State (13), Navy (14) and Penn (16).
“We believe playing outstanding competition will raise the level of our game and provide the experience this team needs to be successful in league play,” said Redfern.
Lehigh will open its season at home against Villanova on Saturday, Feb. 16. The Mountain Hawks won at Villanova a season ago, 12-8. The following Saturday, Lehigh will head to Temple for a 1 p.m. contest followed by a trip to New York to face Binghamton at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday (Feb. 27).
The Mountain Hawks will return home on Tuesday, Mar. 5 to take on Delaware at 4 p.m. before hitting the road for their Patriot League opener against defending league champion Navy on Saturday, Mar. 9. Lehigh will follow that up with a tough road test, traveling to Gainesville, Fla. to play the preseason No. 2 Florida Gators on Tuesday, Mar. 12 at 6:30 p.m. Florida finished No. 3 in the final poll last year and return its top three scorers from a season ago. Out of the American Lacrosse League, the Gators are coming off a 19-3 season.
Lehigh will return for a three-game homestand against Colgate (Mar. 16), Fairfield (Mar. 20) and Bucknell (Mar. 23), all in the span of seven days. They will follow that set of games with a road rivalry match against Lafayette on Friday, Mar. 29 under the lights at 7 p.m.
Following the Lafayette contest the Mountain Hawks will return home once again for three straight at the Ulrich Sports Complex. They’ll face Yale on Sunday, Mar. 31 followed by a tough nonleague matchup against 2012 Ivy League Champion Penn on Apr. 3. Lehigh will finish the homestand against Patriot League foe American on Apr. 7.
Lehigh will play another preseason top 10 foe in Penn State on Wednesday Apr. 10 on the road at 7 p.m. The Nittany Lions finished last season with a 12-7 record in the American Lacrosse League, good for 13th in the final national polls.
Senior Day will take place on Sunday, Apr. 14 as the Mountain Hawks will play their last home regular season game against Howard University at 3 p.m. They’ll then close out their season on the road on Friday Apr. 19, traveling to Holly Cross for a 5 p.m. tilt.
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