MANCHESTER, N.H. – The nationally-ranked Saint Anselm College field hockey team revealed its 18-game regular season schedule for the upcoming 2018 season on Thursday, as the team will look to earn its third-straight NCAA Tournament berth this fall.
In 2018, Saint Anselm will play nine games on its home turf at Grappone Stadium, where the Hawks are 29-4 over the last three seasons, and open the season with a two-game trip to Louisville, Ky. Piloted by reigning Northeast-10 Conference Coach of the Year Carolyn King-Robitaille, Saint Anselm is coming off a 17-3 season that saw the Hawks host a first round NCAA Tournament game for the second-straight year and win their second consecutive Northeast-10 Conference regular season championship with an 11-1 record against league opponents.
"We are anxiously awaiting the return of our student-athletes to campus to prepare for the 2018 season," King-Robitaille said. "We open the season on the road in Louisville and that trip will be a valuable experience for us to travel together and find a way to get it done against two quality teams. As we have seen over the years, the NE10 is an absolute grind in the best way. There were six teams nationally ranked last season and I expect that to continue and grow in 2018. The NE10 is one of the most exciting field hockey conferences in the country and we are lucky to compete in such a competitive conference."
Saint Anselm will get its season underway in Louisville at Bellarmine on Friday, Aug. 31 at 6:30 p.m. before a neutral-site game against Lindenwood (Mo.), a 17-win team a year ago, on Sunday, Sept. 2 at high noon. Both games will be played at Owsley B. Frazier Stadium in Louisville.
Upon returning to the Northeast, the Hawks will play non-league games at Southern New Hampshire and Saint Michael's in mid-September prior to opening NE10 play at LIU Post on Sunday, Sept. 23. Saint Anselm has won all six previous meetings against its crosstown-rival and has outscored the Spartans by a 21-1 margin across three all-time meetings.
The Sept. 23 NE10 opener pits the Hawks against the reigning NE10 Tournament champion Pioneers, who have defeated the Hawks in three overtime games in the postseason over the last two seasons. Saint Anselm claimed a 3-2 victory over then-No. 5-ranked LIU Post during the regular season in 2017 before the Pioneers went on to finish as the national runner-up.
On Saturday, Sept. 29, the Hawks will play their NE10 home opener at 1 p.m. against Assumption, a team Saint Anselm defeated twice last season before the Greyhounds advanced to the title game of the NE10 Tournament. In the first month of October, Saint Anselm makes the trip to Saint Michael's for the second meeting between the two programs before home games against Southern Connecticut State and St. Thomas Aquinas.
Saint Anselm plays a total of nine games in the month of October, returning from a five-day layoff with a trip to Pace on Saturday, Oct. 13. An overtime goal by Mia Vecchione '18 handed the Setters, then ranked eighth in the country, their first loss of the season a year ago on Sept. 23 after Pace started the season 6-0. The Hakws will then play a 7 p.m. home game under the lights against Stonehill on Wednesday, Oct. 17 in a rematch of one of the more hotly-contested games from a season ago. In that contest on Oct. 24, 2017, the Hawks rallied from a 2-1 deficit with a time-expired penalty stroke goal by Erin Collins '18 that catapulted her team to a 3-2 victory in Easton, Mass.
The Hawks will travel to American International on Saturday, Oct. 20 before hosting Southern New Hampshire on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. in a Queen City Cup clash. The matchup with the Penmen begins a run of four home games in the team's final six games of the regular season and is followed by a home date with second-year program New Haven on Saturday, Oct. 27.
The regular season will conclude with a road game at Bentley (Wednesday, Oct. 31), a home tilt versus Adelphi (Friday, Nov. 2), a road fixture at Merrimack (Tuesday, Nov. 6) and the regular-season finale against Franklin Pierce on Friday, Nov. 9. Merrimack ended Saint Anselm's 10-game winning streak to start the season by scoring the game's final four goals in a 4-2 win.
The first round of the 2018 NE10 Field Hockey Championship is slated for Tuesday, Nov. 13. as the Hawks seek their fourth-straight berth in the six-team tournament.