The University of Denver women’s lacrosse team will open its season against four-time defending NCAA champion Northwestern and will face Duke and North Carolina at home as part of the Pioneers’ 2009 schedule, third-year head coach Liza Kelly announced today.
“I am excited to have a number of top teams on our schedule again this season,” Kelly said. “The high caliber of our nonconference schedule should help to prepare us for the MPSF regular season and conference championship games, and opening with Northwestern will be a great challenge for the squad.”
The Pioneers open the season in a pair of neutral site game in San Diego against the Wildcats (Jan. 23), who return all but two starters from their national title squad, and an exhibition contest against the Canadian national team (Jan. 25).
DU heads on the road for the following four games: a neutral site game against Binghamton (Feb. 20) in Pittsburgh, Duquesne (Feb. 22), Mount St. Mary’s (Feb. 27) and Georgetown (March 1), which made the NCAA Tournament in 2008 after ending the season ranked No. 7.
North Carolina heads to Denver on March 9. The Tarheels were No. 12 at the end of last season, making it to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.
After trips to Stony Brook (March 18) and Rutgers (March 20), the Pioneers play their only three Mountain Pacific Sports Federation home games against St. Mary’s (March 22), California (March 28) and Oregon (April 4), which received votes in the final IWLCA poll last season.
Denver concludes the regular season MPSF schedule with a busy weekend at Stanford (April 10), UC Davis (April 12) and Fresno State (April 14), which joins the conference this season.
The MPSF Championship will be held at Stanford on April 23-26. The Pioneers will look to avenge losses to the Cardinal in the MPSF title game in each of the past three seasons.
Following the conference tournament, Denver will play one more nonconference game at Loyola on May 2.
The Pioneers, who ended last season ranked No. 19, lost only three starters from a team that went 13-6 overall and 5-0 in the MPSF last season, and returns the team’s top 10 leaders in goals and assists.
Jan. 23 Friday Northwestern San Diego 8:00 p.m. Jan. 25 Sunday Canada San Diego 12:00 p.m. Feb. 13 Friday Duke Barton Stadium 5:00 p.m. Feb. 15 Sunday Canisius Barton Stadium 3:30 p.m. Feb. 20 Friday Binghamton Pittsburgh 10:00 a.m. Feb. 22 Sunday Duquesne Pittsburgh 11:00 a.m. Feb. 27 Friday Mount St. Mary's Emmitsburg, Md. 1:00 p.m. March 1 Sunday Georgetown Washington, D.C. 10:00 a.m. March 9 Monday North Carolina Barton Stadium 4:00 p.m. March 18 Wed. Stony Brook Stony Brook, N.Y. 2:00 p.m. March 20 Friday Rutgers Piscataway, N.J. 10:00 a.m. March 22 Sunday St. Mary's Barton Stadium 1:00 p.m. March 28 Saturday Cal Berkeley Barton Stadium 1:00 p.m. April 4 Saturday Oregon Barton Stadium 1:00 p.m. April 10 Friday Stanford Stanford, Calif. 6:00 p.m. April 12 Sunday UC Davis Davis, Calif. 11:00 a.m. April 13 Monday Fresno State Fresno, Calif. 11:00 a.m. April 23-26 Thurs-Sun MPSF Championship Stanford, Calif. TBA May 2 Saturday Loyola Baltimore 11:00 a.m.