NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Featuring bouts against six of the top-20 teams ranked in last year’s final IWLCA Coaches’ Poll, including the national champion, the Merrimack College Athletic Department and first-year head coach Paula Habel have unveiled the 2016 women’s lacrosse team schedule.
Links: 2016 Schedule
The Warriors are set to play 17 games during the regular season, including a contest against two-time national champion Adelphi, and three other NCAA Tournament participants. For the third year in a row, the season begins within the friendly confines of Martone-Mejail Field, this time against Roberts Wesleyan College on Feb. 28.
“The team has been working hard in the offseason, and I’m really excited to see how it comes together starting at home against Roberts Wesleyan,” Habel stated. “The two non-conference matches will be an important test before our first NE-10 game at Southern Connecticut. Overall, we are a young team and it will be good to see how we start off the season and I’m excited to see how we develop along the way.”
Back-to-back games against the East Coast Conference highlight the beginning of the season. After the aforementioned home opener against the Redhawks, Merrimack hits the road for five straight games outside North Andover to open March. After a trip to Long Island to face Mercy College on March 5, the Warriors open conference play at Southern Connecticut State on March 12.
Following a midweek trip to Vermont to face Saint Michael’s (March 16), Merrimack heads to South Carolina where it will meet Albright College at a to-be-determined site on Hilton Head Island on Saturday, March 19. Before the Warriors head home, they’ll pay a visit to Hartsville, South Carolina, to take on Coker College (South Atlantic Conference) on March 22.
From there on out, the Warriors will turn their attention primarily to NE-10 competition, closing out March with back-to-back home games against New Haven (March 25) — an NCAA Tournament qualifier a year ago — and Southern New Hampshire (March 30).
Highlighted among April’s final nine regular season matchups, Merrimack will host two-time NE-10 and national champion Adelphi on Friday, April 8. The Warriors also face two other NCAA Tournament participants from last spring in April; the Navy and Gold travel to Syracuse, New York, to battle Le Moyne on April 16, and will also face Stonehill on the road on April 28.
Merrimack’s remaining home games in April feature tilts against Saint Anselm (April 13), Bentley (April 23) and Assumption (April 30).
The NE-10 Women’s Lacrosse Championship will feature the top-eight teams in the conference. The four highest seed will host quarterfinal matchups on Wednesday, May 4, and the highest seed remaining will host the semifinals and final on May 7-8, respectively.