FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Eight games on University Field highlight the 2017 Fairfield University field hockey schedule as announced today by Head Coach Jackie Kane. The Stags will play a total of 17 contests throughout the season that includes non-league opponents from six different conferences.
After a grueling non-conference schedule in 2016, Fairfield is back at it challenging some of the top teams in the nation. The Stags will square off with two squads that ended last season ranked in the NFHCA Coaches Poll, No. 7 Virginia and No. 20 Albany.
Fairfield opens the season in the state of Virginia at the University of Virginia on August 25th and then at William & Mary on August 27th. The Stags earned an important 3-2 victory over the Tribe last season that helped them gain momentum heading into their MAAC Tournament run.
“We are looking forward to starting the season on the road at a potentially ranked Virginia team and then to take on a tough William & Mary team at their home field,” said Head Coach Kane.
They open up their first home stand of the season with games against Hofstra, Lafayette, and Columbia on September 1st, 8th, and 10th respectively. Fairfield faced all three of those opponents on the road last season, falling one goal short in each matchup.
Following that home stand, the team will head on the road to face UMass Lowell on September 15th, the first meeting between the two sides since 2014 when they were both members of the America East Conference. On September 23rd, Fairfield will take on California at Quinnipiac University in a neutral site contest.
The Stags will host Dartmouth on Wednesday, September 27th for their only midweek match up of the fall before heading into Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play. Mixed in with their conference games will be non-league games at Providence and at Albany, before hosting Temple on October 22nd. As with the River Hawks, the contest against the Great Danes will be the first since 2014 when the two were league foes in the America East.
“It's exciting to have Albany back on our schedule this season and to host Temple for the first time in a while,” added Kane. “Both are talented teams that add to our competitive non-conference schedule.”
Conference play starts in Brooklyn for the Stags when they take on the Blackbirds on September 29th. The following weekend, they will host Monmouth in a rematch of the 2016 MAAC Championship double overtime thriller. On October 13th, Bryant will challenge the Stags on University Field before Fairfield heads to Lawrenceville to take on Rider two days later. The MAAC regular season slate ends with a weekend split against Siena and at Sacred Heart on October 27th and 28th.
“Our MAAC schedule will be tough once again this season and we are looking forward for the chance to return to the MAAC Championship,” said the Head Coach.
The top four teams in the league will earn themselves a berth into the postseason conference tournament hosted by the top seed. The semifinal matchups are slated to begin on November 3rd with the Championship Game to be played on November 5th. Fairfield has advanced to the MAAC Championship Game each of the past two seasons, taking home the title in 2015 while falling in double overtime to Monmouth in 2016.