POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - The Marist Athletics Department released the 2013 women's lacrosse schedule on Thursday. Coming off of an appearance in the MAAC Semifinals in 2012, the Red Foxes will face a challenging 17 game schedule that includes 11 out of conference matchups and nine home games.
Third-year head coach Jessica O'Brien and the Red Foxes are set to open their regular season with back-to-back contests versus Patriot League opposition as they meet Lafayette in Easton, Pa. on Saturday, Feb. 16 and Colgate at home on Tuesday, Feb. 19. The Leopards and Red Foxes have met in each of the last six seasons and hold a 5-1 record in favor of Marist, while the Raiders and Red Foxes last met in 2010.
The following week Marist travels to Vermont versus the Catamounts of the America East conference on Saturday, Feb. 23 before hosting Hofstra on Wednesday, Feb. 27. While Marist has played Vermont five times in its program's history, this will be the first-ever meeting between the Red Foxes and the Pride of the Colonial Athletic Association.
Marist's schedule in March begins with back-to-back Wednesday afternoon matchups versus America East foes. On March 6, the Red Foxes travel to Binghamton for a 4 p.m. game and host the Seawolves from Stony Brook on March 13. Stony Brook is coming off of a 14-5 2012 season, in which it fell to Albany in the conference finals.
Beginning on Saturday, March 16, the Red Foxes will meet three teams in consecutive contests for the first time. On the 16th, Marist will host the Patriots from George Mason of the CAA before heading down to Florida for a pair of games. On Tuesday, March 19 they meet the offensive juggernaut that is Jacksonville University and on Thursday, March 21 they face off with the newest team in the NCAA Division 1 ranks, Stetson. Jacksonville is coming off of a 15-4 2012 season, in which it set the Division 1 record for most goals per game with 18.16 scores per contest. Meanwhile, Stetson begins its first year of competition under the direction of former Canisius assistant coach Nicole Moore. Both the Dolphins and the Hatters will be competing in the newly-formed Atlantic Sun Women's Lacrosse League.
The final non-conference matchup before league play will see the Oregon Ducks, fresh off their first-ever Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) title travel to play in Poughkeepsie on Sunday, March 24. The Red Foxes will be in search of their first win versus the Ducks' as they are 0-3 all-time; two Oregon wins came courtesy of Marist assistant coach Jana Bradley in 2005 and 2006.
Beginning on March 30, the Red Foxes will kick off the MAAC portion of its 2013 schedule with a home date versus Niagara. Marist, winners of nine consecutive contests over Niagara will host the Purple Eagles at 3 p.m.
The following week, Marist will play in back-to-back road games at Fairfield, the 2012 Regular Season Champions, on Wednesday, April 3 and at Siena on Saturday, April 6.
Three consecutive home games dot the Red Foxes' schedule beginning Wednesday, April 10 and going through Saturday, April 20. Starting with the 10th, Marist will host Manhattan, Iona (April 17) and Bucknell (April 20). The Bucknell game is the Red Foxes' final non-conference game of the year, as well as its final home game. That Saturday, Marist's Class of 2013 will be recognized with a pregame Senior Day ceremony.
An 11 a.m. road game at Canisius, the 2012 MAAC Champion, on Saturday April 27 will conclude the regular season.
The 2013 MAAC Championships will be hosted at Marist College this season on the weekend of May 3 through May 5. Beginning this season, the MAAC tournament winner will now receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament and will no longer need to compete in a play-in game.
The 2013 Red Foxes will be led by the offensive duo of senior Ashley Miller (Montville, N.J.) and junior Jamie Romano (Kings Park, N.Y.), who each registered 32 points in 2012. A pair of 17 point scorers in senior Amanda Tuck (Mamaroneck, N.Y.) and sophomore Emily Leonard (Brookfield, Conn.) return to give Marist four of its top six scorers back.
The entire starting defense of seniors Jessica Irvine (Hauppauge, N.Y.) and Laura Lucchesi (Syracuse, N.Y.) and sophomores Christine Astarita (Kennett Square, Pa.) and Sheri Fauvell (Moorestown, N.J.) return, as well as senior starting goalkeeper Ashley Casiano (South Windsor, Conn.), who is nine wins from tying the program mark for most career victories. The 2013 season will also see the return of All-MAAC honoree Bailey Knapton (Canandaigua, N.Y.) from a season-ending knee injury.