Redfern Unveils 2012 Lehigh Women's Schedule
from press release
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Lehigh head women's lacrosse coach Jill Redfern announced the Mountain Hawks' 2012 schedule on Tuesday, which includes marquee nonleague games against National Semifinalist North Carolina and in-state rival Penn State. The Mountain Hawks will play 16 regular season contests - nine at home, including the last four games of the regular season.
"We like our schedule," said Redfern. "In particular, we love the fact we play a Final Four team in UNC for our out of region game. Then, we have some other big challenges in teams like Penn State, UNH, Fairfield and Delaware, among others - teams that are getting stronger. There's a good mix of teams, some we've had on the schedule and some new ones, which is always fun."
For the second straight season, Lehigh kicks off its schedule with Marist on Feb. 18. The Mountain Hawks defeated the defending MAAC Champion on the road to start last season, 13-8, to improve to 2-1 all-time against the Red Foxes.
Lehigh then travels to Delaware, looking to avenge last season's home-opening loss to the Blue Hens. This season's matchup will be the 30th all-time meeting between the two sides, but only the third since 1997.
The Mountain Hawks return to the Ulrich Sports Complex for a pair against Keystone State foes (Temple and Robert Morris) before heading south to face the Tar Heels on Mar. 6. A storied ACC program, North Carolina advanced to its third straight National Semifinal last season by defeating Virginia, then Loyola, in the NCAA Tournament before falling just shy of the National Championship Game with an 11-10 heartbreaker to Northwestern.
"They have great players and great tradition," said Redfern. "It's a challenge to match up against a perennial power and see where we are."
Just four days later, Lehigh plays its league opener at 2011 Patriot League finalist Colgate. Following a home nonleague tilt vs. Binghamton on Mar. 14, the Mountain Hawks play at Bucknell that Saturday (Mar. 17).
A midweek game at Fairfield precedes a showdown against archrival Lafayette on Mar. 24 under the lights at the Ulrich Sports Complex. The Mountain Hawks will look to make it six in a row against the Leopards.
Only a pair of road games (at Villanova and American) stand in between Lehigh's final four-game homestand of the season as the Mountain Hawks welcome New Hampshire (Apr. 7), Penn State (Apr. 11), Holy Cross (Apr. 14) and Navy (Apr. 21) to close out the regular season.
"We need to be playing well by April the way the schedule lines up. It's nice to have the last four at home, especially for a very young team to not have to travel at a time when the league could come down to a win or loss during that stretch" said Redfern. "We're excited to have two strong out-of-region teams like UNH and Penn State come to Lehigh. All in all, it's a good opportunity schedule for us to continue to make progress and do well."
The Mountain Hawks look to advance to their sixth-straight Patriot League Tournament, which begins with the semifinals on Apr. 27 and concludes with the championship game on the 28th.
"It's a brand new team with a whole new look," said Redfern. "We're excited to see what they can achieve. They're a hard-working group."