Defending National Champion Penn State, one of six NCAA Tournament teams the Pride will face, highlights the 2016 Hofstra Women’s Soccer schedule which was announced today by Head Coach Simon Riddiough.
“We always want to begin the season by challenging ourselves with outstanding competition and this year is special as we get to play the reigning champions in Penn State,” said Riddiough. “On top of that we play five other teams, including three from our conference, which advanced to the NCAA Tournament. So this year’s schedule will definitely test us. But I do believe we will be up to the challenge.”
The Pride, which finished the 2015 season with a 13-6-2 record and advanced to the NCAA Second Round as an at-large selection, opens the 2016 campaign with a pair of games at the Penn State Invitational. Hofstra will face Buffalo in the opening game on August 25. The Bulls were 11-7-3 in 2015. Hofstra will then face the host Nittany Lions in the second game on August 21. Penn State was 22-3-2 last season en route to its’ first-ever NCAA Championship. The two teams met in the season-opener last season in University Park with Penn State posting a 2-1 victory.
Hofstra will then host Boston University in the home opener on August 25. The Terriers are coming off a NCAA Second Round appearance a season ago and were 13-6-3 in 2015, including a 2-1 win over the Pride in Boston.
The Pride then face Columbia on the road on August 28 before heading to Army West Point for a pair of games against DePaul (Sept. 2) and UNC Greensboro (Sept. 4). The Pride returns home to face Army West Point on September 10 and then host an NCAA Tournament team in FDU on September 14. The Knights were 16-6 in 2015, including a 4-3 loss to the Pride.
Following the three-game home stand, the Pride hit the road for five consecutive contests starting with a final non-conference game at Fordham on September 18. The Rams were 13-7-2 and advanced to the Atlantic 10 finals last season. The Pride notched a 3-1 win over the Rams at Hofstra Soccer Stadium last season.
Hofstra will open Colonial Athletic Association play at Drexel on September 23. The Dragons were 9-9 in 2015. The road trip continues at Delaware on September 25, followed by a trip to North Carolina for matchups against Charleston (Sept. 30) and UNCW (Oct. 2). Delaware and Charleston each won eight games last season while UNCW reached the NCAA Second Round and posted a 15-7-1 record. The Seahawks handed Hofstra its only CAA regular season loss last season, 2-1 in overtime.
The Pride close out the 2016 regular season with five home contests beginning with Elon on October 7. The Phoenix was 9-8-2 in 2015. William & Mary, which was 14-5-3 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, visits Hofstra Soccer Stadium on October 9. Hofstra will host Northeastern on October 16 before closing the schedule with defending champion James Madison (Oct. 21) and Towson (Oct. 23). The Huskies recorded an 11-8-1 record in 2015, while James Madison was 14-7-2 after earning the CAA’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Towson won seven contests in 2015.
The six-team CAA Championship gets underway on October 30 with the quarterfinals at the higher seeds. The semifinals and championship game take place at the top seed on November 4 and 6.