Women's soccer announces 2013 schedule

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The 15-time Big Ten Champion and 2012 NCAA runner-up Penn State women's soccer team announced its 19-game schedule for the 2013 season. The slate features eight teams that participated in the 2012 NCAA Tournament and 10 games that will be played at Jeffrey Field.

"We will once again be playing one of the toughest schedules in the country," head coach Erica Walsh said. "Our non-conference schedule features a wide array of styles and historically successful programs and the Big Ten Conference slate should prove to be as competitive as it's ever been. We are anxious to get started again after a successful off-season."

The Nittany Lions, who have a home exhibition game against Navy on Fri., Aug. 16 at 7 p.m., open the 2013 slate with the ninth annual Penn State Invitational where they will face NCAA Tournament participant West Virginia on Fri., Aug. 23 at 7:30 p.m. Syracuse and Hofstra will begin the Invitational at 5 p.m. The Lions will then face Hofstra, which earned the CAA's automatic NCAA Tournament bid, on Sun., Aug. 25 at noon, followed by Syracuse-West Virginia.

Penn State will hit the road to Charlottesville, Va., on Fri., Aug. 30 at 7 p.m., before coming back to Happy Valley to face LaSalle on Sun., Sept. 1 at 1 p.m. The Nittany Lions will remain home to face Boston University on Fri., Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. They will then hit the road for a three-game string as PSU travels to Bucknell for a mid-week game on Tues., Sept. 10 at 7 p.m., followed by a trip to Oklahoma State (Fri., Sept. 13; 7 p.m.) and Tulsa (Sun., Sept. 15; 2 p.m.).

The 15-time Big Ten Champions will open conference play with a three-game homestand, beginning with Northwestern on Fri., Sep. 20 at 7 p.m. The Nittany Lions will then meet up with Purdue (Fri., Sept. 27; 7 p.m.) and Indiana (Sun., Sept. 29; noon) on Jeffrey Field. The Big Ten schedule continues with a road trip to Wisconsin (Fri., Oct. 4; 7 p.m.) and Minnesota (Sun., Oct. 6; 2 p.m.).

The Nittany Lions will close out their regular-season home schedule against Michigan (Sun., Oct. 13; 1 p.m.), Ohio State (Thurs., Oct. 17; 7 p.m.) and Illinois (Sun., Oct. 20; 1 p.m.). Penn State will end the season with a trio of road games at Iowa (Fri., Oct. 25; 7 p.m.), Nebraska (Sun., Oct. 27; 1 p.m.) and Michigan State (Fri., Nov. 1; 3 p.m.).

The Big Ten Tournament will be held at Illinois this season on Wed., Nov. 6, Fri., Nov. 8 and Sun., Nov. 10. The NCAA Tournament will kick off with first round action Nov. 15-17.

Penn State is coming off of an outstanding 2012 season that saw the Nittany Lions post a 21-4-2 overall record and a 10-0-1 mark en route to their 15th consecutive Big Ten regular-season title. The Nittany Lions also heated up in the NCAA Tournament, advancing to the National Championship game with wins over Long Island, Boston College, Michigan, Duke and Florida State.

The Nittany Lions return four of their top five scorers from last year's squad, including senior Maya Hayes (West Orange, N.J.) and sophomore Mallory Weber (Novi, Mich.). Hayes tallied 28 points on 16 goals and six assists in just 20 games a year ago en route to her second-straight Big Ten Forward of the Year award and NSCAA first team All-America accolades. Weber chipped in 13 goals and four assists in her rookie campaign on the way to Big Ten All-Freshman Team honors.

Big Ten Defender of the Year Whitney Church (Ashburn, Va.) is also back in the fold for Penn State, as is 2012 Big Ten Freshman of the Year Raquel Rodriguez (San Jose, Costa Rica). Church anchored a defense that posted a 1.01 goal against average, while Rodriguez was tied for fourth on the team in points with 18 markers via four goals and 10 assists.

The Penn State women's soccer team is on Twitter, follow @PennStateWSOC for the latest info. The Lions are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/psuwomenssoccer.  

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Last Updated May 23, 2013