WASHINGTON, D.C. - Catholic University head field hockey coach Heidi Lewis announced her team's 2019 schedule on Thursday which includes seven nationally-ranked opponents from last season, seven NCAA Tournament participants and five defending conference champions.
The Cardinals have won at least 10 games in 14 of the last 15 seasons. Four of their nine home games this season come against teams who were nationally-ranked at the end of last year with three of those advancing to the quarterfinals of the 2018 NCAA Division III Field Hockey Championship.
This season also marks the team's 50th anniversary since its inaugural season in 1969. During that time, the team has won 386 games, made five NCAA Tournament appearances and won four conference championships.
"I am very excited for this year's slate of games," said Lewis. "We've added several new opponents while maintaining the same high strength of schedule. Additionally, this will be our 50th season, something we're celebrating throughout the fall along with our special 50th anniversary game on September 21."
Nine of Catholic's first 14 games are on the road while seven are against teams who advanced to the NCAA Tournament last year and five are versus teams who finished last season ranked in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division III Coaches Poll.
The Cards open the season against TCNJ for third-straight year, hosting the Lions at Cardinal Stadium on Aug. 31. TCNJ went 16-5 a year ago and was ranked at No. 7 in the final NFHCA poll after advancing to the national quarterfinals, losing to eventual national champion Middlebury.
Catholic then hosts Gettysburg (Sept. 4) before opening a four-game road trip at Rowan on Sept. 7. The Profs finished last season ranked at No. 3 in the final NFHCA poll with a 22-1 record after winning the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) and advancing to the NCAA semifinals where they also fell to eventual national champion Middlebury for their only loss of the year.
The Cardinals travel to Stevenson (Sept. 10) for the first of back-to-back games in Baltimore as they face Johns Hopkins (Sept. 14) at historic Homewood Field just four days later. The Blue Jays went 19-3 and finished at No. 9 in the final NFHCA poll last season, winning their second-straight Centennial Conference championship and advancing to the NCAA semifinals.
Catholic concludes its four-game road trip at Randolph-Macon on Sept. 18.
On Sept. 21, the Cards return home to Cardinal Stadium for the first time in 17 days when they host Messiah for the their 50th anniversary celebration. The Falcons finished last season with a 20-1 record after winning their 12th consecutive MAC Commonwealth Conference championship and advancing to the national quarterfials. They also finished at No. 1 in the final NFHCA poll.
Catholic hits the road for the fifth time in the last six games when it travels to Mary Washington on Sept. 24.
The Cardinals open their 13th season in the Landmark Conference at home on Sept. 28 against rival Scranton. Catholic will be looking to avenge last year's conference tournament semifinal loss at home where the fourth-seeded Royals upset the top-seeded Cards, 1-0.
Since the Landmark's inaugural season in 2007, the Cardinals have won four championships and lead the league with 66 conference wins and 160 total victories. They have also won 18 consecutive Landmark Conference contests dating back to 2016.
Catholic opens the month of October at home against Salisbury (Oct. 2). The Sea Gulls won their 21st Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) championship a year ago, finished the season at No. 6 in the final NFHCA poll with a 17-3 record after advancing to the national quarterfinals.
The Cardinals face another four-game road trip beginning with a conference contest at Drew (Oct. 5) before they face Franklin & Marshall in a neutral site contest at Spooky Nook Sports, the official training ground of the U.S. Women's Field Hockey Team, on Oct. 9. The Diplomats finished 17-4 last season and ranked at No. 11 in the final NFHCA poll.
Just three days later, Catholic returns to the Keystone state to take on defending Landmark Conference champion Susquehanna (Oct. 12). The River Hawks, who finished 11-9, won their first Landmark Conference title after finishing third in the regular season standings.
The Cardinals wrap-up their four-game road trip with a conference contest at Goucher on Oct. 16.
Starting on Oct. 19, Catholic will play four of its final five regular season games at home beginning with Juniata. The Eagles and Cardinals have combined to win 10 of the previous 12 Landmark Conference titles.
The Cards face their sixth and final nationally-ranked opponent from last season on Oct. 23 when they host Ursinus. The Bears were 12-6 a year ago and finished at No. 19 in the final NFHCA poll.
Catholic travels to Moravian (Oct. 26) for their final road game of the regular season before hosting Notre Dame (Md.) (Oct. 29) in its final non-conference game. Four days later, the Cardinals conclude the regular season at home on Senior Day against Elizabethtown (Nov. 2). The Blue Jays finished second in the league a year ago with a 5-2 conference record and a mark of 13-6 overall.
The semifinals of the 2019 Landmark Conference Field Hockey Championship will be played on Nov. 6 with the championship game on Nov. 9.
Catholic returns three of its five All-Landmark Conference First Team selections from a year ago in senior Nicole Tsiaras, who was also named Defensive Player of the Year, junior Meghan Shallow and sophomore Grace Jung. Tsiaras was also an NFHCA All-South Atlantic Region First Team selection.
The Cardinals finished the 2018 season with an 8-9 record with five of those losses coming against teams ranked in the NFHCA poll.