WASHINGTON, D.C. - Catholic University head women's soccer coach JP Sousa announced his team's 2019 schedule on Friday which includes nine home games, highlighted by the DC Classic and a matchup against defending Landmark Conference champion Susquehanna.
Over the last six seasons, the Cardinals have posted a record of 74-29-8 (.703), winning at least 10 games each year while capturing two Landmark Conference championships and making two NCAA tournament appearances. The team also owns a record of 40-12-2 (.759) at home during that time.
After back-to-back league titles in 2014 and 2015, the Cards are looking to get back to the conference championship game after semfinal appearances in each of the last three years.
"This year's schedule will be a full slate of 18 games for our team," said Sousa who enters his 16th season at Catholic in 2019. "I feel that we have a great mix of regional non-conference opponents that will test us and prepare us for another demanding run through the Landmark Conference. Our players are primed and ready to advance past the semifinals and compete for a championship in 2019. Three-straight playoff losses have taught us some valuable lessons. I believe this group can, and will, go farther."
This year marks the team's return to Carlini Field which has been drastically upgraded since it last hosted a soccer game in 2017. The former Bermuda grass surface has been replaced by FieldTurf CORE, the first multi-layer, dual-polymer sports turf fiber. It is a certified level II field by FIFA that measures 120 yards long by 72 yards wide.
Carlini Field also boasts MUSCO LED lighting capable of televising games at a regional broadcast level, Daktronics scoreboard, Kwik Goal shelters, bleacher seating for up to 600 and a state of the art sound system. There are also 144 parking spaces, full-service restrooms, space for concessions, tickets and merchandise, an outdoor lounge overlooking the field and open access WiFi.
After exhibition matches at Shenandoah and at home against Swarthmore, who went 17-3-2 a year ago and was ranked at No. 13 in the final D3soccer.com Top 25 Poll, Catholic opens the season against York (Pa.) (Aug. 30) for the second-straight season. The Cards defeated the Spartans at home last year, 2-0.
The Cardinals begin a four-game homestand on Sept. 1 against DeSales before hosting Penn State Harrisburg (Sept. 7) and Randolph-Macon (Sept. 8) in the DC Classic. Randolph-Macon finished with an 11-2-3 record last season and ranked at No. 9 in the NCAA South Atlantic Region. The Yellow Jackets fell to eventual Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) champion and No. 9 Lynchburg who advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals.
Catholic hosts Stevenson on Sept. 11 as part of a doubleheader with the men who face Randolph-Macon at home for the first time since 1997.
A three-game road trip awaits the Cardinals beginning on Sept. 14 when they head to the Eastern Shore to take on Salisbury before staying in state to battle local rival Hood on Sept. 17. Catholic concludes its road trip in Fredericksburg, Virginia against Mary Washington (Sept. 21). The Eagles went 12-4-1 last season, falling in the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) championship game to No. 4 Christopher Newport who went on to the national semifinals.
The Cards stay in the CAC for its next contest on Sept. 25 when they welcome St. Mary's (Md.) to Carlini Field
Catholic opens its 13th season in the Landmark Conference on the road on Sept. 28 at rival Scranton. The Royals, who went undefeated in Landmark Conference games last season, fell to Susquehanna in the league championship game, but finished the year with a 16-2-3 record and at No. 4 in the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Region. They were also receiving votes in the final D3soccer.com Top 25 Poll.
Since the Landmark's inaugural season in 2007, the Cardinals have won three championships, the second-most in the league, while ranking second with 48 conference wins and second in total victories with 137.
Following their conference opener, the Cardinals stay on the road for a non-conference contest against Eastern (Oct. 1) before returning home for three consecutive Landmark Conference contests. Catholic hosts Drew on Oct. 5 before having a week off to prepare for defending league champion Susquehanna (Oct. 12). The River Hawks finished 13-3-4 a year ago and ranked at No. 9 in the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Region.
After road games at Juniata (Oct. 23) and Gettysburg (Oct. 23), Catholic hosts Moravian for Senior Day on Oct. 26. The Cards clinched their fifth-straight appearance in the Landmark Conference Women's Soccer Championship with a 1-0 road win against the Greyhounds last year.
The Cardinals conclude the regular season at Elizabethtown on Nov. 2. Catholic is 5-0 against the Blue Jays since they joined the Landmark Conference prior to the 2014 season.
The semifinals of the 2019 Landmark Conference Women's Soccer Championship will be played on Nov. 6 with the championship game on Nov. 9.
The Cardinals finished the 2018 season unbeaten in seven of their final nine games after starting the season 6-0-2.