Bulldogs Face Four Teams That Reached NCAA Tournament
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Brendan Faherty will face a very challenging schedule in his first season as Yale's Loring Family Head Coach of Women's Soccer. The 17-game slate includes four opponents that reached the NCAA Tournament last year and has the Bulldogs battling teams from several top conferences, including the ACC, The Big East, The Atlantic 10 and the CAA in addition to the always difficult seven Ivy League games. Nine of the 17 games will be played in the friendly confines of Reese Stadium, including the Oct. 5 matchup with Harvard.
"As a staff we are anxious for August to arrive. We look forward to getting back on the field with our team and picking up where we left off with them from the spring season," Faherty said. "We have a challenging non-conference schedule ahead of us, including playing three [non-Ivy] opponents that made the NCAA Tournament last year. We believe these games will best prepare us for another demanding year of Ivy League play."
The Faherty era begins with a trip to St. John's on Aug. 30. The Red Storm is consistently among the top finishers in the Big East. Two days later, the Bulldogs play their home opener against Fairfield. The Stags are coached by Dave Barrett, who was an assistant coach for Yale's men's team from 1997 to 2001. He helped guide the 1999 Bulldogs to the NCAA Tournament round of 16 and a No. 18 national ranking.
The longest road trip of the season will take Yale to the Mid-Atlantic Region. The Bulldogs face Loyola, Md., on Sept. 6 and then have a date at Virginia Tech on Sept. 8. The Hokies won a pair of games in last year's NCAA Tournament, including an upset of Texas.
Fordham makes its first visit to Reese Stadium on Sept. 12. Ciara Ostrander's goal 58 seconds into the second overtime period lifted Yale to a 1-0 victory over the Rams last year in the Bronx.
On Sept. 15, the Bulldogs play at Robert Morris, another opponent Yale took the first meeting from last year. Noelle Higginson and Aerial Chavarin each scored in a 2-1 victory over the Colonials at Reese. Yale is then at Northeastern on Sept. 19, the first meeting between the teams.
The final game before the start of Ivy League play will provide a challenge when the Bulldogs host Central Connecticut on Sept. 22. The Blue Devils posted a 16-2-2 overall record last year, won the Northeast Conference Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
The Ivy season kicks off at Princeton on Sept. 28. The Tigers shared the league title with Penn last year but received the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament after a victory over the Quakers in the regular season finale.
The Oct. 5 date with Harvard kicks off a stretch of four straight home games that also includes league games against Dartmouth (Oct. 12) and Cornell (Oct. 19). The one break from Ivy play comes when the Bulldogs host Albany on Oct. 8. The Great Danes won the America East Tournament last year and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
After a game at Penn on Oct. 26, Yale hosts Delaware State in the final non-conference game of the season. The final road game is at Columbia on Nov. 2, and the regular season wraps up when Brown visits Reese Stadium on Nov. 9.
Report filed by Tim Bennett (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity