By: Matt Carney, Athletics Intern
MEDIA, Pa. – Penn State Brandywine announced the 2018 women's soccer schedule on Thursday, a 14-game lineup featuring eight Penn State University Athletic Conference matches and six meetings with NCAA Division III opponents, two of which reached the NCAA Tournament one season ago.
The two-time defending PSUAC champions will play eight times away from home, including five-of-seven matches to begin the year.
The Lions host The College of New Jersey to open their 2018 campaign on Friday, Aug. 31, providing Brandywine with the toughest test in the team's short four-year history. TCNJ finished the 2017 season ranked No. 3 in the Division III women's soccer polls with a 21-1-1 record after reaching the NCAA Tournament semifinals.
The month of September sees Brandywine play only one home match, as they start the month with a grueling five-game stretch on the road. The first three matches come against Division III opponents, as the team takes on Wesley Sept. 5, before facing Ursinus (Sept. 8) and Cabrini (Sept. 15) during the next 10 days. Cabrini also earned a bid to the 2017 NCAA Tournament, falling in the opening round.
The road stint continues as the Lions move into a slate of conference matches on Sept. 18 when they visit Penn State Lehigh Valley, a first-year program, before heading to Pittsburgh for a date with Penn State Beaver on Sept. 22. The lone home match in the month comes on Sept. 30 when Brandywine begins a three-game stretch in Media, taking on Penn State Mont Alto.
PSUAC action continues into October, when Brandywine plays Penn State Lehigh Valley for the second time on Oct. 2 and then concludes its home stand against Penn State Hazelton five days later.
After stepping out of conference for a road match at Alvernia on Oct. 10, the Lions remain on the road, traveling to Penn State Schuylkill on Oct. 13. Brandywine has knocked off Schuylkill in the PSUAC championship game during each of the last two seasons.
Brandywine will then play two-straight games against Penn State Scranton, first a home match on Oct. 14, followed by a match in Dunmore on Oct. 20.
The regular season comes to a close on the road at Gwynedd Mercy on Oct. 24.
Four days after the conclusion of the regular season, Brandywine moves into postseason play with the start of the PSUAC tournament. The conference title game will be played on Tuesday, Oct. 30, with the winner earning a bid to the United States Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament.