ORONO, Maine — A year after one of the best seasons in University of Maine field hockey history which saw the team go 16-4 and earn its highest ever national ranking at No. 10, the Black Bears will play a strong nonconference slate this season, including contests against Boston College, Michigan, Michigan State and Northeastern.
The Bears will play 10 games in Orono.
“We are very excited for the upcoming season and are really happy with the caliber of nonconference opponents that we are playing this year and are especially happy for the teams that are making the trip to Orono,” Maine coach Josette Babineau said in a press release. “The strength of our nonconference schedule will be great in terms of preparing us for our America East games.”
Maine will open the 2012 regular season against Boston College on Aug. 25 in Orono before hosting Michigan State the following day.
The America East Championships will be held from Nov. 2-4 at the site of the top regular season team in the conference.
Maine returns 11 from last season’s 16-4 squad.
UMaine also released this fall’s women’s soccer schedule that features 16 matches, eight in Orono.
The Black Bears open Friday, Aug. 17 when they host Bryant and then The Citadel the following Friday afternoon.
America East Conference play begins when the Black Bears host Vermont on Sunday, Sept. 23. The America East first-round games will be played on Oct. 25, with the semifinals set for Oct. 28. The America East final will be played on Nov. 3, with the winner receiving an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
Maine returns several key players for the coming season. Among them is veteran keeper Meagan Price-Leibenzeder of Surrey, British Columbia. She returns for her fourth season in goal for the Black Bears.
The Black Bears have a large rookie class coming in, with 11 set to join the team this fall.