BALTIMORE—UMBC head women's lacrosse coach Kelly Berger today announced the Retrievers' 2011 schedule, which is highlighted by two games against teams that advanced to the 2010 NCAA Tournament and four games against in-state rivals.
"This year's schedule challenges our team right from the start with facing tough in-state rivals as well as a warm trip down to Florida," Berger said. "We are hoping our early out-of-conference games will prepare us for always-challenging America East play, and we are excited to jumpstart the 2011 season."
The Retrievers open the season at home against George Mason on Feb. 11. Then, after a nearly two-week break, UMBC will visit Florida (Feb. 23), which posted a winning record in its inaugural season.
UMBC will host cross-town foes Towson (March 2), Loyola (March 23) and Johns Hopkins (April 13), renewing long-standing rivalries with each team, while the Retrievers will travel to in-state rival Mount St. Mary's (March 19), a team which they have not played since 2007.
Other non-conference games include rematches with 2010 opponents American (Feb. 26, Washington, D.C.), Delaware (March 9, UMBC) and Manhattan (March 13, UMBC). In addition, the Retrievers will visit Duquesne on March 5, playing the Dukes for the first time since 1997 and just the second time ever.
The Retrievers open their America East Conference slate against New Hampshire on March 26, and will also host Stony Brook (April 6) and Binghamton (April 17). UMBC will visit six-time defending champion Boston University (April 2), Vermont (April 9) and regular-season champ Albany (April 30).
The top four teams in the conference advance to the America East Championships, which are May 5-7 at the home field of the No. 1 seed. Last season, the Retrievers earned a berth in the tournament for the first time since 2005 and advanced to the title game before falling to the Terriers, 11-10.
Retrievers Name Captains: Seniors Erika Braerman (Fallston, Md./Fallston), Meagan Linkous (Jarrettsville, Md./North Harford) and Natalie Rau (Forrest Hill, Md./Fallston) have been named captains for the 2011 season, Berger announced today, as well.
Braerman was an America East All-Conference second-team selection last season, when she led the Retrievers with 22 assists and 54 points to go along with 32 goals, all career highs. Linkous, a 2008 All-Rookie selection, scored seven goals in 13 games last season after returning from injury. Finally, Rau, a goalkeeper, has a good deal of experience in a leadership role, as she is serving her second year as president of UMBC's Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC)
"I am excited to announce these three seniors as our captains for the 2011 season," Berger said. "I expect a lot from each player on a daily basis as it is, but as a captain, they are not only looked to by the coaching staff, but most importantly by their teammates. I have watched all three grow up through the years, and I have faith that they will be great leaders and lead us to the intensity that is expected each and every day."