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A Big Opening Weekend and a Title to Defend Highlight Wilmington’s 2013 Women’s Soccer Schedule
The target is now on the back of the Wilmington University women’s soccer program after coming off of their first Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament Championship last year, and the slate doesn’t get any easier as head coach Josh Ruggiero released the 2013 schedule.
The women won the 2012 CACC Regular Season Championship on the final day by defeating Georgian Court, 6-0, at the WU Athletics Complex. The Wildcats took the number one seed and carried it to their first CACC Tournament Championship with a 1-0 victory over Philadelphia. The team finished 13-7 overall, 10-1-1 in the CACC.
“Expectations are still high coming off last year and we are playing teams that are only going to challenge us,” Ruggiero said, who is entering his sixth season at the helm of the women’s team. “The first weekend is going to set the bar very high for us this season.”
The season gets under way with a crossover weekend with the NE10 Conference. The Wildcats will take on Southern New Hampshire on September 6 to kickstart the season before playing host Franklin Pierce on Sunday. The teams other non-conference opponents include Bridgeport and Dowling on the road and a home match against LIU Post in October.
“Last year’s success allows us to be in the conversation with the tough nonconference teams; where we may not have been in years past,” Ruggiero said of his nonconference schedule. “Our tough nonconference schedule prepares us with our conference schedule. We aren’t shying away from anyone.”
Ruggiero takes his team on the road to begin the CACC portion of the campaign with a match against Georgian Court on September 12. The first chance to catch the defending CACC Champions at home is on September 14 against Felician. Other home games in September include Goldey-Beacom and Caldwell College on the 28th for Homecoming.
The team also has three conference home games in October, hosting Post, Chestnut Hill, and Dominican. Their final home game in the regular season is against LIU Post on October 22. The Wildcats round out their regular season with three road games, including trips to Dowling, Nyack, and a rematch of last year’s title game against Philadelphia.
“Every year our conference schedule gets more and more challenging,” the reigning CACC Coach of the Year said. “That’s due to the fact that the CACC continues to get better and better and are opening more eyes in the region.”
Ruggiero and the Wildcats hope to play in front of the home crowd at the WU Athletics Complex for another week at the end of the year as Wilmington will host the 2013 CACC Tournament Semifinals and Championship starting November 7. The quarterfinal rounds will continue to be played at the site of the higher seed.
“Our schedule down the stretch sets us up nicely with potential seeding and knock out games,” Ruggiero continued. “Just like last year, we hope to be playing well down the stretch so we can play three more home games in the postseason, and not watch other teams win on our pitch.”
It is the first time Ruggiero and the Wildcats will have the target on their backs coming into a season, winning the CACC Tournament and reaching the first round of the NCAA Tournament for first time in 2012.
“We are in a unique situation from coming off a championship season,” concluded Ruggiero. “But we have a lot of unknowns coming into this season where we may be unpredictable to teams until they are on the same field with us.
“I’m glad the conference has given us an opportunity to show what our Athletic Department has done and can do with the new facility in hosting the Tournament.”
2013 Wilmington University Women’s Soccer Schedule
6 – vs. Southern New Hampshire (at Franklin Pierce); 8 – at Franklin Pierce; 12 – at Georgian Court; 14 – vs. Felician; 18 – at Bridgeport; 21 – at Concordia; 25 vs. Goldey-Beacom; 28 vs. Caldwell (Homecoming)
1 – at Holy Family; 5 – vs. Post; 12 – at Bloomfield; 15 vs. Chestnut Hill; 19 – vs. Dominican; 22 – vs. LIU Post; 24 – at Dowling; 26 – at Nyack; 29 – at Philadelphia