LOS ANGELES – The USC women’s lacrosse team announced its competition schedule for the program’s inaugural season on Tuesday, Dec. 4. First-year head coach Lindsey Munday and the Women of Troy will open the 2013 season as hosts of two-time defending NCAA champion Northwestern in a 3 p.m. PT game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Saturday, Feb. 9.
“I am extremely excited to announce the schedule for our inaugural season,” said Munday. “We are thrilled about the competition we will play, stacking us up against some of the best teams in the country. I believe that our out-of-conference matchups will allow us to face top-level competition and prepare us for our conference games.”
The Trojans’ season opener has special meaning to USC’s staff as both Munday and offensive coordinator Hilary Bowen are alumna of the Wildcat lacrosse program. Northwestern has won seven of the last eight NCAA titles under head coach Kelly Amonte Hiller and was the runner-up in 2010. Munday played on the 2005 and 2006 championship squads and was a top assistant coach from 2007-10 for three more titles. Bowen won four titles as a player from 2006-09 and was chosen as the NCAA tournament MVP in 2007 and 2008.
“It is particularly special for Hilary [Bowen] and I to be able to open up against our alma mater Northwestern,” added Munday. “Kelly [Amonte Hiller] has been an amazing mentor to the both of us and I am so happy to start our season with them and to provide our girls with the opportunity to compete at the highest level right from the start.”
After its bout with Northwestern, USC will have to turn around quick for another tough opponent as the Trojans host Massachusetts on Feb. 10 for the program’s first game at McAlister Field, its home for the regular season. Minutewomen head coach Angela McMahon is another Northwestern alum and a former teammate of Munday’s. Massachusetts was a 2012 NCAA tournament team and lost just two games, last year; once to Northwestern in the regular season and once to Maryland in the first round of the championships.
USC welcomes Presbyterian to McAlister Field for a 2 p.m. PT game on Feb. 15 before it officially opens play in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF). The Trojans will play their first-ever conference game as hosts to Saint Mary’s College on Sunday, Feb. 24, at 1 p.m. on McAlister Field.
From there, the Women of Troy will head east for the first of two regular-season cross-country road trips. USC faces Long Island Brooklyn on March 1, and Princeton on March 3. The Trojans then return to the West Coast but will stay on the road for a pair of conference games in Northern California against UC Davis (March 6) and Stanford (March 8).
The Trojans will host Temple (March 13) and Marquette (March 16) at McAlister Field before they head back out to the Northeast for games in Rhode Island at Bryant University (March 19) and Brown (March 22).
USC will play its last five regular-season games on the West Coast with conference foe Denver in town on March 31. The Trojans travel to Oregon for an April 5 match-up and return home for games against California (April 12) and Fresno State (April 20). The regular season closes with a short trip to San Diego where USC will face San Diego State on April 26.
The University of Oregon will host the 2013 MPSF Championships at Papé Field in Eugene, Ore., May 2-4. The top four teams in the regular-season standings will be invited to the championship tournament. The winner of the tournament will receive the MPSF’s automatic qualification bid into the NCAA championships.
2013 will mark the first time that the NCAA women’s lacrosse championship will feature 26 teams; up from 16. The tournament will begin on the weekend of May 10-12 at regional host sites. Villanova University (Philadelphia) will serve as host of the championships (May 24-26).
Including the winner of the MPSF tournament, 13 conference champions will receive automatic bids into the 26-team field. The remaining 13 teams will be comprised of at-large selections. The top eight teams will be seeded in the bracket and will serve as hosts for neutral-site first-round games on May 10. The first-round winners will then play at the top six seeded teams on May 12. Teams seeded seventh and eighth will also host, but they will have to play a first-round game on May 10. NCAA quarterfinals are set for on-campus sites (May 18-19). The four winners will advance to the finals.
All of USC’s home games will be streamed live on the Pac-12 Networks web portal. Please visit www.USCTrojans.com for more information and links to live stats and video.