BERKELEY – The California Golden Bear field hockey team previously released information that five games would air this season on the Pac-12 Networks, and now head coach Shellie Onstead’s team can announce the entire 2013 schedule that includes challenging matchups and national surprises such as the NorPac Conference Tournament returning to the East Coast.
“It has taken us a little longer to release the schedule due to the location adjustments and finalizing the Pac-12 TV schedule,” Onstead said of the full schedule release. “I am looking forward to the 2013 season and the balance within the schedule of the conference and non-conference teams. The variety is great!”
In addition to the five TV games – a program record for national exposure - the NorPac Conference tournament is also a highlight in that it is returning to the East Coast for the second consecutive season. Typically, the conference tournament rotates between an East Coast site and a West Coast site on even and odd years, respectively, a nod to the split membership of four teams located in California and five teams located in Virginia and North Carolina.
After Stanford hosted the tournament in 2011, Longwood took the honors last season in Farmville, Va. The Bears were slated to host the conference tournament this season, but construction projects necessitated the need to find a new location. With Stanford also dealing with scheduling conflicts for the November 7-10 tournament, the championship was relocated back to the East Coast with Liberty University hosting the tournament in 2013.
"We're excited for the upgrades that will be available in future years at both Cal and Stanford to help make hosting on the West in the future an even greater experience for the student-athletes and fans," Onstead said of moving the tournament back to the East Coast for another year.
Despite not being able to host the NorPac Tournament in 2013, there will be plenty of strong action at Maxwell Family Field. After beginning the season with high profile games against Michigan State (Aug. 30) and UConn (Sep. 1) in Palo Alto, the Bears will host Dartmouth, UC Davis and Liberty in a four-game weekend in Berkeley on September 6 and 8. The Bears will host Dartmouth on the Pac-12 Networks at 4 p.m. on Friday and will face Liberty at 2 p.m. on Sunday during that weekend series.
Overall, California’s 17-game schedule includes seven home games. After Cal plays Liberty, the Bears then take to the road in the middle of September with clashes against Northwestern (Sept. 13) and Ohio (Sept. 14) at Lakeside Field in Evanston, Ill.
The NorPac opener at Stanford on Sept. 20 ends the road trip for the Bears, who then host the Pacific Tigers twice in one weekend with a Friday, Sept. 27 game followed by the Sunday, Sept. 29 game that will be televised. California then travels to the East Coast to take on Duke (Oct. 4) and national runner-up North Carolina (Oct. 6).
The Bears alternate home and away weekends the remainder of the season with Yale visiting Oct. 12 before back-to-back NorPac games against UC Davis at Aggie Stadium on Oct. 13 and at Maxwell Family Field on Oct. 20. In the final road trip of the regular season, Cal takes on Boston University (Oct. 25) and Maine (Oct. 27) in Boston in the first season of play at the recently-built New Balance Field on the campus of BU.
California’s season finale will be against Stanford and televised live on the Pac-12 Networks on Thursday, October 31 at 3 p.m. at Maxwell Family Field.
Including UConn, the Bears will play three teams that were in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. UCONN was an NCAA Second Round participant, Stanford was a First Round participant and North Carolina (Oct. 6 in Chapel Hill) was the national runner-up after falling to Princeton 3-2 in the NCAA Championship Game.