Rutgers Lacrosse to Face Six NCAA Tourney Teams in 2014

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (November 27, 2013) Rutgers released its 2014 schedule, head coach Laura Brand-Sias announced on Wednesday. Highlighting the slate are match-ups against six 2013 NCAA Tournament qualifying teams, as well as nine total home contests. All but one of the squad's nine home games will be played at High Point Solutions Stadium, while the remaining contest will take place at the F3 Turf Field. Dates are still to be determined.

Six of RU's 17 opponents concluded the 2013 season ranked in the top-20 of the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWCLA) Coaches Poll and deBeer Women's Media Poll. Rutgers highest ranked opponent this season is Penn State which finished No. 6/7, followed by Georgetown (No. 8/8), Stony Brook (No. 11/10), Penn (No. 17/19), Princeton (No. 18/14) and UConn, who ranked No. 20 in the IWCLA Poll.

"As always, we strive to maintain a highly competitive schedule," said Brand-Sias. "This year's slate provides us great opportunity, both in and out of conference, and we are ready to hit the ground running. With most of our squad returning, including key players returning from injury, we are excited about our potential for success."

RU opens the season on Feb. 15 at Manhattan, a team the Scarlet Knights have never dropped a contest to. Rutgers is 5-0 all-time against the Jaspers after topping the New York school, 15-5, in last season's opener.

The Scarlet Knights will then open their home slate on Feb. 22, as the squad welcomes the Stags of Fairfield University "To the Banks."

Brand-Sias will lead her team on a quick trip to in-state rival, Princeton, just four days later (Feb. 26) for RU's first mid-week game of the season. RU looks to continue a two-game win streak against the Tigers who they are 4-11-1 all-time against. Last year, Princeton earned an at-large big to the NCAA Championships, where it ultimately fell to No. 8 Duke, 10-9, in double overtime. Rutgers defeated the Tigers, 12-10, last year to win its second-consecutive contest against the local opponent.

Rutgers opens March with a home match against Delaware, who it has won four-straight against, before facing off against NCAA qualifying team, Penn, in Philadelphia on March 5. Last year, the Scarlet Knights edged the Quakers by a score of 6-5 in Piscataway, N.J.

The Scarlet Knights then host their longest home streak of three-straight games, spanning from March 8- 15. RU will face off against back-to-back NCAA teams as Stony Brook travels to Piscataway for the teams' first-ever match-up. The Seawolves advanced to the Second Round of last year's championship tournament before falling to the eventual runner-up, Maryland, by a score of 11-3.

Penn State makes its way to Rutgers four days later, as the teams respark an old rivalry. RU has faced the Nittany Lions a total of 14 times, but the last match-up occurred during the 1998 season. PSU represents arguably the most impressive opponent of the season, as the team earned an at-large bid for the 2013 NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Quarterfinals before falling to Northwestern.

The Scarlet Knights close out the homestand against James Madison on March 15. The meeting between the two teams will be just the second ever. In 1999, Rutgers faced the Dukes and fell 11-6 in the First Round of NCAAs, to mark RU's first-ever appearance in the tournament. Led by Brand-Sias in her senior season, Rutgers would finish the campaign with a 14-3 overall record, highlighted by an 11-game winning streak to close out the regular season. The '99 season was also the first time in program history the Scarlet Knights received a national ranking.

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