NORTH ANDOVER, MA – The winningest coach in Division II women's soccer history, head coach Gabe Mejail announced the 2012 Merrimack women's soccer schedule on Monday. Mejail and the Warriors are looking for their 29th consecutive winning season in 2012.
"We begin every season with high expectations, but we also know that our conference is so competitive that we will need to match our hopes with a strong desire and a superior effort," stated Mejail.
The Warriors will play three straight games on the road to begin the season, beginning with the Dowling Kickoff Classic on August 31 against Molloy and September 2 against Dowling. Merrimack will then travel to take on non conference foe, Queens.
"We are once again looking forward to another successful season soon to get underway as we'll be reporting to preseason camp on Thursday, August 16," said Mejail. "We hope to continue our winning tradition as we set off for our first three matches in Long Island, NY before we begin our challenging Northeast-10 schedule."
In 2011, Merrimack recorded a 16-4-2 record, 11-2-1 in the Northeast-10, finishing second overall in the conference and qualifying for the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in five seasons.
Mejail returns his four leading scorers from last season, junior forward Danielle Dion (Grosvenordale, CT), junior forward Jenna Zechner (Billerica, Mass.), sophomore Katie Bresciani (Hopedale, MA) and senior Jenn Pino (North Andover, Mass.) for 2012.
"Some key returnees include All-Star performers Dion, midfielders Bresciani and Sarah Coakley (Medway, MA) along with top-scorer Zechner. The backfield will definitely have a new look from 2012, as there will be three new starters and a new goalkeeper in the Warrior defensive end."
The warriors will open conference play with their home opener against Southern Connecticut State on September 9 and follow that up with a game against Franklin Pierce on September 12.
Merrimack will play three of the next five games on the road to end September. The Warriors open up October with two straight home contests as they will host Saint Anselm on October 3 and American International on October 6.
Mejail's squad will have a challenging three-game road trip in early October, taking on Stonehill, Saint Rose, who defeated Merrimack last year in the NCAA Tournament and went on to win the National Championship, and Saint Michael's.
"As usual there will be a lot of pressure on many of our players, including our three captains, senior midfielders Jamie Alnwick (Groton, MA), Pino and Laura Spang (Wakefield, MA), who will have the task of leading a team that will blend youth and experience on our way to the challenge that is the Northeast-10 Conference.
Merrimack closes out its regular season with two home games against Adelphi and Bentley before going on the road to take on Assumption.
This is the sixth in a series of Merrimack team schedule releases. Check back regularly at www.merrimackathletics.com to view upcoming team previews and schedule releases.
August 6: Cross Country
August 7: Women's Golf
August 8: Women's Crew
August 9: Volleyball
August 10: Men's Soccer
August 13: Women's Soccer
August 14: Field Hockey
August 15: Football
August 16: Tennis