“We are really excited about our 2013 schedule,” Norris said. “It is our goal each year to challenge ourselves with a demanding schedule. We aspire to be back in the NCAA Tournament and to do that through an at-large bid, you must play a strong schedule and win games. Nearly half of the teams on our regular-season schedule were in the NCAA Tournament in 2012, including three seeded teams that all reached the Elite Eight. In addition, I expect the Colonial Athletic Association to be very strong as usual. Every program in the CAA has been in the NCAA Tournament at least once since 2006.”
Of the eight squads that made tournament trips last fall, Creighton headlines the bunch after making an appearance in the national semifinals a year ago. The Blue Jays, who were seeded No. 12 in the tournament, fell in the College Cup to eventual national champion Indiana. The Tribe will also play road matches at UConn and North Carolina, who each earned NCAA quarterfinal berths in 2012. Additionally, W&M will travel to Old Dominion, Elon and Drexel before hosting UMBC and Northeastern. All five schools made appearances in the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
After a pair of scrimmages against VCU (Aug. 21) and Longwood (Aug. 25), the Tribe will open the 2013 campaign at home against St. Francis (Pa.) on Aug. 30 at 5 p.m. The non-conference home slate consists of contests against N.C. State on Tuesday, Sept. 10, and UMBC on Wednesday, Oct. 9. It will be the first meeting between the Tribe and Red Flash, while the Wolfpack will travel to Williamsburg for the first time since 1996. It will be the first meeting between W&M and N.C. State since a 2-1 Tribe victory in 2003.
The Green and Gold will hit the road for non-league tilts at UConn (Sept. 2), Old Dominion (Sept. 7), Elon (Sept. 20), North Carolina (Sept. 24) and Pittsburgh (Oct. 15). The Tribe leads the all-time series with UConn (2-1-2), Old Dominion (23-20-8) and Elon (2-1). W&M and UConn will face off for the first time since 1995, which was a 3-1 Tribe victory. Last season, the Green and Gold knocked off then-No. 8 Old Dominion, 2-1, in Norfolk, while Elon handed the Tribe a 2-1 setback in Williamsburg in OT a season ago. W&M’s trip to North Carolina will be its first since forging a 0-0 draw with the Tar Heels in 2007.
Furthermore, the Tribe will play Central Florida (Sept. 13) and Creighton (Sept. 15) in the STIHL Classic hosted by Old Dominion. It marks the 15th time in the last 16 years that W&M has competed in ODU’s tournament. W&M will meet UCF for the third time and holds a 2-0 advantage in the all-time series, including a 3-1 victory during the 2008 STIHL Classic. Last season, W&M suffered a 2-1 setback to then-No. 2 Creighton in Omaha.
W&M opens its Colonial Athletic Association home slate against conference newcomer College of Charleston on Oct. 5, as the schools meet for the ninth time overall and the first time since the 2003 season. The Tribe will also host defending conference champion Northeastern on Oct. 19 for its annual Crapolfest weekend, which celebrates the life of former Tribe soccer player Andy Crapol. The conference home schedule is rounded out with contests against Hofstra (Oct. 26) and James Madison (Nov. 6).
The Tribe opens CAA play with a trip to Philadelphia, Pa., for a tilt against Drexel on Sept. 28. The Dragons won the 2012 CAA regular season and earned an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament. Other league road contests include trips to Delaware (Oct. 30) and UNCW (Nov. 2).
W&M returns nine starters from the 2012 campaign. In total, the Tribe roster features 86.9 percent of its starts from 2012 returning as well as 85 percent of its goal scoring and 79.6 percent of its overall points. Tickets for W&M women’s soccer are now available by checking the ticket page on TribeAthletics.com or calling the Tribe Ticket Office at (757) 221-3340.