Arlington, Va. – Five opponents that made last year’s NCAA Division III Tournament highlight the 2011-12 Marymount University women’s basketball schedule, released by head coach Ashlee Courter on Thursday. Coming off their 12th-straight Capital Athletic Conference semifinals appearance and 19th overall, the Saints are poised for a return to the national scene.
“Our competitive schedule presents many opportunities for us this season,” Courter said. “We’ve scheduled challenging non-conference opponents to prepare us for the battles we will face in the CAC. It is a rare opportunity to play five NCAA tournament teams from the previous year during the regular season, however, this is a chance to show our young squad how to compete with the best in Division III.”
Marymount will be tested immediately from the opening tip of the season, travelling to face defending Old Dominion Athletic Conference champions Randolph-Macon on November 15. The Yellow Jackets are the first of the five NCAA Tournament teams the Saints face on the season, including four in the first five weeks of the campaign.
Returning home later that week, the Saints then host their annual Marymount-Marine Corps Tip-Off Tournament on November 18-19. Marymount hosts Lynchburg in the opener before facing either Manhattanville or Gettysburg in the tournament finals.
The rest of November features a pair of non-conference showdowns with former CAC rivals Catholic and Goucher. Marymount hosts Catholic on November 22 and travels to Goucher on November 28 before opening CAC play at home against Frostburg State on November 30.
December will be a month to prove MU’s mettle as the Saints host four of their six games at home but face three more NCAA Tournament teams during that span. The Saints open the month at defending CAC Champions York (Pa.) on December 3 before returning home for a three-game homestand.
With a pair of mid-week league games against Salisbury and archrival Mary Washington on December 6 and 9, respectively, the Saints then host NCAA Tournament team Juniata on December 18. With no rest on the horizon Marymount then travels to face Kean, a Sweet 16 squad from a year ago, two days later before wrapping up the month at home against The College of New Jersey.
As home heavy as Marymount’s first two months are, the New Year brings a mirror opposite. The Saints play just five of their 13 second-semester regular-season games in the friendly confines of the Verizon Sports Arena. Key dates include a January 9 trip to NCAA Tournament participant Richard Stockton, a home rematch with York (Pa.) on January 21 and a visit to Mary Washington on January 25.