YORK, PA – York College head field hockey coach Carly Zinn has announced the Spartans' 2014 schedule.
Zinn enters her second season at the helm of the program as she has worked hard to rebuild the program after a 4-12 campaign that saw the Spartans lose a number of close contests throughout the 2013 season.
The Spartans open their home campaign on August 29 when they host the York College Invitational. The Spartans host Gordon, Neumann and Stevenson in a four game classic tournament. The tournament kicks off with Stevenson and Neumann squaring off in the opening game Friday followed by the Spartans hosting Gordon in the nightcap. Gordon finished last year with a stellar mark of 17-6 as they won the Commonwealth Coast Conference and earned an NCAA Tournament berth. On Saturday, York faces Neumann in the opener followed by Stevenson against Gordon.
York continues their season opening home stand with a non-conference match against Gettysburg. The Bullets won a 5-3 shoot out against the Spartans last year as they finished the campaign 10-6.
York takes to the road on September 6 as they head to Harrisonburg, Virginia to face Eastern Mennonite. Four days later, the Spartans head to Carlisle to face Dickinson College. The Dickinson match will hold special meaning for Zinn, as she was an assistant coach for the Red Devils prior to her appointment as the Spartans' head coach.
York returns home to host Juniata on September 13 and then head back out on the road as they travel to Elizabethtown on September 17. The Blue Jays had a very good year in 2013 as they posted a 14-6 season. York hosts Kings on September 20 before heading to Shenandoah on September 24.
The Spartans host another NCAA Tournament team on September 27 as Lynchburg comes to York after going 16-5 and capturing the ODAC championship in 2013. The going doesn't get any easier seven days later when the Spartans open their Capital Athletic Conference slate with a game against Final Four participant Christopher Newport on October 4. The Captains went 21-2 last year as they advanced to the national semifinals.
York heads out on the road for games at Stevenson (Oct. 8) and St. Mary's (Oct. 11) before returning home to face Alvernia on October 14. National runner-up Salisbury comes to town on October 18 as the Sea Gulls went 17-4 and won the Capital Athletic Conference championship.
The Spartans trek to Mary Washington (Oct. 22) and Wesley (Oct. 25) to close out their regular season road schedule. The Green and White welcomes Frostburg State to York for their regular season finale on October 29.
The 2014 CAC Tournament opens on November 2 with the first round followed by the semifinals on November 5. The championship game will be held on Saturday, November 8 at the highest remaining seed.
The Spartans' non-conference opponents accumulated 116 wins last year and a winning percentage of 54.4%. York's CAC opponents won at a 67% clip last year going a combined 79-39 including a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances.
Zinn believes the Spartans' non-conference schedule should help prepare for the rigors of conference play.
"Our conference is extremely challenging," said Zinn. "Our out-of-conference schedule will help prepare us for what we will face in the league. Our schedule is tough but I expect our kids to respond in a positive way."
The Spartans open preseason practice on Friday, August 15.