"It will be an excellent opener for us to start with Connecticut," said Gabarra. "It should not be hard for our team to be committed and motivated to play the team who finished second in the nation last year. It will be a wonderful test to see where we need to be focusing on our strengths and working on our liabilities.
"I think it will have a positive impact traveling for our first-four games. We train extremely hard all preseason, and our plebes (freshmen) have been here since June 30, so it is exciting and relaxing to get on the road a bit. Playing strong and dominant opponents in Connecticut and George Mason will test us athletically and physically, and playing the technical opponents we will in California will test our complete game."
The Mids will play in back-to-back tournaments, first in San Diego, followed by a four-team tournament played on their home field, the Glenn Warner Soccer Facility. The Mids will face UC Riverside Sunday, Sept. 3 in San Diego before rounding out tourney action against the host, San Diego State, on Sept. 5. A week later, the Mids will play host to Bowling Green (Sept. 10) and Stony Brook (Sept. 12) in a pair of tournament contests.
Navy opens Patriot League action Sept. 25 at Colgate. That Navy-Colgate contest kicks off three-straight conference road games, as the Mids face Army in the Star Game at West Point (Oct. 1) and American in Washington, D.C. (Oct. 5).
Following the American battle, Navy will enjoy a five-game homestand which includes conference meetings with Lehigh (Oct. 8), Lafayette (Oct. 15) and Holy Cross (Oct. 23). Sandwiched in between Lafayette and Holy Cross will be the highlighted home match of the season, a Tuesday prime time contest against the ACC's Maryland. Four games make up the short-lived series between the Terps and Mids, but Maryland will make its first trip to Annapolis Oct. 19. Last season, the Terrapins were upset by Rutgers in the first round of the NCAA Women's College Cup, losing to the Scarlet Knights on a 4-3 penalty kick count.
The Midshipmen will complete their regular-season slate with a pair of games played in the state of Pennsylvania. Navy will look to avenge its First-Round NCAA Women's College Cup loss to Penn State when it battles the Nittany Lions Oct. 29. PSU finished the 2003 campaign with a 19-4-2 record and No. 6 ranking. The Nittany Lions were tripped up in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Women's College Cup by UCLA, 4-0. Though First-Team All-American midfielder Joanna Lohman graduated last spring, leading scorer and fellow First-Team All-American forward Tiffany Weimer returns for her junior season. Last fall, she posted a team-high 21 goals and added nine assists.
Two days after the Penn State match, the Mids face Bucknell in the Patriot League and regular-season finale in Lewisburg, Pa.
Once again, the Patriot League Tournament will be played at the home site of the top-seeded team and is set for Nov. 5-7.
"Each year, our schedule gets a bit more challenging and demanding," Gabarra pointed out. "We want to play the top teams to bring out the best in us, and to showcase Navy women's soccer. As we continue to take our team to a higher level, we will need to have some "big" wins, and so we need to schedule top national teams. Naval Academy athletes thrive on playing opponents who are considered better than them."
2004 Navy Women's Soccer Schedule
Date Day Opponent Time Site Aug. 27 Friday at Connecticut 1 p.m. Storrs, Conn. Aug. 29 Sunday at George Mason 1 p.m. Fairfax, Va. Sept. 3 Friday vs. UC Riverside 6:30 p.m. San Diego, Calif. Sept. 5 Sunday at San Diego State 4:30 p.m. San Diego, Calif. Sept. 10 Friday Stony Brook vs. Delaware 4 p.m. Annapolis, Md. Sept. 10 Friday Bowling Green 7 p.m. Annapolis, Md. Sept. 12 Sunday Delaware vs. Bowling Green 12-Noon Annapolis, Md. Sept. 12 Sunday Stony Brook 3 p.m. Annapolis, Md. Sept. 17 Friday Wagner 5 p.m. Annapolis, Md. Sept. 19 Sunday at Seton Hall 12-Noon South Orange, N.J. Sept. 21 Tuesday Mount St. Mary's 7 p.m. Annapolis, Md. Sept. 25 Saturday at Colgate* 1 p.m. Hamilton, N.Y. Sept. 27 Monday St. Joseph's 7 p.m. Annapolis, Md. Oct. 1 Friday at Army* - Star Game 7 p.m. West Point, N.Y. Oct. 5 Tuesday at American* 3:30 p.m. Washington, D.C. Oct. 8 Friday Lehigh* 7 p.m. Annapolis, Md. Oct. 15 Friday Lafayette* 7 p.m. Annapolis, Md. Oct. 19 Tuesday Maryland 7 p.m. Annapolis, Md. Oct. 23 Saturday Holy Cross* 10 am. Annapolis, Md. Oct. 24 Sunday The Citadel 1 p.m. Annapolis, Md. Oct. 29 Friday at Penn State 7 p.m. State College, Pa. Oct. 31 Sunday at Bucknell* 1 p.m. Lewisburg, Pa. Nov. 5-7 Fri-Sun Patriot League Tournament TBA TBA * - denotes Patriot League contest BOLD - denotes home games played at the Glenn Warner Soccer Facility All Times Eastern