Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. -- The Central Michigan field hockey team will travel to the state of Pennsylvania to open the 2017 season, which features a challenging schedule against an array of strong programs from the likes of the Big Ten, the ACC, and the Atlantic 10.
“Since January we have made huge strides to improve our culture and our game,” third-year CMU coach Molly Pelowski said. “Our leadership group and team have come together and set the tone for 2017. This will be a very important year to showcase our growth.
“When we combine those huge improvements with very balanced travel, we should see great improvements in our results.”
The Chippewas open in the Keystone State against Saint Francis and Lock Haven, then are slated to play three more road games – two in East Lansing against Vermont and American, the third at Indiana -- before their home opener on Sunday, Sept. 10, against Saint Louis.
CMU opens Mid-American Conference play in Virginia at Longwood on Saturday, Sept. 23, and then takes on Ohio in its MAC home opener on Saturday, Sept. 30.
The Chippewas also play host to defending league champion Kent State and league newcomer Appalachian State, and play MAC foes Miami (Ohio) and Ball State on the road.
The schedule is heavy on home dates in the second half. CMU is scheduled to play nine games from Sept. 30-Oct. 27, six of them at home, including back-to-back dates with Appalachian State on Oct. 7-8. The Oct. 7 game will count in the MAC standings, the Oct. 8 game will not.
The Mountaineers finished 4-13 last season, playing as an independent. Appalachian State has replaced former MAC member Missouri State, which dropped its program.
“I am very excited for our 2017 season,” Pelowski said. “We have been able to schedule challenging opponents and plan a very balanced travel schedule that will set our student-athletes up for success this coming semester.”
CMU will play three teams from the Big Ten (Michigan, Michigan State and Indiana), four from the Atlantic 10 (Saint Francis, VCU, Saint Louis, Lock Haven), and one each from from the Ivy (Yale), America East (Vermont), Patriot (American) and ACC (Louisville).
Louisville finished last season ranked eighth nationally, and earned an NCAA Tournament berth. American and Kent State and also earned berths in the national tournament last year.