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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia released its 2010 field hockey schedule Tuesday. The Cavaliers will face seven NCAA Tournament opponents from a year ago and will host nine games at the University Hall Turf Field.

Virginia, coming off a year in which the team returned to the NCAA semifinals for the first time since 1998, will face off against the other three national semifinal squads this season, beginning with ACC champion Maryland at home on Oct. 1. A week later, Princeton comes to town for a big non-conference matchup (Oct. 8) before the Cavaliers travel to Chapel Hill to take on NCAA champion North Carolina on Oct. 16.

“We have been looking forward to the 2010 season since our loss in the NCAA semifinals,” Virginia head coach Michele Madison said. “Our team learned a lot about themselves and what it takes to become a champion. Stay positive, thrive on the challenges and work beyond the boundaries where everything is possible.”

The season opens August 19 with a scrimmage at home against James Madison. The Cavaliers then offically open the season with road contests Aug. 28 vs. St. Joseph’s at Temple University and Aug. 29 at Penn State.

Old Dominion and Northwestern will travel to Charlottesville Sept. 5 and 6, respectively, before Virginia heads to Norfolk to face NCAA Tournament foes Ohio State (Sept. 11) and Syracuse (Sept. 12) at ODU.

“Our strength of schedule has fallen among the top-three toughest in the nation the past three seasons,” Madison continued. “We have another tough one again this season. It is grueling day in and day out but I am a firm believer tough competition fortifies our strengths and exploits our weaknesses. From that we grow the most.”

After a road trip at Lafayette (Sept. 18), the Cavaliers open ACC play Sept. 24 at Boston College and will conclude the trip to the northeast with a game at Cornell (Sept. 26).

Longwood (Oct. 6), William and Mary (Oct. 18) and Radford (Oct. 24), all home games, round out the in-state competition on the schedule. Virginia concludes the regular season Oct. 30 at Duke.

The 2010 ACC Championship, hosted by Wake Forest, is set for Nov. 4-7 in Winston-Salem, N.C. NCAA Regionals are scheduled for Nov. 13-14. The NCAA semifinals will be played at Maryland Nov. 19 with the title game set for Nov. 21 in College Park, Md.

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