SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Head coach Valerie Clarke and the Converse College field hockey team has announced an 18-game schedule for the 2019-20 season. The Valkyries will have a challenging slate that includes 12 contests within the South Atlantic Conference Carolinas.
"I am very excited to have a full 18-game schedule this year," stated Clarke. "We continue to grow in the conference with the addition of Mount Olive, who begins their first season this fall."
Converse will also be put to the test with a very tough non-conference portion of the schedule, facing teams that finished nationally ranked. "Our conference is already strong and will provide us great competition as we continue to compete to play in the conference tournament, and we also have some great out of conference games scheduled with Lindenwood and Bellarmine," explained Clarke. "Lindenwood finished 12-3 last year and ranked in the top 10, and Bellarmine is spending its last year in Division II before transitioning to Division I."
The Valkyries will kick off the season with a home game versus Southern New Hampshire University on September 8, before hitting the road for a three-game swing. Wasting no time and jumping straight into conference play, Converse will travel the short distance to Gaffney, S.C. to face Limestone on Sept. 10 followed by Mount Olive on Sept. 14 and Coker Sept. 15.
A season-long three-game homestand follows as the Purple and Gold steps outside of conference with Bellarmine Sept. 20, followed by a return match against Limestone Sept. 25 and the Wolves of Newberry on Sept. 28.
The next five games will alternate from home and away, starting with a trip to Belmont Abbey October 1. Converse will then face first-year program Mount Olive on Oct. 5 before back-to-back games with Queens (N.C.) Oct. 6 and 10. The Valkyries will be the visitors during the first matchup before hosting the Royals four days later.
A trip to Lindenwood eyes the Valkyries on Oct. 13 followed by two games at home versus Frostburg St. Oct. 19 and Coker Oct. 20. A quick trip to Newberry Oct. 25 leads into the home finale for Converse against Belmont Abbey Oct. 29.
The final two games of the regular season will be played in Wisconsin. First up will be Concordia-Wisconsin on Nov. 1 followed by a neutral site match against Transylvania Nov. 2.
Converse will have a fairly young team with 13 incoming freshmen, but with the help of seasoned veterans, will look to make a run into the conference tournament.
"I am excited to be able to continue to grow as a program, with having a roster of 20 players this fall will provide us with much-needed depth at every position," Clarke said. "Key returners are junior Bo Linders to anchor the defense, and sophomore forward Maddie Yocklin, who tied for team lead with 3 goals and will compete to win the scoring title on the team again. Key incoming freshman will be Bella Pistilli, a strong defender from Canada who was MVP for her team this past year and has a quick stick and strong hit," she concluded.