The Hofstra University men open their season with a trip to Penn State University Friday at 7 p.m. and at No. 6 University of Maryland Monday at 7 p.m.
The Pride is coming off a 9-8-1 season.
Led by Colonial Athletic Association coach of the year Richard Nuttall, who enters in his 29th season with the team, Hofstra returns CAA rookie of the year and leading scorer Luke Brown. He will be joined by four other All-CAA selections from a year ago. Nine newcomers, including three transfers and six freshmen, will help bolster the Pride.
Hofstra is looking for its first win against Penn State and Maryland. The Pride and Nittany Lions have played twice before, with a 2009 meeting ending in a 5-1 Penn State win and the most recent meeting, in 2011, finishing in a 1-1 draw. The Nittany Lions finished last season at 8-8-2 but lost more than half of their point production to graduation. They took the sixth spot in the Big Ten preseason poll. Goalkeeper Evan Finney earned preseason all-conference honors after posting a .810 save percentage and 0.82 goals-against average.
Maryland was dominant in 2016, ranking No. 1 in the country for the latter half of the season, including entering the NCAA Division I Tournament as a top seed to earn a bye into the second round. The Terps went undefeated through the regular season, with their only loss coming to Providence in the postseason, eliminating Maryland from the NCAA Tournament. The Terps return much of their talent from last year, including MAC Herman Trophy finalist Gordon Wild, who finished with 17 goals and five assists.
The Pride will continue its road trip after taking on Maryland, heading to No. 13 Virginia Aug. 31.