WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – The Monmouth University women’s team, the two-time defending Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season and tournament champions, has released its 18-game schedule for the 2018 season.

Nine home games highlight the schedule, which includes matches against five New Jersey programs and three 2017 NCAA Division I tournament participants. The Hawks have won at least 10 games in 12 consecutive seasons under head coach Krissy Turner, who enters her 21st season at Monmouth.

“Our schedule will present many unique challenges for our young team,” Turner said. “In the non-conference portion of our schedule we are facing several strong opponents, including two perennial Top 25 programs in NC State and Rutgers. Each game provides an opponent who brings a different style of play, which should allow us to be well prepared for the rigors of the MAAC schedule.”

After two home scrimmages against Villanova Aug. 7 and Saint Joseph’s Aug. 10, the Hawks open their 2018 slate at home against NJIT Friday Aug. 17.

Three days later, Monmouth travels south to NC State where they will meet the Wolfpack, who finished last season ranked No. 21 in the nation. The Hawks return home to host Bucknell (Aug. 24) and then play at Delaware (Aug. 26). The month closes with a home game against Lehigh on Aug. 31.

Monmouth’s annual Labor Day Weekend matchup with Seton Hall (Sept. 3) will be played in South Orange, NJ at 6:30 p.m., before the Hawks travel to Rutgers on Sept. 7. The non-conference schedule comes to a close on Sept. 9 when Monmouth plays host to American in a 1 p.m. kickoff.

MAAC play starts on the road with a game against Rider on Sept. 17. The Hawks will alternate home and road contests over the next six games, with home games scheduled for Sept. 22 against Saint Peter’s (Pregame Alumni Reception), Siena (Sept. 29) and Quinnipiac (Oct. 6).

Back-to-back road games at Marist (Oct. 10) and Fairfield (Oct. 13) precede the final two regular season games at home against Niagara (Oct. 17 – 10 a.m.) and Iona on Senior Night (Oct. 24).

The top six teams qualify for the 2018 MAAC Women’s Soccer Championship, which begins Sunday Oct. 28 (first round). The semifinal matches will be played at the site of the No. 1 or No. 2 seed Thursday, Nov. 1 with the championship match at the home of the highest remaining seed Sunday, Nov. 4.