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RICHMOND, Va. – Head Coach Shannon Karl and her staff have challenged the VCU Field Hockey team in every aspect of life since they took over the reins in November. Those challenges presented to the Rams were to help prepare them for the upcoming 2012 fall campaign.

Make no doubt about it, the 2012 season will be full of challenges for the Black & Gold as VCU is set to face two NCAA Tournament teams, including 2011 NCAA Runner-up North Carolina.

After an exhibition game against Rutgers on August 18, Karl and her staff make their coaching debut when they host Missouri State on Friday, August 24 in a 4 p.m. contest at Cary Street Field.

The two-game homestand continues on Sunday, Sept. 2 as the Rams host Columbia in a 1 p.m. showdown.

The Rams will then embark on their first road trip of the season as battle Longwood on Wednesday, Sept. 5.  The Black & Gold then travels to the Garden State to take on Monmouth on Sunday, Sept. 9.

A weekend in Davidson, N.C. awaits the Black & Gold on Sept. 14-16 when VCU faces Davidson on Friday and Appalachian State on Sunday in a neutral site match.

The Rams will see some familiar faces as they play old CAA foes the following weekend with visits to both Towson on Friday, Sept. 21 and Drexel on Sunday, Sept. 23.

After nearly a month away from home, VCU returns to Cary Street Field to entertain Hofstra on Friday, Sept. 28. However, the Black & Gold will embark on another three game road swing, beginning with a trip down south to national power North Carolina (Sunday, Sept. 30). The following match will mark the beginning of conference play for the Rams as they visit new A-10 rival Temple (Fri., Oct. 5). VCU then travels to Liberty on Sun., Oct. 7.

Upon returning home the Rams will face hometown rival, and now fellow conference member, Richmond on Friday, Oct. 12.

The team will quickly be on the road again as they voyage to UMASS (Sun., Oct. 14), Lock Haven (Fri. Oct. 19), and La Salle (Sun., Oct. 21).

St. Joseph's (Friday, Oct. 26) and Saint Louis (Sunday, Oct. 28) visit the Capital City, which wraps up the regular season for the Rams.