Head coach Mike Roysland and the University of Minnesota Crookston women’s basketball program announced their 2019-20 schedule this afternoon. The Golden Eagles will play two exhibition games, highlighted by a trip to the Scheels Center on Friday, Nov. 1st at North Dakota State University. The Golden Eagles will play four nonconference games, 22 conference games, including 11 in Lysaker Gymnasium.


Coach Mike Roysland thinks the schedule will be a very challenging for his young Golden Eagles this season.


“We are a young team who will be challenged very early on, with our non-conference games,” Roysland said. “I like our non-conference schedule because it gives our young team some good tests before we hit the very difficult NSIC schedule we have this season.”


The Golden Eagles will look to return back to the Sanford Pentagon this season, but will have to do so without two of their leaders in Caitlin Michaelis and Isieoma Odor. However, the Golden Eagles do return a lot of key pieces return from last season’s 10 win team. Stephanie McWilliams (Sr., G, Grand Forks, N.D.), Paige Weakley (Sr., G/F, Kearney, Neb.) and Abby Guidinger (Jr., F, Waukesha, Wis.) all provide valuable experience. Kylie Post (So., G, Corcoran, Minn.), Bren Fox (So., C, Norwood Young America, Minn.) and Paige Cornale (So., G, Oak Creek, Wis.) will look to continue their strong play from year one into year two. The trio started a whopping 49 combined games in their first season for the maroon and gold a season ago.


Minnesota Crookston kicks off the 2019 season much like they did last season, playing Nebraska-Kearney on Fri., Nov., 8 and Northwest Missouri State on Nov., 9 in Kearney, NE.


The Golden Eagles will take a trip the next week to Hawaii to round out their nonconference schedule to play Hawaii-Pacific and Chaminade. HPU is a tournament team from last season, losing to Alaska Anchorage in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. This will be the first trip out to Hawaii for the Golden Eagles since the 2014 season.


After returning from the sunshine of Hawaii, the Golden Eagles will open up NSIC play at home, but will have two weeks to prepare for Bemidji State. The Golden Eagles will host the Beavers on Sat., Nov., 30 at Lysaker Gymnasium. The Golden Eagles have won four out of the last five games with the Beavers, including winning the last three games dating back to the 2017 season.


The schedule doesn’t get any easier for Roysland and his team. The Golden Eagles will travel to Moorhead, Minn., and Aberdeen, S.D., to do battle with MSU Moorhead and Northern State. Last season, the Dragons won the NSIC regular season title, as well as advancing to the second round of the NCAA Central region tournament. Meanwhile, the Wolves missed the NCAA tournament last season for the first time since 2013-14.


Minnesota Crookston will come home on Dec., 13 and 14 to host Augustana and Wayne State College. The Golden Eagles will see two teams that made the NSIC quarterfinals in Sioux Falls, S.D., a year ago. Wayne State fell to Sioux Falls in the first round, while Minnesota-Duluth defeated Augustana in the first round as well.


The Golden Eagles will wrap-up the unofficial first half of the season as they will travel down Highway-2 for a date with Bemidji State. The Golden Eagles will look to make it two in a row against the Beavers in Bemidji, winning last season, 70-61.


After the Christmas break, the schedule features nine games in the month of January. The month of January features back-to-back weekends with NSIC North foes in Minnesota-Duluth, St. Cloud State and the final regular season meeting with both Northern State and MSU Moorhead.


After four straight divisional opponents, Minnesota Crookston will then take arguably their longest NSIC road trip of the season when they travel to Winona State on Jan., 17 and Upper Iowa on Jan., 18. The Peacocks will be under the direction of first-year head coach Nate Oakland, who goes to Fayette after two years at North Dakota State University.


After the long road trip, Minnesota Crookston is back at home for two straight weeks. The first of those weeks is a weekend series with UMary and Minot State on Jan., 24 and 25. The Marauders figure to be a force in the North half of the NSIC this season, as Cassie Askvig returns for her final season as a Marauder.

The next weekend, Southwest Minnesota State on Fri., Jan., 8 and Sioux Falls on Sat., Feb., 1 comes to Lysaker Gymnasium to round out January and to start February. Sioux Falls finished 23-8 last season and returns a bevy of impact players, including Anna Goodhope, Jessie Geer, Kaeley Hummel and Mariah Szymanski.


It’s back on the road for the Golden Eagles for four straight games, starting with games at MSU Mankato and Concordia-St. Paul. The Golden Bears won the South half of the NSIC last season.


The road games conclude for the regular season with games at Minot State on Fri., Feb., 14 and at the University of Mary on Feb., 15.


For the first time since 2016-17, the Golden Eagles will wrap-up the regular season at home. Minnesota-Duluth and St. Cloud State come to Crookston to finish the 2019-20 regular season. Minnesota-Duluth won the Sanford Health NSIC tournament last season by defeating MSU Moorhead.