Matching or improving on last year’s success is never guaranteed. For Frostburg State, that goal became a little more difficult to achieve.

In addition to playing in the Capital Athletic Conference against the likes of 10-time Division III national champion Salisbury, St. Mary’s, Mary Washington and York, the Bobcats strengthened their nonconference portion schedule by adding Washington College and McDaniel.

The Shoremen went 13-5 last season and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament before falling to eventual national champion Stevenson. The Green Terror limped to a 5-11 record but was just one year removed from going 11-7 and qualifying for the Centennial Conference tournament.

“We’re trying to make our schedule a little tougher,” Frostburg State coach Tommy Pearce said. “Obviously, it’s tough in the Capital [Athletic Conference], but we want to make sure that with our nonconference games, we’re playing tougher games to kind of prepare us for conference with Salisbury, St. Mary’s, York and Mary Washington. We think if we can be similar or better to what we were last year with a tougher schedule, then we’re getting better even if our schedule looks the same. … In order to get where we were last year, we may have to beat a couple teams that we didn’t last year. Washington College is obviously ranked very highly, and McDaniel is a tough Centennial team.”

The Bobcats forged an 11-6 overall record and a 3-3 mark in the league that earned them fourth place and a home game in the CAC tournament. Like any other coach, Pearce would love to improve on those numbers, but he also isn’t shy about challenging his players and his coaches.

“We don’t just want a schedule to make sure that we’re over .500,” he said. “We want to go out there and play people and take people on. We’re really excited to add Washington College and McDaniel. Last year, Mary Washington was in the Top 20 for a while, and York was Top 20, and obviously St. Mary’s and Salisbury. We beat Mary Washington once and lost to St. Mary’s by one. We want to focus not so much on our wins and losses, but on becoming one of the better programs out there in a short time.”