Can you taste it? (You can't.) Lacrosse season is in the air! (Sort of.)
Schools have started to release their 2013 schedules, which is actually nice considering that we're just about four months away from real games happening -- the scores will matter and everything! -- and there's an even shorter period to the start of spring practice. As I'm desperate for content at this point of the year -- there's only so many pieces you can write that are just a paper-thin excuses to link to kitty cat videos on YouTube -- I'm going to tear some of these schedules apart on occasion. You
can will thank me later.
Here's what Bucknell is staring at next spring (the Bison released their schedule on Facebook):
Out-of-Conference Schedule is Almost Perfect
February 9: @ Delaware; February 17: @ Mount St. Mary's; February 23: Bryant; March 9: Massachusetts; March 12: Drexel; March 19: @ Cornell; March 23: @ Albany; March 26: Penn State
The nonconference slate is very nicely balanced: They make a trip to a national title contender in Cornell; there are a few games against top-20 teams in Massachusetts, Drexel, and Penn State (all at home, which is kind of ridiculous); an RPI-booster that doubles as a competitive standard game against Bryant at home; a nice benchmark game start to the season in Delaware; and a decent "guarantee" game against Mount St. Mary's.
I mean, that's solid. I don't know how Bucknell will wash through that entire slate, but it's really tight and right in their competitive wheelhouse.
There are two oddities, though: (1) How did the Bison get roped in to going up to Albany to play the Great Danes? (That's an odd game. It also could be trouble as it is sandwiched between Cornell and Penn State. Circle that one with your gigantic crayon, everyone.); and (2) No Villanova in 2013?
Patriot League Schedule Lines Up Nicely
March 2: Navy; March 16: @ Lafayette; March 30: Holy Cross; April 6: @ Army; April 13: Lehigh; April 20: @ Colgate.
The best part of the fixtures here is that Bucknell -- which will start the season a cut below Lehigh and Colgate -- will have the opportunity to close the season with the Mountain Hawks and Raiders. In function, the Bison will have the opportunity to meet the league's two best teams at a point in the season when Bucknell should be playing its best ball. And if Bucknell is going to have a shot at knocking off either team, it's better that the Bison get those teams toward the back-end of the season than toward the middle of the year. Plus, it gives Bucknell a chance to directly put itself into the Patriot League Tournament should the Bison drop games to Navy or Army.
It's all about opportunity, and Bucknell gets it at the right time.
With that said, though, that's a tough stretch to end the season. Back-to-back-to-back weeks against Army, Lehigh, and Colgate is going to be nuts. Luckily, the Bison should enter that stretch with at least a 2-1 conference record.