In Hofstra's press release announcing its 2013 schedule, Seth Tierney had this to say about the slate:
"We are proud of the schedule that we have assembled for the 2013 season," the seventh-year mentor said.
I was also expecting something along the lines of the following to be included: "We're going to play until our legs fall off. And then we're going to try to be the first lacrosse team to ever win a league championship while featuring a roster of torsos, arms, and heads. Also: I get paid by the game."
It's going to be a long road for the Pride in 2013, a season in which Hofstra will be looking for karma to work back in its direction after a 2012 campaign in which everything that could possibly go sideways went sideways (and then down a ravine, crashing on rocks along the way, until it finally burst into a firey inferno). The Pride have enough tools to cause a racket next spring, it's just a question of whether they'll get it together.
To the break down!
Vengeance is a Dish Best Served Vengeance-y
February 26: @ Fairfield; March 9: @ Notre Dame; March 30: @ Towson; April 27: Penn State
Hofstra lost four games in overtime last year -- Fairfield, 9-10 (3OT); Notre Dame (5-6, OT); Towson (9-10, 2OT); and Penn State (8-9, 2OT). Late-game failures -- some of the impossibly real variety -- were a hallmark in many of these losses, with the Towson, Notre Dame, and Penn State losses stinging the smartest given the circumstances surrounding each heartbreaking defeat. These weren't the only differences in Hofstra being a 6-8 team and an NCAA Tournament team -- additional one-goal losses against Massachusetts and Drexel didn't help -- but they were the catalysts to what would be an underwhelming season in Hempstead. In 2013, the Pride have a chance to right their wrongs from a season ago.
If the Pride are going to get this done, though, it isn't going to be easy: three of the four games will be on the road, Penn State is stealthily lurking as a competitor to Massachusetts for the THUNDERDOME! throne, Notre Dame should be among the top five nationally to start the season, Shawn Nadelen moved Towson in the right direction in 2012 and will look to improve in 2013, and Andy Copelan is starting to establish himself as a bit of a force in Fairfield. Combined with the timing of some of these games -- notably Penn State at the end of the year when every program on the planet will be in a May scramble and the Fairfield and Notre Dame games coming in a 15-day stretch in which the Pride will also play Princeton and Harvard -- and it's fairly apparent that vengeance, even though its cold and merciless and usually without impediment, isn't a given.
Four Scrimmages? Four Scrimmages!
January 26: @ Syracuse, v. LeMoyne; February 9: Pennsylvania, Marquette
Four scrimmages over late January and early February should give Hofstra a decent idea of where it's going to be for the 2013 season. With 20 contests on the schedule already (including the scrimmages and two THUNDERDOME! Tournament games, if the Pride should do the cha-cha and make things happen), the Pride may have a bit of an issue with tired legs come late April and early May. On the plus side, Tierney will have plenty of opportunities to see exactly what he has on the roster to try and get the Pride toward the front of the national consciousness. A seven-game March -- featuring games against Drexel, Notre Dame, and St. John's -- may be the litmus test as to whether Hofstra potentially put too much on its plate for the spring. It's a gutsy move, but it didn't hurt the Pride in 2011 when they attacked a similar slate. Young legs, as they are known to be, are resiliant, and that has to be a good thing for Hofstra with this kind of move.
Close or be Closed
April 13: North Carolina; April 20: Massachusetts; April 27: Penn State
That's a tough road to travel, but they're all at Shuart at one of the most beautiful times of the spring to be on Long Island. All 7:00 P.M. affairs, I can't say for certain that I'm going to drag my smart-alecky face out to Hempstead for all of them, but I'm sure as hell going to try. That could be the toughest closing stretch in the nation in 2013, but with all of them at home, it adds an excitement that may not otherwise exist.