I barely noticed it while flipping through the Twitter machine yesterday, but Tim from Great Lax State happened to catch it: Michigan has officially -- in a very unofficial way -- released its 2013 schedule for Team Two/Class One/[Other Noun-Number]. Given the fact that the Wolverines have been all over social media this fall while punching out all kinds of press releases about the program -- everything from profiles on Michigan's newcomers and the team's fall competitions -- it's a little odd that the school didn't rip out a press release announcing what is a solid, if not impressive for a neophyte program, slate for next spring. Alas, this -- and this -- shall serve as the clarion call.
To the breakdown!
It's, Like, Real and Everything Now!
February 16: @ Bellarmine; March 9: @ Hobart; March 14: @ Fairfield; March 23: Loyola; March 30: Air Force; April 13: Ohio State; April 27: @ Denver
Last year, as a first year member in the ECAC, Michigan was kind of, sort of in a relationship with the ECAC. It's akin to my last girlfriend: We were kind of, sort of seeing each other, but all I was really doing was hiding in her bushes, stalking her and stealing her mail. Michigan played what could be best termed a "partial" ECAC schedule, but as a first year member, was not eligible for the ECAC Tournament (or, if a tornado of impossibility blew through the Midwest, the league's automatic invitation to the NCAA Tournament).
This season, things are different. As a full league member, Michigan will run the entire ECAC gauntlet and bear the full power of a league that should be strong at the top, dangerous in the middle, and a competitive challenge for the Wolverines toward the bottom. Michigan isn't winning the ECAC this season -- and, more likely than not, isn't going to make the league tournament -- but league games in the Big House against Loyola, Air Force, and Ohio State will be cool environments for big-time Division I lacrosse. The league stretch for Michigan to end the season -- Loyola, Air Force, Ohio State, and Denver -- is pretty brutal for a second year program, and that month-long period will provide important teaching moments for John Paul and Associates, Inc.
Pain Train: Toot! Toot!
Feburary 9: Penn State; February 23: @ Johns Hopkins; March 2: v. Army; March 17: v. Colgate
This isn't screwing around. With Johns Hopkins and Colgate, Michigan has thrown themselves to the lions with only a magician's wand and guile to aid them in survival. Those are legitimate top ten teams and could be, at the end of the season, in the conversation to take scissors to nets in Philadelphia. Penn State is a solid top-15 outfit, and under Jeff Tambroni the blue and white will not take any game for granted. Joe Alberici's Army squad is in a similar position to that of the Nittany Lions, and with cats like Garrett Thul and John Glesener, the Wolveriens are probably staring at a tire iron to the face.
What's interesting about this non-conference extrapolation, though, are the two neutral site affairs -- against Army in Miami at the Orange Bowl Lacrosse Classic and against Colgate in Flushing
(at an unidentified event that may or may not be taking place at Citi Field (!!!) (unless this listing was an error and should be noted as Hamilton, New York) (or if there's another joint in Flushing that could possibly host this that isn't a high school)). Update @ 2:00, 11/6/12: Michigan updated its website to show the Colgate game as happening at Citi Field. This is exciting for Shake Shack enthusiasts everywhere.