Good news, Monmouth! This first-year lacrosse thing isn't totally impossible! Bad news, Monmouth! This first-year lacrosse thing is still really hard!
- Marquette (2013): 5-8
- High Point (2013): 3-12
- Michigan (2012): 1-13
- Mercer (2011): 1-12
Here are some schedule highlights and games of note:
The Spoils of War
February 26: @Wagner; March 4: St. Joseph's; April 1: Lafayette; April 12: @Manhattan
Reverse Survivor is always a possibility for new programs. This is generally for two reasons: (1) New programs tend to be at a competitive disadvantage compared to the rest of Division I due to the fact that they are baby fawns rushing through a forest of predators; and (2) Schedules aren't always conducive to early victories for new programs due to various factors. Monmouth, though, has a handful of early opportunities to pluck a victory from the ether: The Hawks will meet Wagner and St. Joseph's early in their campaign, allowing Monmouth to get a competitive chance to feel the warmth of victory before Reverse Survivor starts to really heat up. Now, these games aren't gimmies for the Hawks -- St. Joseph's gets Ryan McGee back in 2014 and Pat Swanick returns to help anchor the attack; Wagner showed hints of pulling itself out of the basement of Division I lacrosse in 2013 -- but they are games where Monmouth could conceivably flourish in favorable circumstances against teams that are flawed. If the Hawks can't grab a win in either of those two games, things get rough for Monmouth: The Hawks arguably won't see another program with a noted history of struggling until an early-April date against Lafayette. Learning how to win is a process, and that process could yield some tough lessons for the Hawks if they can't get a "W" early in their season.
March 15: @Canisius; March 22: @Siena; April 5: Quinnipiac; April 12: @Manhattan; April 19: Marist; April 26: Detroit
Monmouth originally intended for its lacrosse genesis to occur in the NEC. After the MAAC altered its membership as a response to conference realignment, the Hawks found themselves on a new launching pad, one that is arguably a shade more difficult than what the NEC will provide in 2014. There are established programs in the MAAC with a history of creating havoc, and the Hawks will need to withstand this reality for a large part of its 13-game slate. The key for Monmouth through these six dates isn't necessarily to generate victories but to perform respectably and start to get an understanding of the league to which they are a member. Developing an approach for competing within a conference environment is an invaluable block for building a program's foundation. As a result, the Hawks' efforts in their last four games on their 2014 agenda are probably the most important dates on the entire schedule.