I've never understood why college lacrosse adopts a soft opening. Some schools started preseason camp right after New Year's, four teams played regular season games this past weekend (the same day the Ivy League opened preseason camp), two teams will play tonight, a bunch of teams will play regular season games this coming weekend (and more will play preseason scrimmages), and then almost everyone -- but not everyone -- is kind of existing in a full capacity starting on the 15th of this month. It's . . . weird, and I don't like it.
Division I should pursue the Ivy League model: Every school can start practicing in an official capacity on the first of February. Scrimmages start around the second week of practice. Then, either in the third or fourth week of the month, regular season games start (assuming that lacrosse will never truly start or end in the spring). Give college lacrosse a grand opening, a hard start that platforms lacrosse and starts the clock on the season. The game already exists in the shadow of college hoops for two months; why not throw up a flare that signals college lacrosse's appearance? A slow roll out does nothing to draw attention to the game. This dribbling of games where some schools are doing important things and others are only on the precipice of important things is pretty dumb. Consolidate the calendar so that everyone can benefit (including the fans).
Anyway, there's only one game today. Here's your highlight:
- Loyola at Virginia: Loyola is without Zach Herreweyers for the year. Virginia is starting a true freshman keeper. Each program is carrying a level of expectations this season that may not comport with where each team is at this point in the 2014 season. It's impossible to clearly understand what this game is going to look like at Klockner, but the fact that two elite teams are playing a mid-week game at the sunrise of the 2014 season should result in some blood leaking from ears. Lehigh-Furman and High Point-Delaware didn't promote quality in all areas of play; Loyola-Virginia has the possibility of filling the void of high-end lacrosse that everyone has desperately needed since last May.
Here's today's full schedule -- it's exactly what's in that bullet point immediately above -- with links to things so that you can monitor the carnage (Wagner, unfortunately, is not in action because 25-cent wings at the local bar and grille aren't going to eat themselves):
|Loyola||Virginia||7:00 P.M.||LIVE STATS||VIDEO|
Leave your thoughts about the game or anything else (QUERY: Does a four-vowel school name trump a three-vowel school name if the four-vowel school name repeats one vowel three times?) in the comments below.