Cornell released its 2013 schedule earlier this weekand two things stood out: (1) The Red will be playing one of the most difficult grinds in Division I next season; and (2) Cornell is campaigning through upstate New York like a local dairy farmer looking for votes to join the local farm bureau. It's a solid schedule, dotted with two big non-conference games, and should challenge the Big Red from its season sunrise on February 24th all the way to its regular season finale against Princeton in the Big City Classic.
Let's pick this puppy apart.
February 24: v. Hobart; February 26: Binghamton; March 2: Colgate; March 5: @ Canisius; March 26: Siena; April 9: @ Syracuse
How much more upstate could Cornell's schedule get? None more upstate; that's how upstate it is. It is the most upstate lacrosse schedule in the history of upstate New York lacrosse schedules, escaping Central New York only once -- a trip to Western New York for a game against Canisius -- while making two trips to the Carrier Dome for a neutral site game against Hobart and a traditional throw-down with Syracuse. Throw in a scrimmage against Albany to start the year and Cornell should get economic subsidies from local upstate Chambers of Commerce for keeping their product near home and aspiring to the ideals of local support.
The games against Colgate and Syracuse are obvious highlights here, both for the local community and on a national basis. Outside of intra-Maryland battles, there is little better than Central New York non-conference games, especially with the growth of Colgate and the history underlying Cornell's games against Syracuse and Hobart. I like it. I like it a lot.
Into the Meat Grinder Goes Cornell's Legs
The regular season grind that is college lacrosse is always tough, but the Red look like they're going to need some serious conditioning to survive its slate this season. Cornell won't start its regular season until very late in February this coming year, and the result is a busy start to the season and a meaty middle that will test the Red's mettle:
- A three-game stretch of Hobart-Binghamton-Colgate will open the season in a seven-day stretch. With Colgate sitting at the end of that stretch, Cornell will need to try and rest some legs against Hobart and Binghamton if possible. The talent of the opponents isn't exactly brutal (save the game against the Raiders), but the turnarounds are tough. Luckily for Cornell, there's only one trip in that period -- up I-81 to the Carrier Dome to start the season.
- Starting with its game against Canisius, Cornell will embark on a three-game road trip -- Canisius-Virginia-Yale -- over a 12-day period. That isn't brutal, but the competition on the back-end will be pretty tough. That stretch is also, likely, bus trips, which carries its own level of fatigue and misery.
- With the somewhat later start to the year, the Red will pack eight games into a month-long period starting on March 9th against Virginia and ending on April 9th against Syracuse. That amounts to about two games per week; in fact, Cornell will see five instances when it will play two games within a four-day stretch. The schedule within this period isn't exactly easy, either, featuring games against Virginia, Yale, Bucknell, Siena, Harvard, and Syracuse (not to mention important Ivy League games against Pennsylvania and Dartmouth). Cornell will play four games at home in this stretch -- all consecutively -- but this is still rough. Godspeed, Red.