The 2015 season will serve as Michigan's fourth run through Division I since elevating its program to college lacrosse's highest level prior to the 2012 season. The Wolverines are a paltry 7-37 over the last three seasons, but Michigan took some important steps forward in 2014, capitalizing on the talent that has started to flock to Ann Arbor: A 5-11 campaign marked a significant increase in competitiveness from Michigan that was lacking in prior years.
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This coming year could be an important season for the Wolverines. Here are some schedule highlights and games of note:
February 7: Bellarmine; February 14: Detroit; February 21: Notre Dame; February 28: Canisius; March 8: Brown; March 21: Drexel; TBA: Rutgers; TBA: Ohio State; TBA: Penn State
Michigan is playing nine home games in 2015 against just four road dates. That's . . . that's a complete and total disdain for the American highway system, mass transportation, and the entire concept of believing that worthwhile things -- restaurants, attractions, people -- exist outside of the city limits. The Wolverines heavily weighted home schedule this coming year isn't interesting merely because of the volume of home dates that the team has, but rather how those home games appear on the slate:
- Michigan won't need to leave Ann Arbor until March, playing all of its February games in the confines of Oosterbaan Field House. While every other team in the country will likely curse the conditions outside during college lacrosse's dumbest month of weather, the Wolverines will enjoy temperature-controlled bliss, getting a solid balance of opponents to kick start the team's fourth effort.
- After that initial block of four home games, Michigan will -- for the most part -- alternate home and road games, breaking up the rotating location of the team's meetings with a two-game homestand against Rutgers and hated Ohio State (assuming the Big Ten doesn't change the order of opponents that the Wolverines have listed on their schedule page). You can always go home again (unless your name is Martin Blank, in which case you can't go home again but you can shop there).
- With the exception of Johns Hopkins and Maryland -- which appear late in the team's schedule -- all of Michigan's premier home games allow for the Wolverines to prepare well enough in advance to put on a show in either Oosterbaan or Michigan Stadium. The schedule lines up very well to get butts through turnstiles in the early, middle, and late portions of the Wolverines' slate.
The Oldest/Newest Thing
TBA: at Maryland; TBA: Rutgers; TBA: Ohio State; TBA: Johns Hopkins; TBA: Penn State
It only took the Big Ten 119 years to sponsor a men's lacrosse conference. I doubt that it will take Michigan 119 years to lift the league's championship trophy, but the Wolverines have some work cut out for them if they want to participate in the first conference tournament that the Big Ten hosts:
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