Here are some schedule highlights and games of note:
Stuff Will Happen I
February 7: Virginia
It was one of 2014's best games despite the fact that it occurred at the sunrise of the season:
Loyola used a nine-goal run in the fourth quarter -- !!!!!!!!!! -- to turn a seven-goal deficit into a one-goal lead with 18 seconds remaining in regulation. Ryan Tucker -- at (or after) the buzzer on a James Pannell feed -- would shatter the Greyhounds' hope for a win, knotting the scoreboard and sending the game into overtime, but that doesn't erase the fact that Loyola threw hands in a way that forced me to tweet this:
Cool fourth quarter plan, Loyola. pic.twitter.com/OQlX5roc27— College Crosse (@SexyTimeLax) February 7, 2014
Stuff Will Happen II
March 7: at Duke
Loyola has struggled against Duke in the team's last 12 meetings with the Devils, holding a pedestrian 3-9 record in those games with an average margin of defeat of around two goals per game. The primary instigator in the team's uneven record against Duke is Loyola's inability to summit the Blue Devils at Koskinen: The Greyhounds are 0-6 against the Devils in Durham since 2005, falling by an average 10.67-8.17 margin. Failing to take care of business at Duke has taken the shine off of a series that has been pretty tight on the scoreboard, and if the 'Hounds want to reverse some history against one of its most notable antagonists it starts with Loyola uncorking some hope on the Devils' face on Duke's home field.
Stuff Will Happen III
February 21: Holy Cross; February 28: Lehigh; March 14: at Army; March 21: at Lafayette; March 28: Colgate; April 4: Navy; April 11: at Boston University; April 17: at Bucknell
Undefeated conference campaigns in the Patriot League is pretty commonplace, but back-to-back undefeated runs through the league is fairly rare: Only one team -- Army -- has ever put together back-to-back perfect conference seasons. (The Black Knights abused the Patriot League early on, going 20-0 in the conference from 1991 through 1995 (Bucknell handed the Cadets their first league loss in 1996). Army then followed up this insane domination with back-to-back undefeated Patriot League seasons in 1997 and 1998.) Loyola is chasing that history in 2015, attempting to continue its 8-0 start in the conference -- not including the team's push through the Patriot League Tournament -- with another unblemished run. None of that is easy, even if the conference isn't quite as layered as it was a season or two ago.