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Jacksonville Lacrosse Schedule: Reboot

The Dolphins will look to pivot from an uneven 2014 campaign to something more permanent in 2015.


Here are some schedule highlights and games of note:

March 14: at VMI; March 21: Richmond; April 4: High Point; April 11: at Bellarmine; April 18: at Mercer; April 25: Furman

Jacksonville will enter the 2015 season with five seasons of Division I play in the program's history book. That half-decade of existence at college lacrosse's highest level puts the Dolphins towards the top of the Southern Conference in terms of experience, trailing only VMI and Bellarmine in terms of years of service in Division I. That's pretty crazy when you think about it: Jacksonville is one of the most seasoned programs in a first-year league, but the Dolphins have only thrown hands for five seasons. If Jacksonville were a human it'd be learning to not eat finger paint; instead, it's asked to serve as a tent pole program for a developing lacrosse league.

And that's where the Dolphins need to concentrate their efforts in 2015: Building a sustainable effort in the Southern Conference, generating internal momentum that serves the entirety of the league. In 2014, Jacksonville went 3-4 against competition that will play in the SoCon in 2015, a somewhat soft record considering where the Dolphins were projected to finish in the Atlantic Sun at the dawn of the 2014 season. The details of Jacksonville's push through these opponents illustrates a team that won the games it was expected to win but were not able to steal any victories against opponents of varying degrees of capacity:

Bellarmine 4-8 (L) -1 31%
at High Point 7-8 (L) -2 35%
VMI 14-5 (W) +5 83%
Mercer 14-12 (W) +2 69%
at Richmond 12-13 (L) 0 44%
at Furman 13-11 (W) +2 72%
v. High Point 11-12 (L) -1 39%

While dates against Army, St. John's, and others are nice opportunities to raise some hell, it's ultimately going to be how the 'Phins perform in their league that will define the team's universe. Asserting a position of prominence in the Southern Conference -- one that's concomitant with the program's years of experience compared to its confederates -- should be a major goal for Jacksonville in 2015.

I Want to Feel Something Else
February 15: v. Army

The Dolphins are 1-3 in the Moe's Southwest Grill Classic, a lacrosse game that serves as a distraction from selling guacamole and toilet paper. Played at EverBank Field -- that's where the Jaguars play anti-football during the fall! -- Jacksonville has increased its profile playing high-quality competition but has not done a great job at securing victories in its marquee event. Jacksonville has been competitive in these games -- the Dolphins' average margin of defeat is around three goals -- but the wins have not inured to Jacksonville despite their best efforts. It'll be interesting to see what the Dolphins have for the Black Knights in the event this spring, if only to see if Jacksonville can bag a kill early in the year when teams are still developing.

Praise Allah!
March 14-April 25

Jacksonville will play four games in 11 days in early March, but after the Dolphins finish with Robert Morris on March 11th, the program will not play a mid-week game for the rest of the 2015, playing on seven consecutive Saturdays to close their regular season. There's nothing wrong with that; rest at that stage of the season is a beautiful siren that doesn't steal your innocence.