Here are some schedule highlights and games of note:
February 14: Holy Cross
February 14th is going to be an important moment in Fairfield's lacrosse history, not because Holy Cross has some kind of special relationship with the Stags, but rather because Rafferty Stadium -- the Stags' new home and a massive undertaking for the small school on Connecticut's Gold Coast -- will host its first Fairfield lacrosse game. A lacrosse-oriented building, Rafferty Stadium will replace old Alumni Field and hold 3,500 fans in a state of the art complex that carries a price tag of about 16 million bucks (according to Wikipedia). This stadium is such a big deal at Fairfield that there's a live webcam of the construction, which seems like a hyper-focused way to prove that large machinery exists and that you're not allowed to use it.
March 28: at Drexel; April 4: at Massachusetts; April 11: Towson; April 18: Delaware; April 24: Hofstra
Fairfield is a perfect fit for THUNDERDOME!, but that doesn't mean that the Stags are going to enjoy their existence in college lacrosse's toughest league. Dodging small explosions, attacking people with a nail gun, wearing an eye patch as you attempt to de-limb everything with limbs -- THUNDERDOME! is mean, evil, and unrelenting. The historic finishes within the conference over the last five seasons are indicative of that (this does not include Penn State):
THUNDERDOME! refuses to let programs accelerate past their peers. The difference between the league's best team and its weakest is slim, and much of the conference's power and strength is generated from the leveraged competitiveness from the top of the table to the bottom. Fairfield -- on purpose! -- is entering this nightmare this coming spring, seeking to carve out a position in a league that does an exceptional job at keeping its current programs within the same sphere of brutal sameness. It's hard to dominate THUNDERDOME! and it's hard not to bag big kills. The Stags have experienced important things as a program, but it hasn't -- in the overall -- walked into a conference situation quite like what Fairfield will see in 2015.
March 7: at Yale
Fairfield has met Yale eight times and has dropped the Elis just once -- in 2014, a 12-11 overtime victory for the Stags. The series -- while lopsided in the Bulldogs' favor (Yale is 7-1 against the Stags with an average margin of victory of about four goals per game) -- has the potential to create some heat around Connecticut lacrosse, if only because the Stags and Elis have the kind of profile to bring some eyeballs to an area of the country that has not had the kind of juice that other geographic regions have experienced.