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Princeton Lacrosse Schedule: Moving the Goal Posts

The Tigers' schedule will have a different feel in 2015.

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

PROGRAM SCHEDULE PROPAGANDA: PRESS RELEASE
THIS IS WHY WE FIGHT: THE SCHEDULE

Here are some schedule highlights and games of note:

The New Wonderful
February 14: Manhattan; March 7: at Maryland; April 4: at Stony Brook

These don't look like big things for Princeton, but that's not the case:

The Princeton men's lacrosse schedule used to vary little from year to year. In 2015, there are all kinds of changes, including the date of the first game and two of the non-league opponents.

Princeton has played both North Carolina and Villanova each of the last four years. Now both of them are gone, in favor of games at Maryland (March 7) and Stony Brook (April 4).

Because of a change in Ivy rules, Princeton's 2015 season opens one week earlier than it has in the past and therefore has one fewer midweek game.

Princeton will open the 2015 season at home on Feb. 14 - the earliest opener in program history - against Manhattan.

Princeton is 12-29-1 against Maryland all-time, going 5-5 against the Terps in the last 10 meetings between the programs (that 10-game series history actually reaches all the way back to 1970). Princeton and Stony Brook have met twice: In 1992, a 12-5 victory for the Tigers, and in 1993, an 18-7 win for Princeton. Interestingly, the addition of Maryland to Princeton's schedule actually brings a somewhat familiar opponent back into the fold for the Tigers: The Tigers had met North Carolina only 16 times in the program's history and only squared off with the Wildcats seven times in Princeton's long lacrosse existence (the recent volume of Princeton-Carolina games, however, is much denser than that of Princeton-Maryland). So, yeah. Things.

SERIOUSLY?! I MEAN, SERIOUSLY?!
March 21: Yale; March 29: Brown; April 11: at Dartmouth; April 17: Harvard; April 25: at Cornell

This is how the Ivy League standings look when you aggregate the last five seasons of conference play:

THE IVY LEAGUE: 2010-2014
TEAM '10-'14 IVY RECORD WINNING % RANK
Brown 13-17 43.33% 5
Cornell 25-5 83.33% 1
Dartmouth 5-25 16.67% 7
Harvard 14-16 46.67% 4
Pennsylvania 13-17 43.33% 5
Princeton 17-13 56.67% 3
Yale 18-12 60.00% 2

It's odd to think about the Tigers using 2015 as an opportunity to assert some strength against Ivy League competition, but that's kind of the case: Princeton has only been three wins stronger than Harvard in conference competition since 2010 and is only four wins better than Brown and Pennsylvania. Princeton has been part of the peloton in the Ivy League the last five years while Cornell has pressed on a breakaway. These are unique days in New Jersey to make a move.

Midweek Pinch
March 17: at Rutgers

The Tigers will play only two midweek games this coming spring, but one of those dates -- a trip to Rutgers -- comes in a difficult spot for Princeton: Sandwiched between Ivy League games against Pennsylvania and Yale, the Tigers will throw hands with a capable Scarlet Knights team in the middle of a month that features five competition dates over a 23-day stretch (three of those games are against Ivy rivals). That's a rough spot to play a team where any kind of letdown could result in a sideways effort.