Here are some schedule highlights and games of note:
New Best Friends
March 14: at Furman; March 21: VMI; March 28: at Mercer; April 11: Jacksonville; April 18: Richmond; April 25: at High Point
Bellarmine has existed as a Division I lacrosse concern for nine seasons. In that almost decade-long period of competition, the Knights have run in two defunct leagues: The Great Western Lacrosse League and ECAC. This isn't to imply that Bellarmine is a league killer, but science hasn't proven otherwise which probably means that it's definitely true (or not).
Regardless of the veracity of Bellarmine being a ticking time bomb that is guaranteed to explode and spit conference peers into the ether and erase the existence of a league (maybe), the Knights have another new conference to ruin next spring (possibly) -- the Southern Conference, Division I's newest conference, a league that has assumed the assets of the Atlantic Sun and will provide geographic relevance to seven schools next spring that otherwise failed to fit in the pre-2014 organization of college lacrosse's highest level of competition. Wedging Bellarmine into the SoCon makes infinite sense, and the Knights should find a degree of purpose and comfort in a league that features numerous programs built and driven in similar ways to Bellarmine.
With respect to the team's specific conference slate, there are two defined blocks of league competition: Starting in mid-March, the Knights will play three straight conference games across consecutive Saturdays, two of those dates standing as must-wins given the relative strength of those teams compared to Bellarmine's position in the national hierarchy; after a one-week break (to face future Southern Conference-peer Air Force), the Knights will then close their league campaign with consecutive dates against three of the conference's strongest teams. Bellarmine will need to rush through the first portion of its league slate in order to provide a cushion for the final push the program will experience.
None of that is easy, but as the Knights will eventually press the plunger on the Southern Conference at some, it really doesn't matter (assumedly).
Kiss the Ring
February 18: at Duke
The Knights have never beaten a top 10 team in the program's relatively short history. Despite a feistiness that has marked Bellarmine as a dangerous concern, the program has yet to summit the mountain: An 0-15 record against opponents ranked in the top 10 serves as lost opportunities in an otherwise strong development for Kentucky's only Division I lacrosse team.
Despite the program's inability strike a deathblow against a crushing destroyer, the Knights have started to close the gap in its most difficult games: In its first eight games against top 10 opponents, the Knights lost by an average of almost 10 goals; in its last seven games against top 10 opponents, the Knights have lost by an average of just three goals. Bellarmine has been on the come, and it's likely just a matter of time before the Knights are able to get the kill it has desperately sought. It's probably a stretch to think that the Knights have what's necessary to topple the Devils this coming spring, but Bellarmine is still moving in the right direction against the nation's best teams.