Here are some schedule highlights and games of note:
March 10: at Hobart; March 17: Albany; March 21: Marist; March 28: Siena; April 7: at Cornell; April 14: Binghamton
40 percent of Canisius' regular season schedule this coming spring is populated with teams with a New York mailing address north of New York City. The state's fertile lacrosse area north of the Bronx is ripe with Division I teams, and the only programs from the most beautiful part of New York State that the Griffs are missing from their 2015 slate are Army, Colgate, and Syracuse. The best kinds of schedules are the ones with heavily regional influence, and Canisius' set of fixtures this season is loaded with reference points on the New York State Thruway system. That's pretty damn radical.
Go West and Whatever
February 21: v. Furman; February 22: v. Air Force
The Griffs will once again head west in 2015 to participate in the Frontier Airlines Face-Off Classic at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium. Unlike in prior seasons, though, Canisius will not face their host for the weekend, dodging Denver and instead throwing hands with Air Force and Furman. Those are solid tests for Canisius early in the year with the Paladins forming the tail-end to a manageable two-game stretch to start the season and Air Force offering an increased competitive environment without accelerating the team's overall volition. These are the types of games -- dates in rapid success in a unique environment -- that can permit Canisius to evolve on its own terms. The Golden Griffins' voyage to Colorado will not dictate the team's ceiling this coming season, but it will help Canisius find its purpose at the early stages of the team's campaign.
Same Crime, Different Scene?
March 17: Albany
Canisius pulled one of the biggest upsets of the season last year, dropping Albany on the road. The Griffs' win ranked as LaxPower's second biggest upset of the year, trailing only VMI's ridiculous two-goal victory over Air Force as the nation's most bonkers result. LaxPower projected the Griffs as a seven-goal underdog to the Great Danes, and yet Canisius never trailed en route to the team's 14-10 victory over the eventual national quarterfinalists. With Albany visiting Demske this season and Canisius having the look of an experienced team poised to create havoc against a known quantity, the Griffs could bag a big kill for the second season in a row.