Brace yourselves! Winter (and February lacrosse) is coming!
So we’re about three-four months away from meaningful lacrosse action, but that doesn’t mean we can talk about the season. So with Fall Ball concluding in the coming weeks, teams are beginning to release their regular season schedules.
Add Hofstra, St. Joe’s, Towson, and UMass Lowell to that small list. They join Big Easterners Denver and Marquette in the schedule party. Let’s break each schedule down.
After their yearly scrimmage with Syracuse (Jan. 28) and hosting some the following week (Feb. 4), Hofstra has three games in the month of February, all of them against teams from New Jersey. They open the season at home against Monmouth on the 18th, followed by their yearly game against Princeton on the 25th in New Jersey, and conclude the month with a home game against NJIT on the 28th.
Here’s where the chaos begins. After traveling to the nation’s capital to take on Georgetown March 4, the Pride play five games in a span of two weeks. And it all begins with a road game against the defending national champion Tar Heels on the 11th. Hofstra’s hoping to have the same result as last year’s early season matchup. The Pride return home for four straight games to end the month, as they take on newcomer Cleveland State (March 14), Providence (March 18), Stony Brook (March 21), and St. John’s (March 25).
With Hofstra being one of the first CAA teams to unveil their schedule, it looks like we’re gonna have to rename April as “CAApril” (trademark pending) since all of their conference games, and presumably the rest of the CAA, are in that month. After two road games against Fairfield (April 1) and Delaware (April 8), the Pride return home to take on Drexel (April 15) and UMass (April 22), before concluding with a road game at Towson on the 29th.
The Pride lost Sam Llinares to graduation, but still have talented Canadian JUCO transfer attackman Josh Byrne to lead the Pride offense, along with goaltender Jack Concannon, and freshman attackman Ryan Tierney, who is one of the top incoming freshmen in the country.
Their motto is “The Hawk Will Never Die.” But in the past few seasons, the Hawk has died in the NEC Tournament, when the team was the top seed and hosted the event. St. Joe’s hopes to avoid that fate again in 2017. After scrimmages against Army (February 4) and Dartmouth (February 11), the Hawks start the season with three grueling games. They host Maryland on Valentine’s Day in their season opener, followed four days later by a home matchup against Penn on the 18th. The Hawks will fly to Durham a week later on the 25th to take on Duke.
St. Joe’s starts March with a two game stretch in the New York City area against St. John’s (March 1) and Manhattan (March 4). The Hawks then return to Sweeney Field on March 10 to host Monmouth, followed two days later with a short trip to University City to take on Drexel. After taking on Delaware in The First State on March 18, conference play opens up on the 25th with Bryant in Rhode Island.
The remainder of April is all NEC conference games, as the Hawks host Robert Morris (April 1) and Hobart (April 8) to open up the month. The Hobart game is a rematch of last year’s NEC Championship game, which the Statesmen prevailed, and is also Alumni and Family Day. St. Joe’s travels to Fairfield to take on Sacred Heart on the 15th, and return home for Senior Day on the 22nd to take on Wagner, before closing the regular season in Maryland on the 29th against Mount St. Mary’s.
The Hawks suffered a huge loss at attack with a season-ending knee injury suffered by senior Mike Rastivo. Look for Chris Blewitt, Hayes McGinley, Ray Vandegrift, and Kevin Reidinger among others to help soften the big blow to the St. Joe’s offense. On defense, Charles Giunta and Shane Taggert return as starting defensemen, along with goaltender T.J. Jones.
The defending CAA champs have FOUR scrimmages before their first game, as they take on Hobart in Geneva (January 28), at home against Villanova (February 4), and then in New Haven against Yale and Hartford (February 11). Their season finally kicks off against interstate rival Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg on the 18th, followed by a trip to D.C. to take on Georgetown on the 25th.
March gives Towson some meat in their schedule. Four of their five opponents in the month were ranked in the Top-20 at one point during 2016, and all four of those games are at Johnny Unitas Stadium. They begin March Madness at home against Loyola on the 1st, before making a quick trip to UMBC on the 4th to take on the Retrievers. The Tigers return to Johnny Unitas Stadium to take on rival Johns Hopkins on the 11th, before welcoming in Ohio State on the 14th. The March finale is a rematch of last year’s NCAA First Round upset against Denver on the 25th. The Tigers shocked the lacrosse world in Colorado and Shawn Nadelen received the “Captain Nadelen” nickname.
The Tigers open up CAApril (trademark pending) in Philly against Drexel on the 1st of tha month, before returning home to take on UMass on the 8th. Two road games follow against Delaware (April 15) and Fairfield (April 22), before wrapping up the regular season at home against Hofstra on the 29th.
The Tigers lose a ton of their star guys from last year, including Spencer Parks and goaltender Tyler White. They still have Joe Seider, Mike Lynch, and Ryan Drenner on offense, along with FOGO Alec Burckley. But how will the defense and goaltending be? Towson also got FOGO Alex Woodall from High Point over the summer. Woodall starred at nearby St. Mary’s Annapolis and helped them to a MIAA ‘A’ title in 2015.
The Riverhawks host Saint Anselm College on February 4th in their lone scrimmage as of now. They play all their February games at home to start 2017, beginning on the 11th against Boston University. The tough matchups continue with a game against Harvard the following week. UMass Lowell concludes the month with games against Siena (February 25) and Fairfield (February 28).
The Riverhawks open up March on a three-game road trip, as they take on Monmouth (March 4), Manhattan (March 11), and UMass (March 14) before opening up America East conference play at home against Binghamton on March 18. They stay home again for a game against fellow New England school Providence on the 21st before resuming conference play at Albany on the 25th.
UMass Lowell heads to Catonsville on April 1st to take on UMBC before returning home on the 8th to host Vermont. The Riverhawks travel to New Hampshire on the 11th to play Dartmouth before they head to Hartford to take on the Hawks on the 15th. Their final home game is against Stony Brook on the 21st, which also concludes AE conference play, and wrap up the regular season against NJIT on April 29.
Head coach Ed Stephenson is eager to continue his team’s improvement in their third season of Division I play. After only one win in 2015, the Riverhawks went 4-12 last season. Here’s hoping that junior Sean Tyrrell continues to improve on offense after leading the team in all scoring categories, including notching a team-high 38 points, last year.
So far, there’s six teams that have released their schedules. As more schedules come in, we’ll give them to you!