The Robert Morris Colonials became the 22nd Division I lacrosse team to announce their 2017 regular season schedule Friday. The Colonials went to the NEC Tournament for the first time since 2013, but lost to the St. Joe’s Hawks, 14-7. Andrew McMinn’s squad vastly improved from 2015’s 3-11 record, as they went 7-8 overall and 4-2 in the NEC. Let’s dive into this schedule.
The Colonials start with two exhibition games against Division II Seton Hill and Mercyhurst at home on January 28. The regular season opener is once again in Happy Valley against Penn State on February 4. Robert Morris lost to the Nittany Lions, 20-7. The team then heads back home to Moon Township to host Bellarmine in their home opener on February 11. The Colonials hope to avenge last year’s 11-10 loss to the Knights. Robert Morris then heads to Riverdale to take on Manhattan on February 18, before heading back home to host Detroit Mercy on the 25th. The Colonials defeated the Jaspers last season, while Detroit Mercy is a new addition to the schedule.
The month of March opens up on the road against High Point on March 5, before going back on the road to Washington D.C. to take on Georgetown, another new addition to the schedule, two days later. Three days later on March 11, the Colonials host defending Big East champion Marquette at Joe Walton Stadium. NEC conference play begins March 18 as Robert Morris travels to Fairfield to take on Sacred Heart. The team closes out March at home against Mount St. Mary’s on the 25th.
The Colonials return to Sweeney Field on the campus of St. Joe’s University, where their season ended last year in the NEC semifinals, to take on the Hawks on April 1. Robert Morris hosts Wagner on April 8, before traveling down to Charlottesville to take on Lars Tiffany and the Virginia Cavaliers, another new addition to their schedule, three days later. Their final nonconference game is on the 18th at home against Canisius. The regular season ends with two final NEC conference opponents, first against Bryant in Rhode Island on April 22, followed by the senior day game at home against defending NEC champion Hobart on the 29th.
Gone is their top two leading scorers in Luke Laszkiewicz and James Rahe. But attackmen Adrian Torok-Orban and Eddie Smith, along with midfielder Alexander Bohl, return in 2017 on offense. On defense, Zac Christianson and Zachary Bryant return after leading the team in caused turnovers, along with Jack Toomb and Will Ewing. With the departure of Matt Bukovac in goal, look for sophomore Alex Heger to get the first crack at the starting job, with senior Brett Cass as another option. Chris Barney took the majority of the face-offs last season, but with him gone, David Sturgis looks like the only viable veteran short-stick option.
Here’s a list of who’s released their schedules so far: