The Providence Friars and Sacred Heart Pioneers are the next two teams going through our 2017 schedule previews. The Friars finished last season with a 7-9 mark and a 1-4 Big East conference record, but somehow managed to get into the Big East Tournament since St. John’s and Georgetown also had similar marks. Meanwhile, the Pioneers finished 2-14 last year and 0-6 in NEC play. Let’s dive into both of these schedules.
The Friars stay in the New England area for their first six games of the regular season. After a scrimmage with Siena January 28, the season opener is at home against Boston University on February 4. That is followed by a trip against Holy Cross on the 11th. Providence travels a short distance to take on Bryant February 18, before ending the month back home against Vermont on the 25th.
The Friars continue a three-game home stand on March 4 with a game against Sacred Heart, before finishing up against High Point a week later. Providence goes on the road to Hempstead to take on Hofstra on the 18th before playing UMass Lowell on March 21. The team wraps up the month at home on the 26th against Drexel.
Big East play starts in the Bronx on April 1 against St. John’s. That was the team’s only win in conference play last season, and pretty much helped them get in the Big East Tournament. The Friars host their next three games of the season, beginning against Georgetown on the 8th. But Providence has a brutal end of the season as well. That stretch begins at home against Marquette on April 15, before hosting Brown three days later. The team has to make a quick travel to Denver to take on the Pioneers on April 22, and the regular season wraps up at home on the 29th against Villanova.
The Friars’ biggest loss is arguably starting attackman Will Mazzone. He led the team with 39 goals, 23 points, and 62 points in 2016. Michael Perettine will be a loss on the midfield. But Providence still has a ton of key contributors from last year, including sophomore attackman Brendan Kearns, senior attackman Ryan Schaffer, senior midfielder Keenan Assaraf, and sophomore midfielder Joseph McHale. Seniors Jimmy Cunningham and Jarrod Neumann, along with junior James Barclay, will continue to anchor the Providence defense. One of last year’s top freshmen goalies, Tate Boyce, returns in net, while Colin McKendry, David Procopio, and Alex George will probably be the three main FOGOs this season.
The Pioneers open up 2017 with their home opener against Stony Brook on February 14. The team takes on Furman at the US Lacrosse facility in Baltimore on the 18th. It’s the first ever meeting between the two teams. The Pioneers return home on the 21st to host Lafayette.
March opens up with a road game against Dartmouth on the 4th. After that, three home games follow, beginning with a meeting with Vermont on March 11. NEC conference play opens up on the 18th against Robert Morris, followed by defending NEC champion Hobart on the 25th to end the month.
A two-game road trip follows to start the month of April. The team heads to Emmitsburg, Maryland to take on Mount St. Mary’s on the 1st. The team makes their way up to Rhode Island to take on Bryant on April 8. Sacred Heart hosts St. Joe’s on the 15th, before making a visit to Hartford to take on the defending America East champion Hawks three days later. The final home game for the Pioneers is against newcomer Cleveland State on April 22, and the regular season finale is against NEC foe Wagner on the 29th.
After starting 2-1 last season, the Pioneers lost their final 13 games to go 2-14. The team hopes to rebound after a disappointing year. Young guys such as sophomore midfield Max Tuttle and senior midfielders Brian Masi and Bryce Jurk will be looked to continue to contribute on offense. LSM Ryan O’Donoghue is a senior, and the entire starting defense last season has graduated. Look for junior Matt Caracappa, senior Matthew Guerrisi, and junior defensive midfielder TJ Fitzell to step up in the defensive department. Junior Mike Calvagna should take most of the draws this year at the face-off X, while sophomore Greg Price should keep his spot as the team’s starting goaltender.
To see every team’s schedule and which one’s we’ve highlighted, check our our master schedule list.