Penn and Jacksonville became teams 15 and 16 to announce their 2017 schedules. Let’s take a look at each team’s schedule for the upcoming season.
The Quakers will make a short trip to open up the regular season on Hawk Hill against St. Joe’s on February 18. The Hawks won for the first time in 13 meetings in last year’s regular season finale at Penn. The Quakers will then take on High Point for the first time in program history on the 21st in the Baltimore area. The location is still to be determined.
UPDATE: A High Point player told me that they are not playing Penn in 2017.
Penn wraps up February with their home opener against a new look Virginia team led by Lars Tiffany on February 25. It’ll be the third straight year these two teams meet, dating back to the ACC showcase game at Talen Energy Stadium back in 2014.
Mike Murphy’s crew heads to Happy Valley to take on Penn State on March 4. This is the third straight meeting between the two teams, as Penn won last year’s meeting at Franklin Field, 11-7. The Quakers then welcome Navy to University City on March 7. It’s the 49th meeting between the two teams, but it’ll be the first time they play each other since Navy won back in the first round of the 2004 NCAA Tournament. They last met in the regular season back in 1999. Penn travels to Ann Arbor to take on Michigan March 11. The two teams met last year in Penn’s season opener, where the Quakers won, 12-10. With the regular season nonconference portion complete, Penn begins Ivy League play at home against archrival Princeton on March 18. The Quakers put up a 20 mark on the Tigers last year in New Jersey, which was a school record against Princeton. Penn then makes a trip up to Ithaca to take on top freshman Jeff Teat and the Cornell Big Red on the 25th. The Quakers hope to get their first win in Ithaca since 1997.
Penn welcomes defending Ivy League champion Yale to Franklin Field April 1, which should be a close game. Last year’s pair of meetings were decided by a goal each, with the regular season finish being decided in overtime. Both games were won by the Bulldogs. The Quakers make the trip to Rhode Island to play Mike Daly and the somewhat-new look Brown Bears on April 8. The team stays in the New England area the following week as they travel to Cambridge to take on the Harvard Crimson. Penn has won the last four meetings, and 3-1 in the last four meetings at Harvard. The Quakers wrap up their home slate with Dartmouth on the 22nd, before playing the fifth-place ACC team at Duke University on April 29 to end the regular season.
The Quakers return a large nucleus of their team from last year. Although they lose leading assist and point getter Nick Doktor to graduation, they return leading goal scorer Simon Mathias, Reilly Hupfeldt, Kevin McGeary, Alex Roesner, defenseman Connor Keating, and goaltender Reed Junkin. I wouldn’t be shocked if Penn wins the Ivy League championship this year and make the NCAA Tournament, whether as an AQ or with an at-large bid.
The Dolphins brought in a new coaching staff with former Cuse grads John Galloway and Casey Powell leading the way. They open up their season February 11 at home against Lehigh before hosting Marquette a week later on the 18th. The Dolphins finish February with two road games in three days. First, they travel to Pontiac, Michigan to take on the Detroit Mercy Titans. They’re in Columbus two days later to play the Buckeyes.
Jacksonville continues a four-game road trip on March 4 as they play defending America East champion Hartford in Connecticut. The road trip wraps up on March 13 in Durham, North Carolina against John Danowski and the Duke Blue Devils. SoCon conference play opens up March 18 as the Dolphins host a tough Richmond Spiders squad, which should be a great first conference game for the team to see where the squad is at. Their SoCon schedule takes them to Colorado of all places to play defending champion Air Force on March 25 to wrap up the second month of the regular season.
April will be a pivotal month for the Dolphins, as five games will either make or break their chance of playing in the SoCon tournament. It all starts at home on April 1 as they take on Furman. They’re at VMI a week later on April 8, which was Jacksonville’s only SoCon conference win last season, followed by another road game against Mercer on April 15. The last regular season home game is April 22 against High Point, before wrapping up the season in Kentucky against Bellarmine on April 29.
Last year, the Dolphins were 3-10 with that lone conference win against VMI. The hires of Galloway and Powell might not make an immediate impact as Tiffany to Virginia or Daly to Brown probably will, but look for Jacksonville to make some noise in the near future, and maybe even beginning this season. Air Force, Richmond, and High Point are expected to make the SoCon tournament once again. As for the final team, Bellarmine made it last year, but Mercer was fifth, followed by Furman and JU. I expect Jacksonville to improve on their SoCon conference record from 2016 and compete for that fourth and final SoCon tourney spot. I don’t think they make it in, but they’ll make some noise in 2017.
Here’s who released their schedules so far:
Hofstra, St. Joe’s, Towson, and UMass Lowell