The High Point Panthers became the 20th Division I lacrosse team to announce their 2017 regular season schedule Wednesday afternoon, during the start of the signing period for recruits in the Class of 2017. The Panthers finished last season 9-6, as well as 5-2 in the Southern Conference. They got blown out by Richmond, 17-6, in the SoCon semifinals. Let’s dive into this schedule.
The Panthers have three road scrimmages in January, as they’ll take on North Carolina, Marquette, and Johns Hopkins, a new addition, before their season opener. High Point scrimmaged the Tar Heels and the Golden Eagles last year. The Panthers open the season in Durham on February 11 against the Duke Blue Devils, with their home opener three days later on Valentine’s Day against Georgetown. They added the Hoyas and took away the Boston University Terriers. They’re on the road four days later against National Runner-Up Maryland in College Park on the 18th, before returning home to take on St. John’s on February 25, another new addition from 2016.
High Point travels back to Charlottesville to take on the Virginia Cavaliers March 1. Last year, the Panthers shocked the lacrosse world and defeated the Wahoos, 12-11, in overtime. Jon Torpey’s crew hopes to have that same magic yet again. The team returns home on the 5th as they host Robert Morris. Last year, the Panthers defeated the Colonials in Moon Township. High Point wraps up their nonconference portion of the schedule on March 11 in Rhode Island against the Providence Friars. SoCon play begins March 17 on the road against VMI before a huge matchup on March 25 at home against Richmond to end the month. The Panthers last defeated the Spiders in the SoCon title game in 2015 in double overtime to advance to their first ever NCAA Tournament.
The final five games of the regular season are all SoCon conference matchups, beginning April 1 in Georgia against Mercer. The Panthers then travel to Louisville, Kentucky to take on Bellarmine on April 8, before returning home to take on Furman April 15. High Point makes the trip to Jacksonville to take on a Dolphins team that could potentially be in the hunt for the final spot in the SoCon Tournament at that point in the season. The season finale is at home against last year’s SoCon champion Air Force.
The Panthers lose last year’s top two leaders in points to graduation in Dan Lomas and Matt Thistle. They bring back seniors Michael Leclair and Dallas Bridle, along with juniors Connor Robinson, Peyton Garrett, and T Moyer, who probably has the best first name in all of college lacrosse. Don’t forget the return of Cole Carns, who suffered a season-ending injury last fall. He should help the offense a lot with his return. Tim Troutner Jr. is back in goal, as well as the return of defensemen Tanner Landstra and Joel Schwarz, as well as contributors Terrell Sands, Jimmy Wyrick, and Griff Caligiuri. One big concern is at the faceoff spot with the graduation of Jamie Piluso and the transfer of Alex Woodall to Towson. Sophomore Brandon Savoie took seven faceoffs last year and won three of them. Former Penn State Nittany Lion Chris Young played sparingly in two seasons there and hopes to compete for the top FOGO role. Former Syracuse recruit Reece Belcher is also at High Point, along with freshman Davis Sampere.
Here’s a list of who’s released their schedules so far: