On Tuesday, as a fun bit of news to tide us over until basketball Media Day on Wednesday, Marquette released the 2016 men's lacrosse schedule.
Here's the 13 game slate, and we'll get to some commentary afterwards....
|Sat., Feb. 20||Bellarmine||1pm|
|Sat., Feb. 27||at Richmond||TBA|
|Fri., Mar. 4||vs Detroit (Columbus, OH)||TBA|
|Sun., Mar. 6||at Ohio State||TBA|
|Sat., Mar. 12||Robert Morris||1pm|
|Sat., Mar. 19||at Quinnipiac||12pm|
|Sat., Mar. 26||Georgetown||1pm|
|Sat., Apr. 2||Villanova||1pm|
|Sat., Apr. 9||at St. John's||TBA|
|Tues., Apr. 12||at Notre Dame||4pm|
|Sat., Apr. 16||Providence||1pm|
|Sat., Apr. 23||at Duke||TBA|
|Sat., Apr. 30||at Denver||TBA|
Here's what jumped out at me:
- Five home games! The first one of the year, against Bellarmine, will be at Valley Fields, while the remaining four will be at Hart Park in Wauwatosa. Three of the games are part of league play, while the Bellarmine game is the third matchup coming out of the Midwest Lacrosse Classic. That means that Robert Morris is the only team coming to Milwaukee this season out of their own volition.
- As they did last year, Marquette will play in the Midwest Lacrosse Classic this season. The weekend in Columbus, Ohio, features four games, with Marquette playing Detroit on Friday, followed by a game against hosting Ohio State on Sunday.
- Last season, Marquette surged up the national rankings early, peaking as high as #10 in the country, but a backloaded schedule ended up costing them a spot in the NCAA tournament. This year, Marquette's got that same backloaded schedule - exactly the same, in fact, same teams and everything - and now it's all road games. At Notre Dame, at Duke, at Denver, with the final game of the year coming against the Pioneers. All three teams made it to the NCAA Final Four a year ago, with Denver topping Notre Dame in the semifinals and then beating Duke in the national championship game. Yeah, that's not going to be a picnic, as MU has never beaten any of those three squads in nine collective tries.
- With only 60-something Division 1 programs and five of them already in the Big East with Marquette, you see a lot of return opponents from year to year. That's the case with six of MU's non-conference opponents this year. However, Quinnipiac and Robert Morris are first time opponents for the Golden Eagles.
- Marquette will play three spring scrimmages this season, plus a fall ball contest on October 18. They'll be on the road for all of those, visiting Fairfield for fall ball, and then visiting Michigan, High Point, and Cornell in the spring. I'm somewhat disappointed that Marquette isn't playing High Point as a regular season game, as MU and HPU both joined Division 1 in the same year.