The release of schedules for the 2015 Men's Lacrosse season has been underway since early November yet Maryland took their time with their release. July saw the release of dates for Big Ten conference games, but nothing since. Finally we have the full schedule from Game 1 all through potential NCAA Tournament games. Here's a link to the schedule: 2015 Schedule. Now let's take a look at it.
Navy (A) - Saturday, February 14th
Yale (A) - Saturday, February 21st
Penn (H) - Tuesday, February 24th
Drexel (H) - Saturday, February 28th
Maryland begins their season with the last game of 2014. For the first time this century Maryland and Navy will not play in April. They'll play their first of 3 games vs Ivy League opposition vs Yale in New Haven. The Bulldogs missed out on the NCAA Tournament last year, but they are Top 20 in Inside Lacrosse's Face-Off Yearbook rankings. The first home game sees more Ivy League opposition with the Terps facing the defending Ivy Tournament champ Penn in a marquee mid-week tilt. Then they close out the opening month with Penn's next door neighbors and 2014 NCAA Quarter-Finalists Drexel. Drexel is another Top 20 team in IL's first rankings of 2015.
Princeton (H) - Saturday, March 7th
Villanova (A) - Saturday, March 14th
North Carolina (Costa Mesa, California) - Saturday, March 21st
Robert Morris (A) - Tuesday, March 24th
Michigan (H) - Sunday, March 29th
March opens with maybe my favorite game on the entire schedule. Say what you will about Princeton's success the last decade (I've poked fun many of time myself), or their 2015 outlook, but it's still Princeton. It's one of the bluebloods in Division I Lacrosse and a marquee opponent at home for the Terps. I personally cannot wait for this match-up. Villanova is on the schedule for the 4th year in a row, with this years installment up in Philly.
The lone game with a former ACC foe is with the Tar Heels. I'll be honest. Among possible former ACC opponents....UNC didn't really excite me a lot as an option. But the Heels should be at least a Top 10 team entering 2015, if not Top 5. I'm presuming the game in California is part of the Pacific Coast Shootout, a tournament that started last year with Notre Dame-Denver and Loyola-UC Santa Barbara. Then it's Robert Morris again in mid-week, the Terps travelling to Pennsylvania after welcoming RMU to Byrd last year.
The month closes with the first Big Ten Conference game for the Terps, as they host Michigan. That'll be the first weekend of lacrosse in the Big Ten's history.
Penn State (H) - Saturday, April 4th
Loyola (H) - Wednesday, April 8th
Rutgers (A) - Sunday, April 12th
Ohio State (A) - Saturday, April 18th
Johns Hopkins (H) - Sunday, April 26th
April's almost all conference games, with a tilt with Penn State kicking it off. Then it's a midweek tilt with Loyola, a game I've wanted to seen played a lot more than it is. Great to see the Greyhounds on the schedule. They've been as good as anyone over the last 3 years or so and will be great again.
The Terps' first away game in Big Ten play will be a trip to Piscataway to face Rutgers. They're on the road again a week later to face Ohio State. The Buckeyes were fantastic in 2013 before taking a step back in 2014.
And then the regular season closes with the biggest game on Maryland's schedule probably every year: Johns Hopkins. This year it takes on added importance, with the Terps and Blue Jays figuring to be the Top 2 teams in the Big Ten.
The Big Ten Tournament will take place from Thursday, April 30th and Saturday, May 2nd. Maryland is hosting the inaugural tournament at Byrd.