Maryland men's lacrosse finally released its schedule for the 2016 season on Wednesday. Most programs started releasing their schedules back in late October and early November, but the Terps decided to release theirs one day before Christmas Eve.
The season starts in six weeks. Why Maryland made us wait so long I do not know, but this frustration can now be put aside as we can look at who the Terps will be squaring off with this coming season, and when and where they'll be meeting. The schedule is here. Let's take a look at the road the Terps will travel as they try to rebound from a loss in the NCAA Championship game last to Denver last season. (Home games are in bold.)
Navy - Saturday, February 13
High Point - Saturday, February 20
Yale - Saturday, February 27
Maryland will open the season against Navy for the second consecutive season after fifteen straight years of playing the Mids in April. High Point is in its fourth season as a program, and this is Maryland's first matchup against the Panthers. We'll see Yale for the third time in just over a year after two meetings a season ago, with one coming in the NCAA Tournament.
Notre Dame (Orange Country, California) - Saturday, March 5
Drexel - Tuesday, March 8
Princeton - Saturday, March 12
Albany - Wednesday, March 16
North Carolina - Saturday, March 26
Penn - Tuesday, March 29
March sees six games for the Terps, their most in any one month this season, unless they get to the Big Ten and NCAA Championship games. In fact, it's six games in the span of just 24 days. It starts with Maryland's second consecutive trip to California to play a former ACC foe, this time facing off with Notre Dame. The Irish joined the Terps in the Final Four last season and will be the best team on Maryland's schedule. Then the Terps go on the road for two more games against teams they played last season, playing a midweek game at Drexel and a Saturday tilt against Princeton.
They'll return home for the first time in just under a month on March 16 for what may be the most entertaining game on the schedule when they take on Albany. The Great Danes are without any of the Thompson trio for the most first time since 2011, but there's still plenty of firepower. Another game vs a former ACC team is on the docket when UMD plays UNC for the 3rd time in a year or so. The Terps won both games last year and this one should be another highly intriguing match-up between two sure-to-be preseason top-10 squads.
Michigan - Saturday, April 2nd
Penn State - Sunday, April 10th
Rutgers - Saturday, April 16th
Ohio State - Sunday, April 24th
Johns Hopkins - Saturday, April 30th
April brings the start of conference play. After playing three home games and just two away games last year, it's the reverse this year. Maryland starts with two on the road vs Michigan and Penn State. Rutgers is at home on April 16th. Those three were the bottom feeders of the conference last campaign. Then comes the two toughest tests in conference play, teams that Maryland went 1-1 against last season. First comes Ohio State, whom the Terps beat in a thrilling comeback before losing to in the Big Ten Tournament. Then the Terps visit Johns Hopkins, whom they lost to at home in conference play before beating in the Final Four. The Buckeyes, Jays, and Terps figure to make up the Big Ten's top three.
The Big Ten Tournament will take place on Thursday, March 5th and Saturday, March 7th. Johns Hopkins will host this year's tournament at Homewood Field in Baltimore.