The University of Detroit announced the spring slate this afternoon (and there was much rejoicing).
|Feb. 1||Notre Dame (exh.)||Home (Pontiac)|
|Feb. 16||Mercer||Home (Pontiac)|
|Feb. 19||Michigan||Home (Pontiac)|
|Feb. 23||Robert Morris||Away (Moon Twp., Pa.)|
|March 1||VMI||Away (Lexington, Va.)|
|March 8||Wagner||Away (Staten Island, N.Y.)|
|March 22||Canisius||Away (Buffalo, N.Y.)*|
|April 19||Manhattan||Away (Riverdale, N.Y.)*|
|April 26||Monmouth||Away (West Long Branch, N.J.)*|
Interactive Whiteboards by PolyVision
A few thoughts:
- The 12 opponents who played last year (this is Monmouth’s first season) averaged a Tempo Free Lax rating of 30.83%. That would be on par with about team No. 52 out of 63 last year.
- Of course, a few programs (namely Robert Morris, Bellarmine, Marist, and Siena) are way above the rest of the teams on the docket. All told, the Titans will play six of last year’s bottom ten teams in the nation. One is a local rival, and the majority of them are conference opponents. So goes it in the MAAC.
- Speaking of that local rival, a couple points. First, I’m not expecting a third-straight year of U-M struggling to be even remotely competent. They’ll be better. Maybe not a 50th percentile team, but better. I’m also a little surprised to see them on the schedule after a couple sources had indicated they might take a year or two off to prevent the rivalry from getting too heated.
- Three games (two exhibition) at Ultimate Soccer. A nice venue, but wouldn’t it be cool to see the Titans and Wolverines square off on Titan Field? I think so. Obviously, the access to an indoor venue for early-season games is still a huge positive.
All told, a nice slate for Detroit’s goals: win the MAAC to get into the NCAA tournament, and get some preparation to possibly spring an upset – one they fell just short of pulling against Notre Dame in the spring – in the first round. The three easiest conference games (Canisius, Manhattan, and Monmouth, per last year’s ratings) are on the road, meaning that the three tougher opponents come to Detroit. that should allow for a good UDM seed in the conference tourney, which will be held at Marist, another conference title contender.