After periodic checking by yours truly, the official Detroit lacrosse schedule has been posted on the UDM website. Right into the nitty-gritty:
|Feb. 7||Ohio State||Home (Pontiac)|
|Feb. 14||Michigan||Away (Ann Arbor, Mich.)|
|Feb. 21||Robert Morris||Home (Pontiac)|
|Feb. 27||Marquette||Neutral (Louisville, Ky.)|
|March 1||Bellarmine||Away (Louisville, Ky.)|
|March 10||Mercer||Home (Pontiac)|
|March 14||Air Force||Away (Colorado Springs, Colo.)|
|March 21||Quinnipiac||Away (Hamden, Conn.)*|
|April 4||Marist||Away (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.)*|
|April 18||Siena||Away (Loudonville, N.Y)*|
|May 1-3||MAAC Tournament||Highest Seed*|
Interactive Whiteboards by PolyVision
Thoughts on thoughts on thoughts:
- Starting at the end, because it’s not opposite day: Even if the Titans are the top seed in the league the MAAC website says “Highest Seeded Full MAAC Member” which implies that no associate members (Titans are the only non-full member in the league) can host. It makes sense geographically – basically all the other schools are a drive from each other, while UDM is a flight or long-ass bus ride for all – but stinks for the Titans’ purposes.
- The way the schedule sets up with with six straight league games to end the season, all non-conference home games will be at Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac, and all MAAC home games will be at Titan Field. It’ll be in interesting transition of sorts, but one the Titans are used to – usually with a bit less defined a line, to be fair.
- The non-conference slate includes winnable contests (Marquette, though UDM has had fits even in the first few years of the Golden Eagles’ program, Michigan, Robert Morris, Mercer) and some that will be tougher to win. A nice test, though for low-major lacrosse programs in the MAAC, it’s all about setting up for a conference run to get into the NCAA Tournament. This schedule sets the Titans up to do that as well as possible.
- In the league, the two toughest tests in Siena and Marist are on the road, then the next two, Canisius and Quinnipiac, are a home/road split. Monmouth and Manhattan are both at UDM. Sweep the home games, do what you can on the road, and Detroit should have a good shot to make the MAAC Tournament even if the team isn’t much better than last year’s (another post for another day). In a seven-team league, three outfits will miss the championships, and if Manhattan and Monmouth are probably 6-7, beating out one of the other pair is the path, and Detroit has the schedule to be able to do it.
Going 3-4 in the non-conference and taking care of business in the league (a 4-2 or 3-3 mark) seems most likely at this point. That would be a solid season, and a nice debut for new head coach Chris Kolon. Better than that, and it’s clear that the coaching change on The Mile is one that worked out.
There is some significant unknown with the coaching change. Though there’s stability that comes with promoting from within, a new man in charge is a change nonetheless. The Titans have been building as a mid-major program in the past few seasons with positive blips (taking Notre Dame to the brink after winning the MAAC a couple years ago) and some negative. This schedule provides the opportunity to maintain consistency there, and the Titans have a chance to move up the pecking order a bit, as well.