Five home games and two contests against schools that advanced to the national semifinals last season highlight the 2014 Canisius College men’s lacrosse schedule, announced by head coach Randy Mearns on Wednesday.
“We once again have a very demanding schedule that will challenge us throughout the year,” Mearns said. “Any time you play two teams that made the Final Four a year ago, you know that you will have your hands full but we’re looking forward to testing our team in the non-conference season. Ultimately, our main goal is to prepare us for our conference season and then qualify for the MAAC Tournament but we can’t wait to get started in two weeks at Boston.”
The Griffs open the 2014 campaign on Feb. 15 in Boston with a contest against the Terriers. Boston University is in its inaugural season of men’s lacrosse and Canisius will represent the program’s first-ever home game.
Canisius then hits the road to face Air Force (Feb. 22) and Denver (Feb. 23) in Denver, Colo., before squaring off with Cornell (March 4) in Ithaca, N.Y. Both the Pioneers and Big Red advanced to the national semifinals in 2013.
The Griffs host Hobart in their home opener on March 11, while also welcoming VMI (April 19) to the Demske Sports Complex in non-conference action. Canisius also travels to face Albany (March 25) and Binghamton (April 15) out of MAAC action.
Canisius begins conference play on March 15 with a home contest against Monmouth on March 15. The Griffs also host defending MAAC Champions Detroit (March 23) and Manhattan (April 5), while playing at Siena (March 29), Quinnipiac (April 15) and Marist (April 26).
The Griffs' home games against Hobart and Detroit are both slated to be televised on Time Warner SportsChannel.
The top four teams in the MAAC regular season qualify for the 2014 MAAC Championship, held on the campus of Marist. The semifinals are scheduled for May 1 with the championship game slated for May 3.
Canisius is returning nine starters and 24 letterwinners from the 2013 squad and is just two years removed from the program’s second MAAC Championship in 2012.