The Canisius College men's lacrosse team announced its 2013 schedule on Monday as the program looks to repeat as MAAC Champions. The scheduled is highlighted by hosting the conference tournament with home games against Cornell and Albany and road contests at Denver and Syracuse.
"Obviously, our schedule is very challenging and we're excited to begin in a couple of weeks," said head coach Randy Mearns. "Back-to-back games against Air Force and Denver are great for our program and will tell us where we are early in the season. It is also a great chance for us to play Syracuse at the Carrier Dome as it is a big test for our team and it is an exciting place for our team to play in.
"Having the Big Red come play us here at the Demske is not only a fantastic opportunity for out team but also for the Western New York community. We're also excited to be hosting the MAAC Tournament again as it is another great chance for Western New York fans to see great lacrosse. At the end of the day, our main focus is to qualify for the league tournament and having a chance to repeat as conference champions."
The Griffs open the 2013 campaign in Denver against Air Force (Feb. 23) and the host Pioneers (Feb. 24). Last season, Denver advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals before falling to eventual NCAA Champion, Loyola.
Canisius then opens its home slate against perennial power Cornell on March 5. The Big Red opened the season ranked seventh in the USILA Coaches Poll and is making its second trip to Buffalo, earning a 9-6 win in 2010.
The Griffs also host in-state foes Albany (March 9) and Binghamton (April 15) in non-conference action, while playing at Hobart (March 12) and Syracuse (March 29). Canisius is set to play the Orange for only the second and the first time since meeting in the 2008 NCAA Tournament, while the home date with Albany marks the first time that the Great Danes make the trek west.
Canisius opens defense of its MAAC Championship on March 16, playing at VMI in conference action. The Griffs are set to host Marist (March 23), Siena in a rematch of the 2012 title game (April 6) and Jacksonville (April 20) at the Demske Sports Complex, while playing at Manhattan (April 13) and Detroit (April 27) in league play.
The top four teams in the MAAC regular season qualify for the 2013 MAAC Championship, held at the Demske Sports Complex. The semifinals are scheduled for May 3 with the championship game slated for May 5.
The Griffs return 21 letterwinners from the team that won the program's second MAAC Championship last season and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.