The Syracuse athletic department and the men’s lacrosse coaching staff will have plenty to do before the team takes the practice field in January—not the least of which is booking the schedule for its first season in the ACC.
The schedule likely won’t be released until December, but it’ll be interesting to see how difficult it gets. To be sure, the ACC will be a just bit more of a beast than the Big East was. Instead of facing growing programs like Villanova, Providence and St. John’s, the Orange now must deal with lacrosse powerhouses Duke, Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland (for a year), not to mention fellow Big East transfer Notre Dame.
Will Desko continue to book traditional schedule stalwarts Johns Hopkins, Princeton, Cornell, Army and Hobart? Will the team continue to face its former Big East rivals like Georgetown and Rutgers? I hope so—even if it turns the schedule into a veritable, week-in-week-out gauntlet.
The Orange lost much of its flexibility and strength of schedule when it left the independent ranks to join the Big East just a couple years ago. Now, instead of being forced to schedule six league games, it only has to book five. That opens up a slot for a team like UMass or Denver.
As the preeminent program in college lacrosse, Syracuse should schedule the best—even if it means a stumble every once in a while. Here’s a potential rundown of opponents:
- North Carolina
- Notre Dame
- Johns Hopkins
If Syracuse survives its schedule and finishes in the top four of the ACC standings, it’ll only have to travel four hours south to Philadelphia for the conference championship in 2014 and 2015. (The two teams that don’t qualify for the tournament will face each other there too.)
Orange fans should be happy about the move to PPL Park, home to Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union. That’s a bit more palatable than travelling much further to a conference team’s site, where the tournament is typically held.
- Syracuse lacrosse head coach John Desko stands out among coaching peers - August 26, 2015
- What Syracuse’s new AD needs to know about Syracuse lacrosse - July 17, 2015
- Syracuse lacrosse’s latest disappointment is the harshest yet - June 5, 2015
- What it will take for Syracuse lacrosse to win title 12 - May 13, 2015
- Syracuse lacrosse will be fine if it can prevent the late deficits - April 21, 2015
- Syracuse lacrosse exacts a bit of revenge against Duke - March 25, 2015
- Three games in, faceoffs, goalkeeping far from concerns for Syracuse lacrosse - February 26, 2015
- Dream big, Syracuse lacrosse fans — It’s ‘championship or bust’ - January 30, 2015
- Boeheim, in other words, signals the start of Syracuse lacrosse watch - December 19, 2014
- Syracuse lacrosse dips into the fountain of youth, nets high school freshman commit - November 7, 2014