Navy 2013 Lacrosse Schedule Features Four Tourney Teams

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Four games against teams who qualified for the 2012 NCAA tournament highlight the 2013 Navy men's lacrosse schedule released by second-year head coach Rick Sowell on Tuesday. Additionally, Navy will play host to six home games played at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, including its April 5 contest against NCAA finalist Maryland.

"We are excited about the challenge our 2013 schedule presents," said Sowell, who guided the Midshipmen to a 6-6 record in his first season and featured wins over nationally-ranked Colgate and Johns Hopkins. "Parity in Division I lacrosse is at an all-time high and we'll need to be on top of our game each and every week."

The Midshipmen kick off their spring season with a pair of scrimmages on the road against two of the most successful programs in recent memory. Navy will battle Duke, a team who has played in six consecutive NCAA Tournaments and was a semifinalist a year ago, in Durham on Jan. 26. Meanwhile, the Mids are set to take on Virginia in Charlottesville on Feb. 2 in their final preseason tune-up. Virginia has earned the second-most NCAA Tournament invitations with 35, including dates to the Dance in each of the last eight years, and has won five National Championships.

For the sixth consecutive year, Navy will play its season opener against VMI when the two teams face off on Feb. 9 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Last year attackmen Tucker Hull (Charlotte, N.C.) and Sam Jones (Annapolis, Md.) combined for 17 points, including 11 goals, as the Mids scored a 14-7 victory over the Keydets.

The Midshipmen will play the first of two new opponents on its 2013 schedule with a Friday, Feb. 15 contest against Detroit in Annapolis. The Titans are in their fifth year as a Div. I program, returning 35 members from a squad that posted a 6-9 record and was the No. 2 seed in the MAAC Tournament last spring.

Just four days later, Navy will make the trek to Fairfield, Conn. to battle the Stags in a midweek meeting at Lessing Field in the inaugural meeting between the two programs. Fairfield, which was elevated to a varsity program in 1993, won a program-record 12 games in 2012 and twice reached a program-best national ranking of 13th during the year. For the second consecutive season the Stags upset the second seed to advance to the ECAC Championship Game, where it fell to eventual National Champion Loyola.

The Fairfield contest kicks off three consecutive road games for the Midshipmen. Following it's Tuesday match-up against the Stags, Navy rekindles its series with Georgetown on Sunday, Feb. 24. A scheduling glitch in moving Patriot League foe Lehigh from a week day to a weekend pushed the annual tilt between the Mids and Hoyas off last spring's schedule. The two will pick the series in Washington, D.C., meeting for the 23rd time overall and the 23rd time in the last 24 years.

"I've always enjoyed adding new teams to the schedule and the addition of teams such as up-and-coming Detroit, as well as Fairfield, who is coming off the program's most successful season and past rival Georgetown, we will have our hands full leading up to Patriot League play. This will be a real test and prepare us for league play, a league that by all accounts is the best it has ever been."

The Midshipmen begin their quest for the program's sixth Patriot League title when they travel to Lewisburg, Pa. on Saturday, March 2. Navy will face Bucknell in their league opener for the fifth time overall and the fourth time in the last five years. While Navy holds a 7-5 advantage, six of the 10 league match-ups have been decided by one goal, including five of the last six.

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2012-12-04



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