Navy Announces the Mids' 2014 Men's Lacrosse Schedule

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Third-year Navy men's lacrosse coach Rick Sowell released the Mids' 2014 schedule on Tuesday, which features games against six teams who finished the 2013 campaign ranked among the top 20 in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll, including four programs who played in the 2013 NCAA Championship.

"I'm excited to announce our 2014 schedule," said Sowell. "Once again it presents a significant challenge for our program, but after a fall in which we made many positive strides, we look forward to the opportunity to compete against such quality opponents."

Navy is on tap to play a 13-game regular-season schedule with seven contests to be played on its home field, Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Additionally, 2012 National Champion Loyola and first-year varsity program Boston University have joined the Patriot League to make it a nine-team league. The annual Patriot League Tournament will now be a six-team playoff with the top-two seeds earning opening-round byes.

"The Navy lacrosse welcomes both Loyola and Boston University to the Patriot League," added Sowell. "The addition of these two programs undoubtedly makes the Patriot League even tougher and enhances to an already outstanding conference."

The Midshipmen kick off their spring season with a pair of scrimmages, including a Jan. 25 meeting in Columbus against Ohio State, who made it to the quarterfinals of last year's NCAA Tournament. Meanwhile, the Mids are set to take on Virginia in Annapolis on Feb. 1 in their final preseason tune-up. Virginia has earned the second-most NCAA Tournament invitations with 36, including dates to the Dance in each of the last nine years, and has won five National Championships.

For the seventh year in a row, Navy will play its season opener against VMI when the two teams face off on Feb. 8 (12:00 pm) at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Last year Erik Hoffstadt (Dover, Del.) and Sam Jones (Annapolis, Md.) scored hat tricks, while Austin Heneveld (East Hampton, N.Y.) produced a career-high six-point effort to lead the Midshipmen to a 20-6 victory over the Keydets.

Navy will face the visiting Georgetown Hoyas the following Saturday in Annapolis at 12-Noon. The Feb. 15 contest will be the 24th meeting between the two programs in what has been an entertaining series. Five of the last six games between Navy and Georgetown have been decided by one goal, while the 2009 contest was a two-goal win by the Mids.

The Midshipmen begin their quest for the program's sixth Patriot League title when they travel to Lewisburg, Pa. on Saturday, Feb. 22. Navy will face Bucknell in its league opener for the sixth time overall and the fifth time in the last six years. While Navy holds a 7-6 advantage, six of the 11 league match-ups have been decided by one goal, including five of the last seven.

Navy returns to Annapolis to battle Holy Cross on March 1 at 11:00 am. A year ago, the Crusaders scored the program's first win over the Mids in the 10-game series history, posting a 7-5 win at CitiField in Flushing, N.Y.

Navy plays its next three games over the course of nine days with two of the three contests played on the road. Kicking things off will be a March 7 contest under the lights at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium against Lafayette, a program Navy owns a 14-1 series record against. Four days later (March 11), the Mids will briefly step away from Patriot League action to play at Towson. The two programs have faced one another in each of the previous four seasons with each team winning twice.

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