MILWAUKEE — The Marquette University men’s lacrosse team officially announced Wednesday its 2013 pre-season and regular-season schedule for the program’s inaugural campaign, which begins in February and features match-ups against three teams that participated in the 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championship.
Marquee games on the slate include the regular-season opener at Ohio State, MU’s first-ever NCAA Division I contest, and a pair of home games against Detroit and Duke later in the season. Also highlighted are contests with Notre Dame and Denver; both teams, — along with Duke — made appearances in last year’s NCAA tournament, with the Fighting Irish and the Blue Devils each advancing to the NCAA semifinals.
“I think we, as a coaching staff, have put together a schedule with a good mixture opponents from around the country,” said head coach Joe Amplo. “This schedule will allow us to play quality opponents and promote the Marquette lacrosse program throughout the country.”
MU will make history on Saturday, Feb. 23, when it travels to Columbus, Ohio for the program’s first-ever regular season contest, taking on the Buckeyes of Ohio State. The Buckeyes finished their 2012 campaign ranked No. 18 in the nation, falling to Fairfield in the Eastern College Athletic Conference’s semi-final match.
MU continues its seven-game road swing through month of March traveling West to Air Force (March 2) and then to Jacksonville (March 9), Mercer (March 12) and at Saint Joseph’s University (March 16). To conclude the road stretch, the Golden Eagles will square off with future conference foe Georgetown (March 29) in Washington, D.C.
Marquette will meet Notre Dame at a neutral location in Chicago, Ill., at a site yet to be determined on April 2. Notre Dame went 13-3 overall in 2012 and made its second trip in three years to the national semifinals, where it fell to eventual-national champion Loyola (Md.).
MU makes a return trip to Colorado to play at Denver on April 5. The Pioneers will be the second-consecutive NCAA postseason opponent that the Golden Eagles will face.
Following a game at High Point, Marquette will again make program history when it hosts its first-ever regular season home game at Valley Fields when the Golden Eagles face-off with Detroit at 1 p.m. CT.
“Certainly playing Detroit, another Midwest school, is a highlight on our schedule,” Amplo said of the 2013 home-opener. “I think their goals are similar to ours, in that they are also trying to build their program the right way and grow the game of lacrosse in the Midwest. Each team plays very similar style of lacrosse and should make for an interesting game.”
Marquette will head to Louisville, Ky., to take on Bellarmine (April 23), before traveling to Queens, N.Y. for a game against 2012 BIG EAST tournament runner-up, St. John’s, on April 27.
MU concludes its first regular-season campaign on Saturday, May 5, when eight-time NCAA semifinalist and 2010 national champion, Duke, makes the trip to Valley Fields. The Blue Devils captured their seventh ACC title last season and fell to national runner-up, Maryland, in the 2012 NCAA tourney.
“The game against Duke will provide us with an indication of where we want to be and what we want to be as a program,” said Amplo. “I think the fans in the area and on campus are going to really enjoy that game-day atmosphere and will enjoy the quality of play that our team will showcase on the last day of the season.”
Marquette will play the 2013 season as an independent, before transitioning to the BIG EAST Conference next year for the 2014 campaign.
MU will be in exhibition-action on a pair of dates this October and again in the spring season. Marquette will travel to Folsom, Pa., to join over 20 other college lacrosse programs at the sixth annual Nick Colleluori Fall Men’s Lacrosse Classic on Saturday, Oct. 6, and conclude the fall season by hosting Concordia University Wisconsin at Valley Fields on Saturday, Oct. 13 (10 a.m.)
“The fall season is about getting our guys experience and seeing how they react to competition and another opponent,” said Amplo. “It will be the first time we get to play against someone besides ourselves, so it will be an exciting day for us.”
In February, MU will prep for the regular season with preseason games at Michigan (Feb. 2) and either Hofstra or Penn on Feb. 9.
Start times for each match in the 2013 campaign will be released at a later date.