QUEENS, N.Y. – St. John’s lacrosse head coach Jason Miller released the 2012 schedule on Friday as he prepares the Red Storm for one of the tougher schedules in the nation.
“Once again we have set ourselves up with as competitive a schedule as you can find in Division I lacrosse, in and out of conference,” said Miller. “Every week provides a significant test that hopefully prepares us for the first Big East tournament in May.”
St. John’s lacrosse enters its third season in the competitive Big East conference that features 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s quarterfinalists Syracuse and Notre Dame. The 2012 season will also mark the first year of the Big East Conference’s lacrosse championships in Philadelphia, Pa. Including non-conference matchups, the Red Storm will face six teams ranked in the final USILA Top 20 Coaches Poll in 2011.
This year’s schedule is once again highlighted by a trip to the Konica Minolta Big City Classic which is held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. St. John’s will face Notre Dame as part of the day long triple-header. The Big City Classic has established itself as one of the premier NCAA lacrosse events of the season with average attendance the past two years of over 25,000.
St. John’s will play five of its 13 games at DaSilva Memorial Field in Queens and also will play host for their game at MetLife Stadium. The Red Storm also faces a challenging late season road trip as it travels to Georgetown, Villanova and Drexel during the last four weeks of 2012.
The exhibition portion of the schedule begins at the University of Massachusetts on Jan. 28 followed by a home double header with Hartford and Manhattan on Feb. 4. The Red Storm will wrap up preseason play at Lafayette College on Feb. 11.
The 2012 regular season officially starts on Saturday, Feb. 18 with a non-conference home matchup against Holy Cross. The following weekend St. John’s hits the road for a rematch of last year’s competitive contest with Yale on Feb. 25.
The Red Storm will start the month of March with consecutive home games against a couple of talented New York state programs. First, Siena comes to Queens for an out of conference matchup on Saturday, March 3. The next Saturday, March 10, St. John’s takes on perennial lacrosse contender Syracuse University who finished the 2011 regular season ranked number one in the USILA coaches’ poll.
St. John’s then prepares for the busiest portion of its schedule with a road game against Stony Brook University on Tuesday, March 13 followed by a trip to conference rival Rutgers University on Saturday, March 17. The last time the Red Storm and Scarlet Knights squared off was at the 2011 Big City Classic where St. John’s took home a thrilling 9-8 victory. STJ then has a quick turnaround with a non-conference home matchup against local power Hofstra on Tuesday, March 20. The Red Storm then finish their string of four games in 11 days with another trip to the Nutmeg State and a non-conference game against Sacred Heart University in Fairfield on Saturday, March 24.
The Big City Classic on Sunday, April 1 begins the heart of the Red Storm’s Big East schedule with their anticipated matchup with the Fighting Irish. The opening faceoff is slotted for 1:00 p.m. and will be followed by a battle between Duke and Syracuse at 4:00 p.m. and then North Carolina against Johns Hopkins at 6:30 p.m. Duke, Syracuse, Notre Dame and Johns Hopkins were all quarterfinalists in the 2011 NCAA Lacrosse Championship.
The Red Storm heads south for the next two weekends with chances to avenge close conference losses from 2011. On Saturday, April 7, St. John’s takes on Georgetown in the nation’s capital with hopes of reversing the outcome from last year’s 13-9 loss to the Hoyas. Then St. John’s sets its sights on making up for last season’s 11-9 loss to Villanova on Saturday, April 14 under the lights at 7:00 p.m.
The seniors will play their final home game for St. John’s against Providence College on Saturday, April 21. The final regular season contest comes the next weekend as St. John’s makes another trip to Philadelphia to take on Drexel.
St. John’s has their sights set on playing into May this season as the Big East holds its first ever conference championship tournament. The tournament will be held at Villanova University with the semifinals taking place on Thursday, May 3 and the championship decided that Saturday, May 5.