Limestone Set for 15-Game Regular Season Schedule
from press release
GAFFNEY, S.C. – Coming off a record-tying campaign last season, Limestone men's lacrosse is set to play a 15-game regular season schedule that features 10 home games. Last season, the Saints went 15-2 and qualified for the NCAA Division II Tournament for a record 12th straight season.
That 15-2 record included the Conference Carolinas Championship for the third straight season, wins over four nationally ranked opponents and a home NCAA Semifinal game for the first time since 2004. Their only two losses on the season came at the hands of eventual national champion No. 4 Mercyhurst (12-8) and national runner-up No. 5 Adelphi (14-11).
"We are excited about the challenges that our 2012 schedule presents to our program" said head men's lacrosse coach J.B. Clarke. "Combining our Conference Carolinas schedule with out of conference games against some of the best teams in the region will make for a very interesting spring. Add Dowling and Merrimack to the mix and we will once again have one of the toughest schedules in the country."
This season, will kick off with seven straight home games beginning with a pair of Florida schools on February 12 and 18. Rollins and Florida Southern will visit Saints Field on those dates before the Saints step into Conference Carolinas play against Lenoir-Rhyne on Wednesday, February 22. A week later they will take on second-year program Lenoir-Rhyne.
The month of March will also begin with two more Florida schools coming north as Saint Leo takes on Limestone on Saturday, March 3 and first-year program University of Tampa a day later. The season-opening homestand will be capped off with yet another newcomer as the newest Conference Carolinas lacrosse team, Coker, travels to Gaffney, S.C. on March 6. The Cobras are the first of two new men's lacrosse teams in the league as Mount Olive will launch their program next season.
In their only scheduled neutral site competition this season, the Saints will travel to Baltimore, Md. to take on Merrimack which went 11-6 a year ago and enters this season at No. 9 in Lacrosse Magazine's Preseason Poll. The Saints will return home to take on Wingate on March 14 before two more road games at rivals Belmont Abbey (March 17) and Queens University of Charlotte (March 31). The game against the Crusaders will take on special meaning as it will be against longtime assistant and former player Chris Barrett who accepted the head coaching position in the offseason.
The schedule won't get any easier in April as Limestone hosts an always tough Mars Hill squad at the end of the first week of the month before taking on Pfeiffer, ranked No. 10 by Lacrosse Magazine, a week later on April 14. The Saints escaped Mars Hill by a 13-11 score last season and defeated the Falcons 10-5 in the Conference Carolinas Championship game.
Limestone will then head to Charlotte, N.C. for the Conference Carolinas Tournament. The semifinals will be on April 20 with the championship game being played two days later on the 22nd. Following the tournament, the Saints will travel to Salisbury, N.C. to take on Catawba on April 28 and to Oakdale, N.Y. to take on No. 6 Dowling on Sunday, May 6.
The NCAA Division II National Semifinals will be played on May 19 or 20 at campus sites with the winners advancing to the national championship game on May 27. This season, the NCAA Division II Men's Lacrosse Championship will be played at 68,756 seat Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
"Our scrimmages against UMBC and Washington & Lee will help us get ready for the challenge of 2012" added Clarke. "The team came back to South Carolina in shape and very enthusiastic. We can't wait to get going."
The 2012 season will be the 23rd year of competition for the Limestone men's lacrosse team, which currently sports an all-time record of 222-87. The Saints hold an all-time scoring advantage against their foes of 4,436-2,615. The Saints have now advanced to the NCAA Men's Division II Tournament in each of the previous 12 seasons including reaching the title game six consecutive years from 2000-05, and winning the national championship in 2000 and 2002.