WASHINGTON, D.C. - With the start of the season just 23 days away, Catholic University head men's lacrosse coach Brooks Singer announced his team's 2019 schedule on Monday, highlighted by a trip to Clearwater, Florida and a home game against Christopher Newport.
"We are excited about this year's schedule," said Singer. "We are looking forward to playing with the new rules, in particular, the shot clock. We also have a mix of veteran returners with a solid group of newcomers."
The Cardinals, who finished 8-8 last season and just missed advancing to the Landmark Conference Men's Lacrosse Championship, open the season at home on Tuesday, February 12 against Southern Virginia. The game is tentatively scheduled to be the first on the newly renovated Carlini Field which will serve as the home to men's and women's lacrosse and men's and women's soccer.
Catholic has won five-straight season openers under Singer and 14 consecutive home openers. The last time the Cardinals lost a home opener was way back on Feb. 21, 2004 against No. 1-ranked and defending national champion Salisbury.
The Cards also opened the 2014 season at home against Southern Virginia and posted a 19-0 victory over the Knights inside Cardinal Stadium in the first game since the passing of teammate Brendan Englert on April 25, 2013. Englert, the 2011 Landmark Conference and ECAC Rookie of the Year, is still remembered by the team each season with helmet stickers and jersey patches.
Catholic will play three of its first four games at home. Following a road contest at Randolph-Macon, the Cardinals will host Hampden-Sydney and Arcadia back-to-back before making the short trip across town to face local rival Marymount (Va.) which will begin a four-game road trip for the Cards. Hampden-Sydney was receiving votes in the final USILA Coaches Poll last year.
The Cardinals will travel to St. Mary's (Md.) on Feburary 2 and Mary Washington on February 9 before heading to Clearwater, Florida on spring break where the team will face Berry at noon on February 13.
Upon their return, the Cards will take on one of their toughest opponents of the season when they host Christopher Newport on March 16. The Captains finished last season ranked at No. 16 in the final USILA Coaches Poll with a 15-5 record, advancing the third round of the 2018 NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Championship before falling 13-12 at No. 7 Salisbury who advanced to the national title game.
"We look forward to our challenging nonconference match-ups to help us prepare for conference play," added Singer. "We are playing teams who were nationally-ranked last year, teams who made the NCAA tournament in previous years and teams who are amog the best in their respective conferences."
Following Christopher Newport, Catholic will have six days to prepare for its Landmark Conference opener at Elizabethtown on Saturday, March 23. The Cardinals and Blue Jays have met to decide the last two conference champions with Elizabethtown winning in 2018 and Catholic prevailing in 2017.
The Cardinals have won two of the last four Landmark Conference titles with Elizabethtown winning the other two. Catholic has also won 44 conference games since the Landmark's inaugural season in 2008, second only to the Blue Jays' 50.
"Other Landmark teams will be very competitive this season," said Singer. "We are working hard to get back to competing at the top of the conference."
The Cards host Moravian on March 30 in the first of three home games over the next four. Catholic travels to Drew on April 6 before welcoming Goucher and Scranton to Carlini Field on April 10 and 13, respectively. Since Landmark Conference play began in 2008, Catholic has posted the second-most wins with 104, trailing only Goucher (110).
Catholic finishes the 2019 regular season on the road at Susquehanna on April 18 and against Elmira in a nonconference, neutral site contest in Philadelphia, Pa., on April 27.
The Landmark Conference semifinals take place on May 1 with the championship game on May 4.