Better late than never, Syracuse lacrosse!
On Thursday afternoon, the Syracuse Orange men’s lacrosse schedule for the 2021 season finally dropped in its entirety.
Over the past few days and weeks, pieces of the schedule have been leaking out thanks to our opponents releasing their schedules and the ACC Network TV announcement for February.
The Orange will be opening up their 2021 season in just two and a half weeks playing host to the Army Black Knights on Sunday, February 21.
Less than a week later, ACC play will get underway with a Dome game against the Virginia Cavaliers on Saturday, February 27.
Other highlights of the schedule include a late March trip down to Durham to play the preseason No. 1 ranked Duke Blue Devils, and home-and-home series with Virginia and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
The overall numbers look like this: 12 total games, nine home games, six ACC games, and three first-time opponents.
Let’s dive deeper into some of the features of the 2021 schedule:
Unique opponents for a unique season
While SU was able to put together a full slate of games for 2021, there are major changes to the makeup of a typical men’s lacrosse schedule.
Gone are annual rivals Johns Hopkins, Cornell, Hobart, and Colgate.
In their place, the Orange will play host to three first time opponents in Vermont (March 6), Stony Brook (March 12), and Utah (May 8).
They will also be playing Hofstra in the regular season for the first time since 2003.
While traditional opponents Army and Albany are still present, there’s going to be a very weird feel to the non-conference portion of the schedule.
The ACC in men’s lacrosse is the toughest conference top-to-bottom in all of college sports, and it just got tougher.
This year, the league’s coaches voted not to hold the ACC Tournament.
Instead, they have added two additional games to already grueling regular season schedule, so SU will play Virginia and Notre Dame twice in the regular season to complete a six game ACC schedule.
In the immortal words of Samuel L. Jackson, hold on to your butts!
Home Sweet Dome
Well, this is one way to minimize travel in the middle of a pandemic.
Syracuse will be playing nine of its 12 regular season games at home this season, with the only three road games being inside ACC play.
This has a very old school Jim Boeheim feel to it, doesn’t it?
“Hey, Syracuse never leaves the state of New York!”
Oh well, let the questions about leaving the comfy confines of the Dome come, because there’s no questioning the talent of this team.
A Late Start
SU is definitely behind the eight ball at this point, having gotten a later start on the spring schedule than many of our early season opponents like Army and Virginia.
While the Orange just began practice this past Monday, February 1, those schools and others have at least a couple weeks of practice already under their belt.
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In addition to the practice time disadvantage, Syracuse is also not participating in any scrimmages this year to help work out the early spring cobwebs.
By comparison, Army has a scrimmage and a game before heading up to the Dome on February 21. Virginia, SU’s second opponent, has two games before making their way to Upstate New York.
It’s just a little unfortunate the way the practice schedule ended up working out for SU, and it’s simply something that head coach John Desko and the boys must deal with as they adjust their usual preparation for a shortened preseason.
This team’ll be ready for anything, though!
There you have it, at long last. It’s hard to believe the season gets underway in just over two weeks, and with a Syracuse team that has aspirations of Memorial Day weekend and beyond, it can’t come soon enough.
So, let’s settle in for a great season, and Let’s Go Orange!!!