SAINT LEO, Fla. – A 12 game regular season schedule awaits the 2013 Saint Leo University men's lacrosse team, as announced by Head Coach Brad Jorgensen.
Jorgensen has prepared a schedule that will prove to be both exciting and challenging for the Lions' eighth season. With the format of the Division II Championship Bracket expanding to eight teams this season, Jorgensen has compiled a schedule that is stacked with South Region opponents, helping the Lions in their fight for a post-season appearance
With eight home contests set to take place in their brand new turf facility, and four road games scattered throughout the season, the Lions have their sights set on an exciting year ahead. The Green and Gold will face off against 10 South Region rivals, including seven Deep South Conference members. Five of the 12 teams on this season's slate finished 2012 earning recognition on the USILA Division II Coaches Poll, with one opponent earning 2012 NCAA DII Tournament Runner-Up honors.
Saint Leo kicks off 2013 with a scrimmage on Friday, February 8 against Hartwick, a Division III institution in the Empire 8 Conference. After their brief tune-up, the Lions open their regular season and dive right into Deep South Conference action, hosting second-year program Florida Tech on Tuesday, February 12.
South region foe Limestone, who narrowly fell to Dowling in the 2012 NCAA DII Championship game, travels to the Sunshine State for a regional showdown against the Lions on Sunday, February 17. The Saints closed out 2012 ranked third in DII and first in the Region on the final USILA Coaches Poll of the season.
Six days later, Saint Leo hosts cross-town rival Tampa in a Deep South Conference matchup on Saturday, February 23. The Lions close out the short month of February with a quick trek over to Winter Park to take on Rollins College in a DSC contest on Wednesday, February 27, matching up against the Tars for the ninth time in program history.
Saint Leo has a week to prepare before hosting another regional rival, Catawba College, on Wednesday, March 6, in a Deep South Conference showdown. The Indians were ranked ninth on the final USILA Coaches Poll of 2012, and saw second in the region behind Limestone. Two days later, Saint Leo plays non-conference game against first-year program Mount Olive College, who will play as a member of the Conference Carolinas. The Lions and Trojans face off on Friday, March 8, in an early afternoon contest.
Stepping out of South Region play for the first time all season, Saint Leo hosts Adams State on Monday, March 11 before hitting the road and returning to DSC action three days later against third-year program Lenoir-Rhyne. The Lions square off against the Bears in Hickory, N.C. on Friday, March 15, before returning home for another conference row against Wingate University on Saturday, March 23.
Making the trek up the East coast to play an out-of-region contest, the Lions travel to Old Westbury, N.Y. to take on East Coast Conference member New York Institute of Technology (NYIT), who finished 2012 ranked sixth on the USILA Coaches Poll.
Saint Leo returns to the Sunshine State for one final game before the DSC Tournament, facing off against Florida Southern on Saturday, April 6. Deep South Conference Tournament pairings will be announced shortly after the Lions' final conference contest, with the first and second rounds slated for April 9 and 11 at locations still to be determined. The Deep South Conference Tournament Championship game will be held at Rollins College on Sunday, April 14.
The Lions close out their regular season schedule on Sunday, April 21 when they take on former DSC member Mars Hill at a neutral site location in Hilton Head, S.C. Mars Hill finished 2012 ranked 12th on the Coaches Poll, and third in the South Region.
A brand new, state-of-the-art turf facility, new talent, and new challenges await the Lions as their eighth season quickly approaches. With a core group of 27 returning players, and 21 fresh faces, the Saint Leo men's lacrosse team has high hopes for the 2013 season ahead. For more on the Saint Leo men's lacrosse program, visit SaintLeoLions.com. Also, be sure to 'Like' the Lions on Facebook at Facebook.com/SaintLeoLions.com, and 'Follow' the Lions on Twitter at Twitter.com/SaintLeoLions.