SAINT LEO, Fla. – Entering into their second season, Saint Leo University Head Coach Lesley Graham has released the official schedule for the Lions' second year of competition.
Graham has prepared a schedule that will prove to be both challenging and exciting for Saint Leo's sophomore campaign. The Lions will match up against an ideal mix of strength and skill, which proved to be a solid combination in their opening season, as well.
Squaring off against nine new opponents, the 16-game slate features just three North Region teams and 13 South Region competitors. The schedule contains 10 home games and six road contests, highlighted by four challengers that finished 2012 ranked within the IWLCA Division II Coaches Poll, including three that saw time in the NCAA Division II Women's Lacrosse Tournament bracket.
"We are looking to really elevate our game in our second season of competition," Graham said. "It will challenge us, but by adding nationally-ranked teams to our schedule this year, it will help us showcase all of our improvements from our first season."
The Lions' schedule is stacked with tough competition right from the start, taking on two well-known North Region opponents for the first time in program history. Saint Leo opens the season at home on Friday, February 15 against Molloy College, marking the first official competition the women's lacrosse team will play on the new turf field.
Two days later, the Lions host five-time NCAA Division II national champion Adelphi University, who open their season against the Lions on Sunday, February 17.
Saint Leo opens the busy month of March on the road, traveling to North Carolina to take on regional opponents Pfeiffer University and Queens University of Charlotte. The Green and Gold faces the Pfeiffer Falcons on Saturday, March 2 in Misenheimer, N.C. before making the quick skip over to Charlotte to take on the Royals on Monday, March 4.
The Green and Gold return home for a Thursday, March 7 matchup against first-year program Mount Olive College from North Carolina. The Trojans, who will play as a member of the Conference Carolinas, is just one of two first-year teams that the Lions will compete against in 2013.
The game against Mount Olive kicks off an eight-game home stand throughout the remainder of March, featuring games against Belmont Abbey (March 9), Tiffin (March 11), South Region giant Limestone (March 13), first-year program Chowan (March 15), Colorado Mesa (March 17), Shippensburg (March 21), and finally Seton Hill on Monday, March 25.
April will see the Lions on the road once again, beginning with a trip to South Carolina where Saint Leo will take on Erskine on Friday, April 5, followed by a game against fellow second-year team Newberry on April 6.
Two games wrap up the month of April, as well as the regular season schedule, and while they are on the road, Saint Leo does not have to travel far. The Lions travel the short distance to cross-town rival Florida Southern for a second-year program showdown on Friday, April 12, and then wrap-up the regular season on Wednesday, April 17 when they travel to Winter Park to take on South Region powerhouse Rollins College.
With a challenging schedule ahead of them, the Saint Leo women's lacrosse team is sure to have another exciting, though demanding, season. With a new, state-of-the-art facility, new talent, and a core group of returning strength, the Lions will set their sights on 2013 with high hopes. For more on the women'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.