LAKELAND, Fla. – Head coach Marty Ward of the 11th-ranked Florida Southern College men’s lacrosse team announced the 2023 schedule for the program Tuesday afternoon (Nov. 29). The schedule features 10 home contests and six road matchups including one trip out-of-state as the Mocs travel to Alabama to battle a pair of Peach Belt Conference programs. The Moccasins have a stretch of six-straight home games from Feb. 10 until March 17 including a tough battle with sixth-ranked Limestone (Feb. 25).
“I am very excited about our schedule for 2023,” mentioned coach Ward. “We have a great mix of programs from across the country on the slate. We have two of the top teams in the Peach Belt to open the season on the road followed by a tough Anderson group at home. A rematch against Limestone in late February should be a great one, our spring break is all at home at the Snake Pit, and an improved Flagler team comes to town for a St Paddy’s day game. Our SSC schedule is so tough each week, we look forward to late March and April each year in SSC play. Westminster from Utah will be a tough foe on March 26 as well.”
The Mocs will battle programs from seven different states including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, New York and South Carolina. Four of the Moccasin opponents were ranked in the final USILA / Dynamic 2022 Men’s Coaches Division II Poll including top-ranked Tampa, sixth-ranked Limestone, 12th-ranked Rollins and 14th-ranked Florida Tech. Three of the four ranked opponents will travel to Lakeland in 2023 with the lone road contest scheduled at Rollins on April 12, the site of FSC’s 2022 Sunshine State Conference Tournament semifinal victory.
“We are really looking forward to competing with this year’s group,” said coach Ward. “We have put together a great fall and look to build on the foundation that has been laid.”
The 2023 slate will kick off with an exhibition game on the road at NCAA Division I member Mercer. The Bears are located in Macon, Ga. Mercer competes in the Southern Conference and will be a strong early test for the Mocs prior to the 2023 regular season getting underway. The Mocs will open the regular season on the road in Alabama as Florida Southern battles both UAH (Feb. 3) and Montevallo (Feb. 5) in non-conference action. The Falcons of Montevallo received votes in the final 2022 USILA Coaches Poll.
Following the two-game road swing to open the season, the Mocs play six-straight at home. FSC’s home opener will take place on Friday, Feb. 10 against a very strong Anderson squad. The Mocs defeated the Trojans 23-12 to open the 2022 season on the road and Anderson will be looking for revenge in 2023. Just over two weeks later, the Mocs will play their second home match of the season against sixth-ranked Limestone on Saturday, Feb. 25. Limestone edged the Mocs 12-11 last season in Gaffney, S.C. FSC held a two-goal advantage late in the contest but three-straight tallies by the Saints gave Limestone the victory.
A pair of first time opponents are up next on the schedule as both Dominican out of New York and Clark out of Massachusetts battle the Mocs for the first time. Dominican competes in the CACC while Clark is an NCAA DIII member which competes in the NEWMAC. The final two games of the homestand will be against Young Harris and Flagler. The Mocs have not faced Young Harris since 2016 while Flagler and Florida Southern battled for the very first time last season with FSC walking away with a 22-4 victory on the road.
FSC opens SSC play on the road on March 23 as the Mocs travel to Boca Raton to battle Lynn. Just three days later, the Mocs play their final non-conference match of the season as Westminster out of Utah visits Berend Field on March 26. The two programs last met in 2019 with the Mocs edging the Griffins 14-13 at home.
The final six SSC contests are split evenly on the road and at home the rest of the season. The Mocs first travel to Embry-Riddle on April 1 before returning to Berend Field for their SSC home opener against Saint Leo on April 5. FSC will battle three-straight top-15 ranked teams from April 8 through April 15. The stretch begins at home against the defending National Champions and SSC Champions Tampa on April 8. The Mocs then travel to 12th-ranked Rollins on April 12 before taking on 14th-ranked Florida Tech on April 15. The final game of the 2023 regular season will take place on the road at Palm Beach Atlantic on April 22.
Following the conclusion of the regular season, Florida Southern and the other seven SSC teams will look to the Sunshine State Conference tournament slated for April 27 for the semifinal round followed by the championship on April 30 (all played at the higher seed).