via press release – photo via Rollins web site
WINTER PARK, Fla. (November 30, 2016) –
The Rollins men’s lacrosse team will face a challenging slate of competition in the upcoming 2017 season, as announced by Head Coach Chris Lewis
The Tars, who concluded their 2016 campaign ranked 18th
on the USILA/Nike Division II Coaches Poll, will square up against plenty of tough competition throughout the season, including games against teams who finished ranked or receiving votes on the national poll. Of the 14 regular season games on the docket, 13 are against South Region opponents.
“After last year’s success, we thought it was important to continue to play top quality competition,” stated Lewis. “There are three contests against teams that finished in the Top 10, and six total games against ranked teams from last year’s final poll.”
Kicking off their 10th
season with four straight South Region road games, the Tars will open their season on Friday, February 10, when they take on Mars Hill University for the seventh time in program history. Rollins first matched up with the Lions in their inaugural season, facing off against MHU on March 20, 2008 when both teams were members of the Deep South Conference. Mars Hill is coming off of a season that saw the Lions finish with a 4-11 overall record and 3-5 mark within the South Atlantic Conference.
Rollins will close out its opening weekend with a contest against Young Harris on Sunday, February 12, marking the fourth time the two programs will meet on the field with Rollins leading the series, 3-0. Last time out against Young Harris, the Tars took down the Mountain Lions by a final score of 13-6 on February 7, 2016.
The Tars will play two neutral site contests at Daffin Park in Savannah, Ga. this season, beginning with a game against Lenoir-Rhyne on February 18.
“We are continuing to expand the national lacrosse footprint with two neutral site games to be held in Savannah,” continued Coach Lewis. “The local county officials were very excited to have the opportunity to host these contests in a part of the country where lacrosse is growing rapidly. I appreciate Greg Paradine at Lenior-Rhyne and Mike Murphy at University of Mount Olive for helping to spread the game in Georgia.”
The showdown with Lenoir-Rhyne will mark the fourth time in program history the Tars have matched up against the Bears. Lenoir-Rhyne wrapped up their 2016 season ranked 13th
on the national poll after compiling a record of 12-4 and 8-0 in the South Atlantic Conference. The SAC regular season championship was the second in three years for the Bears.
Rollins will close out its four game road stretch with a February 26 game against the University of Indianapolis Greyhounds, who ended their 2016 campaign ranked 19th
on the USILA DII Poll. The last time the Tars matched up against the Greyhounds, a staunch Rollins defense helped the Tars to a 9-7 victory over UIndy on March 16, 2016.
The Tars’ home opener is set for Thursday, March 2, where Rollins will square off against Wheeling Jesuit for the third time in program history. Last time out against the Cardinals, the Tars fell by a final score of 16-6 back on April 6, 2014.
Three days later, the Tars will take on the New York Institute of Technology, marking the first time the two teams will meet on the turf. NYIT closed out their 2016 season ranked seventh on the DII Poll, finishing with an overall record of 13-5 and advancing to the NCAA DII Quarterfinal round where they lost in overtime to eventual 2016 National Champion LeMoyne by a final score of 8-7.
Rollins heads back to Daffin Park on Sunday, March 12, to take on Mount Olive, who finished ranked eighth on the National Poll, and fourth in the South Region. The Trojans finished last season with a mark of 13-5 overall, and advanced to the NCAA DII Quarterfinal round where they fell to Limestone by a final score of 15-6. Last time out against the Trojans, Rollins gave then No. 12 UMO a run for its money, but fell by a final score of 11-8 on February 14, 2016.
After their final neutral site contest of the regular season, Rollins returns home for a two game home stand beginning with Colorado Mesa on Thursday, March 16. The 2016 season saw Colorado Mesa finish with a mark of 13-4 as they claimed the inaugural Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference championship and finished the season ranked 20th
on the national poll. The last time the Tars and Mavericks matched up on the turf was on March 19, 2016, where the Tars picked up a 7-5 victory to tie the series with CMU at 2-2.
Following their regional clash with the Mavericks, the Tars will welcome North Greenville to Cahall-Sandspur Field, marking the first time the two programs will square off in competition. NGU, who enters into their third year as a varsity program, finished their 2016 campaign with a record of 5-10.
Rollins then dives into Sunshine State Conference action as they enter into the final stretch of the season, beginning with a showdown at the University of Tampa on Saturday, March 25.
“The Sunshine State Conference portion of the schedule will be a battle every weekend,” Coach Lewis added. “Every team in the conference was ranked at some point last year and five of six were ranked or received votes in the final poll of the season.”
The Tars face off against one of their toughest opponents of the season as they take on Tampa, and will look to bounce back against the Spartans after their last meeting saw the Tars fall to UT in the SSC Championship game by a final score of 16-7 on May 1, 2016. Tampa, who finished their 2016 campaign ranked sixth in the nation and second in the region, advanced to the NCAA Semifinal game where they were defeated by Limestone by a final score of 13-10 to wrap up the season with a record of 15-3 and a perfect 5-0 mark in SSC action.
Following their SSC showdown with the Spartans, the Tars will have a week to prepare for a home contest against its longest in-state rival, Saint Leo, on Saturday, April 1. Rollins, who has won the last two matchups against the Lions, defeated then No. 17 Saint Leo for the first time in program history on March 26, 2016 by a final score of 12-10. The Tars then went on to take down the Lions in SSC Tournament action, defeating SLU by a score of 10-9 in overtime on April 29, 2016. The Lions, who received votes on the final national poll, wrapped up their 2016 season with a record of 9-5, and were 2-3 against SSC opponents.
The Tars hit the road once more as they make the trek to Boca Raton to take on Lynn University on Saturday, April 8. The Tars, who lead in the series against Lynn 2-1, last matched up against the Fighting Knights on April 2, 2016 in a national showdown as then 20th
-ranked Rollins hosted then No. 18 Lynn. The Fighting Knights edged out the Tars to claim the victory, and went on to finish the season with a 9-5 overall record, and 2-3 mark in the SSC.
Rollins then hosts Florida Southern in their final home game of the regular season on Saturday, April 15. The Moccasins, who finished their 2016 season receiving votes on the national poll, ended their 2016 slate with a 9-9 overall record and 2-3 record in SSC play. The Tars are 2-7 all-time against FSC, with their most recent matchup resulting in an 11-10 victory over Florida Southern in Lakeland on April 9, 2016.
The final game of the regular season for Rollins is set to take place in Melbourne, Fla. on Saturday, April 22, with the Tars set to take on Florida Tech. The Panthers, who wrapped up last season with a record of 6-7 and 1-4 in the SSC, last matched up with the Tars on April 16, 2016, where Rollins claimed the 11-9 victory at home in Winter Park.
The Rollins men’s lacrosse team has a challenge ahead of them in their 10th
season of action as they look to improve upon their 2016 campaign, the program’s best season yet. After earning their first ever trip to the Sunshine State Conference Tournament Championship with a 10-9 overtime victory over then-No. 19 Saint Leo, the Rollins men’s lacrosse team set a new program best as they got the nod at No. 17 on the following USILA/Nike Division II Coaches Poll. Rollins then went on to conclude the season earning a place on the final poll of the season, finishing at No. 18.
Fans will be able to follow the Tars all season long with free HD video available on the Geico Tars Sports Network with long-time host Clark Sprinkle on the call. For the latest news, updates, and information on the Rollins men’s lacrosse team, fans can visit RollinsSports.com. Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest #TARnation news by following Rollins Sports on Facebook
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