On Saturday, for the first time in 11 months, college lacrosse games involving teams from New England were played.
The games themselves will eventually be filed away as footnotes: Bryant won the fourth quarter in edging in-state rival Providence, 9-8; while Sacred Heart was handed a 20-8 loss by Stony Brook on Long Island.
But, more importantly, lacrosse was back.
“To see them rejoice brought me to my knees,” said Bryant coach Mike Pressler (Wilton, Conn.) afterward. “I wanted it so badly for those kids today.”
More Division 1 games are on tap this week as college lacrosse, gradually but surely, returns from its COVID-induced hibernation. The exception is the Ivy League, which has not announced plans for a season and has delayed the start of any spring practice until at least March 1.
Here is a look at where the other 12 Division 1 men’s programs from New England stand in regards to the spring season:
BU has posted the Patriot League portion of its schedule, featuring seven games beginning with a home game against Army-West Point on March 6. The league’s set-up has it playing regional foes Army, Holy Cross and Colgate twice each, and Lafayette once.
The Terriers announced their captains last week: defender Nick Ellerton, attack Matt Hilburn, defender Nick Mohler and midfielder Tommy Nook. Ellerton, who played at Phillips Andover, and Nook are serving as captains for the second straight season
The Bulldogs are off and running, the only team in New England with a mark in the win column after Saturday’s triumph.
Their 11-game slate continues with a non-conference game at Stony Brook on Saturday. Their first NEC game is at home against Merrimack on March 6. The top four teams will play for the conference championship May 6 and 8 at the home of the highest seed.
On Monday, the NEC preseason poll was released with Bryant taking third (with two first-place votes) behind Hobart and Saint Joseph’s.
Coach Andrew Baxter unveiled the Stags’ schedule last week, one that features 12 games, starting with a non-conference game on March 3 at Providence.
The CAA schedule has each of the league’s six teams playing eight conference games. The Stags will double up against UMass, Delaware and Hofstra. The conference tournament is scheduled for May 6 and 8 at Hofstra.
The Hawks unveiled their schedule last week. It features nine games, all against America East opponents, beginning with a March 6 home game against Albany and including a game on each of the next eight Saturdays. The final seven will count as conference games.
America East has set May 6 and 8 as the dates for its conference tournament. Hartford was picked to finish sixth of eight teams in the preseason poll.
The first game for new coach JL Reppert and the Crusaders is March 6 at Colgate, the first of seven Patriot League games that will see the Crusaders face BU and Colgate twice, and Army-West-Point, Lafayette and Navy once.
The Patriot League tournament is slated for May 7 (semifinals) and 9 (championship).
A surge in COVID cases elevated the campus’s risk level from “elevated” to “high,” on Feb. 7, forcing teams to suspend all competitions.
The Minutemen were set to play Army-West Point this past Saturday but lost that game, along with a matchup against UMass Lowell scheduled for Feb. 20. The pause will last for a minimum of 14 days and only be lifted when public health conditions improve substantially.
Taking that time frame into account, the earliest we’ll see the Minutemen play is on Feb. 27 at Boston University. That’s the first of 10 games currently scheduled.
Lowell has crafted a 10-game schedule that will kick off with a non-conference game at home against neighbor Merrimack on Feb. 27.
The River Hawks were picked to finish fifth in the America East preseason poll.
The Warriors are set to begin their second season in Division 1 when they host Boston University in a non-conference game on Saturday.
After going 1-5 last season, Merrimack has a 10-game schedule that includes eight NEC games, starting on March 6 at Bryant. The team was picked Monday to finish sixth in the eight-team NEC.
Coach Mason Poli released the Bobcats’ seven-game schedule in late January, with each of the games against a MAAC rival.
Quinnipiac is set to host St. Bonaventure on March 6. The MAAC tournament will be played May 6 (semifinals) and May 9 (championship).
“The release of the schedule allows our team and players to take the next steps in preparation and planning,” said Poli. “We couldn’t be more eager to get back on the field and compete this spring.”
The Friars had a chance at a win Saturday, entering the fourth quarter tied with Bryant. But they allowed two goals in a little over two minutes in the middle of the period and could only manage one of their own — from Dan Axelson (Cohasset, Mass.) — the rest of the way in a 9-8 loss.
Providence’s 12-game schedule continues this Saturday with its Big East opener at St. John’s. The Big East tournament is slated for May 6 (semifinals) and May 8 (championship).
The last game the Pioneers played before COVID last year was against Stony Brook on March 3, a 13-12 loss in overtime. The first game since then came Saturday at Stony Brook, a 20-8 loss.
That was the first of 12 games on the schedule for the program this spring. Next up is a home game against Hofstra on Saturday, while NEC play begins for Sacred Heart four days later against Long Island University.
The Pioneers were picked Monday to finish fifth in the eight-team NEC.
Vermont coach Chris Feifs announced captains last week. Senior goalie Ryan Cornell (Darien, Conn.), senior midfielder Spencer Decker (Stamford, Conn.) and senior attack Liam Limoges were chosen by a team vote.
The Catamounts, picked to finish fourth in the America East preseason poll, have 11 games on their schedule. They’ll kick it off at Bryant on Feb. 27.