Despite the official season still months away, lacrosse will be back at Valley Fields soon enough. Due to different rules, the women’s team will be participating in a fall league, while the men’s team use the offseason to prepare for the spring schedule.
As a part of fall ball, the women’s team will participate in practices and scrimmages against other D-1 schools. Women’s teams are allowed to play five days of competition, meaning the team can play in more than one game a day and it would still count as one competition.
Coach Meredith Black wants to take advantage of the opportunity and play all five days.
“We still are going with the theory that to be the best you have to play the best, so I think our fall ball is an indication of that,” Black said. “It’ll be a challenge for us, but I think it’s a challenge that we’re ready to take and we want to play those teams to see where we need to be.”
The team will participate in three tournaments, one at Valley Fields and the others at Ohio State and Michigan, with two games against Northwestern and Notre Dame this fall.
The tournament at Valley Fields is slated for Sept. 29 and will host Grand Valley State and Cincinnati. This is the first tournament that Marquette has hosted, and Black is very excited for the event.
“Our home tournament on Sept. 29 should be a great day of lacrosse with some really strong teams,” Black told gomarquette.com. “We are excited about the opportunity to play in front of our home fans as we prepare for our spring season.”
Because of the different rules between the men’s and women’s offseason, the men’s team will not play any games this fall. The NCAA limits men’s teams to 17 games per year, rather than having different limitations in the fall and spring.
Joe Amplo, men’s lacrosse coach, said the team would have to travel to any school they would play, and not many are within a reasonable distance. The NCAA does not allow athletes to miss class for a non-championship season.
“It just didn’t make sense to us from a travel perspective,” Amplo said. “So for us to get out east to compete, we’d had to leave late, the flight options weren’t great and we would get in so late, so it wouldn’t give us the best opportunity to be at our best the next day and we just didn’t think it was worth while from a competition standpoint.”
The spring schedule, which has yet to be released, will include two preseason scrimmages and 15 regular season games, including five home games. This is only two more games than last season when the team went 5-8, but the two games are going to add up and Amplo said the team prefers games over practices.
“Our schedule is a little bit more compact, but from the kids’ perspective, I think that they’d rather play games than practices, especially in the spring time,” Amplo said.