With an impending move to the Atlantic Sun Conference, coach Mindy McCord wanted to challenge her program's senior class with a big-time schedule and challenging opponents.
Welcome to the big time.
In 2013, the Dolphins are scheduled to play four NCAA Final Four teams from 2011 and 2012 and six teams ranked in the top 22 according to LaxPower.com's rankings. Additionally, JU will scrimmage the world's fourth-ranked team, European champion Team England.
“This is a great opportunity for us to match up against the finest programs in the country,” McCord said. “Our juniors and seniors have earned the right to play top Level competition and our school supports our rise as a program, so I ask ‘why not’?’’
The National Lacrosse Conference champion Dolphins host four top-rated programs before challenging up and coming San Diego State on Feb. 16.
National finalist Syracuse comes calling Jan. 13 for the opening game and the Fins then host the English National team as they continue their rivalry. England topped JU 11-10 last year.
Perennial top-20 Southeastern Conference opponent Vanderbilt comes to town followed by NCAA semi-finalist and third-ranked Florida. San Diego State comes to town for an on-campus game in conjunction with the men’s Moe’s Southwest Classic at EverBank Field.
Other opponents include historic lacrosse programs William & Mary, Old Dominion, and powerhouses Duke and North Carolina. The Dolphins face NCAA playoff team, Navy, in a tough road contest and will see Presbyterian and Winthrop.
Jacksonville will compete in the A-Sun against returning conference foes Detroit and Howard with new programs Stetson and Kennesaw State joining the league which carries and automatic bid for the NCAA playoffs.
“It benefits us to play seven teams with great NCAA experience and others who are going to be competing for spots this year,’’ McCord said. “We are excited about the challenge and know that at the end of the season we will have laid it all on the line this year.”