Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – The Central Michigan lacrosse team will begin its third varsity season in a new league, but with a schedule that has a very familiar feel to it.
The Chippewas move to the Southern Conference in 2018 after spending their first two seasons in the Atlantic SUN. 2018 marks the first season that the SoCon will recognize a women’s lacrosse champion.
The six-team SoCon comprises CMU and Delaware State, Furman, Mercer and Detroit Mercy, all five of whom played last year in the ASUN. Wofford, the sixth and final team in SoCon women’s lacrosse, will be in its inaugural season of the sport in 2018.
The top four teams in the final regular-season standings will earn a berth into the SoCon Tournament. The tournament champion receives the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
“Knowing what we know, with experience under our belt, now I feel like it’s go time,” CMU coach Sara Tisdale said. “We know what we’re up against, we know the odds, and we like our chances competing in the SoCon. Our players are hungry. I think we’ve all walked off the field the last two seasons, even though there have been many successes, knowing that there’s more that we could have done.
“With our first recruiting class being juniors now, the clock is ticking and they’re excited to compete in the SoCon this year and contend for that championship, post-season berth, all those things.”
The Chippewas finished 7-10 including 4-6 in the ASUN in 2017. Old Dominion, Howard, Jacksonville, Stetson, Coastal Carolina and Kennesaw State comprise the ASUN beginning with the 2018 season; the Chippewas are slated to play Kennesaw State, Howard, Old Dominion and Coastal Carolina in non-conference games in 2018.
CMU is slated to open the ’18 season with three straight road games – at Marquette (Feb. 16), at American (Feb. 23) and at La Salle (Feb. 25). The Chippewas’ home opener is Feb. 28 against Butler. They are slated to entertain Michigan on March 11.
CMU has scheduled five fall play dates, the first of which is at Detroit Mercy on Sept. 16. Among the Chippewas’ fall opponents is Notre Dame, which CMU will play in South Bend, Ind. on Sept. 30.