By David Carter/GCU Staff
If GCU Men’s Lacrosse want to win their third national championship in five years, they will need to defeat many of last year’s higher-ranked opponents as part of their 2019 regular season schedule.
Out of the 11 games on the 2019 schedule, five are against teams ranked in last year’s Under Armour Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) Coaches Poll Final Top 25 rankings, while three others are in the “receiving votes” category. The Lopes finished last season ranked No. 9.
The Lopes will start their season with a six-game homestand, opening against Santa Clara University (SCU) on February 3. Three weeks later, the Lopes will host two big matchups in consecutive days, battling No. 19 University of California Santa Barbara on Saturday, February 23, then taking on California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) that Sunday. All three games will be held at Prescott Field on the GCU campus.
The second half of the homestand features even tougher competition: No. 8 University of Colorado on Thursday, February 28 (at GCU Stadium), Colorado State University (CSU) March 2 at Prescott Field, and the team that defeated them in the first round of the MCLA National Championships last year, No. 3 Brigham Young University.
After the homestand, the Lopes’ first road trip of the year takes them to southern California to face the team that upset them in the 2018 Southwestern Lacrosse Conference (SLC) Semifinals, No. 11 Concordia University Irvine.
The Lopes then finish out their home schedule with three games, including two against in-state rivals (and SLC opponents) No. 14 Arizona State University and University of Arizona.
Last but not least, the Lopes will end the regular season on the road in a SLC matchup against University of Nevada, Las Vegas on April 11.
The Lopes hope homefield advantage will help propel them back into the national championship picture, since the large number of home games is due to conference scheduling and annual agreements between schools.
The Lopes will begin their quest for their second SLC title in the last three years when the SLC Championship Tournament begins play April 26 in San Diego, California.
Should the team wrap up that title, they’ll shoot for their 3rd national championship trophy since 2015 at the MCLA National Championships beginning May 7 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
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