ELON, N.C. – As 2015 comes to a close, Elon women’s lacrosse head coach Josh Hexter has announced the schedule for the upcoming 2016 season. The Phoenix heads into its third year of competition and its second in the Colonial Athletic Association.
The 2016 slate features 16 games, including eight home games at Rudd Field and a six-game CAA schedule. Elon will face four teams that played in the NCAA Tournament last season and finished ranked in the Top 20, including two teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament semifinals. The Phoenix meets 12 teams that it played last season, while facing four new teams for the first time in program history.
Elon opens the season on Friday, Feb. 12, against a new opponent in San Diego State at Rudd Field before closing out the weekend on Sunday, Feb. 14, against Longwood. The Phoenix and the Lancers have meet both the last two seasons with Elon claiming the win each time, including a 10-7 victory last season.
On Friday, Feb. 19, the maroon and gold plays its first road game of the season at Coastal Carolina in Conway, S.C. The Phoenix posted an 11-6 final over the Chanticleers last year to extend its advantage in the series to 2-0.
For the third straight season, Elon will take on perennial power Duke. This year’s game will be played in Durham, N.C., at Koskinen Stadium on Thursday, Feb. 25. The Blue Devils, who finished last season ranked fourth after falling in the national semifinals, have won both previous meetings.
Elon closes out a three-game road swing on Sunday, Feb. 28, at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn. This marks the first meeting between the Phoenix and the Commodores.
The maroon and gold faces another team that finished 2015 ranked in the Top 20 when it welcomes Albany to Rudd Field on Friday, March 4. The Great Danes advanced to the NCAA Tournament last year before being eliminated in the first round after falling in overtime.
After a home game against Holy Cross on Saturday, March 12, the Phoenix welcomes 2015 national runner-up North Carolina to Elon on Tuesday, March 15, for the first time after playing the last two years in Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels finished last season ranked No. 2 and reached its fifth NCAA final four appearance in the last seven seasons.
The Phoenix hits the road for two straight in-state games to face Davidson in Davidson, N.C., on Saturday, March 19, and High Point in High Point, N.C., on Tuesday, March 22. Elon holds a 1-1 record in both series after falling to each team in 2014 and claiming wins in 2015.
The maroon and gold begins its second season of CAA play on Friday, April 8, at Rudd Field against Delaware followed by Towson on Sunday, April 10. On Friday, April 15, Elon hosts reigning league-champion James Madison. The Dukes finished last year ranked No. 20 after winning its ninth CAA title.
The Phoenix closes out the season on the road beginning with a trip to Philadelphia to take on Drexel on Friday, April 22. Elon then travels to Hempstead, N.Y., to face 2015 regular season CAA champion Hofstra on Sunday, April 24.
Elon looks to make it two straight over the Tribe of William & Mary when it plays its final regular-season game on Saturday, April 30, in Williamsburg, Va.
The 2016 CAA Women’s Lacrosse Championship will take place in Philadelphia. The league’s top four teams from the regular season advance to the semifinals to be held on Friday, May 6, with the championship game set for Sunday, May 8.