SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - The Missouri State men’s lacrosse team, fresh off a trip to the 2018 MCLA National Championships powered by Under Armour and a No. 16 ranking in the final Top 25 poll, has finalized its 2019 spring schedule.
The Bears have created a 14-game slate that they hope will propel them to the 2019 MCLA National Championships powered by Under Armour in Salt Lake City.
Below are the annotated rankings by Missouri State's PR man, Parker Padgett (rankings are based off the final 2018 Under Armour MCLA Coaches Poll)
Feb. 8 - No. 8 Kennesaw State (Atlanta, Ga.)
The Bears open their season in Georgia against No. 8 Kennesaw State. Kennesaw ran through the SouthEastern Lacrosse Conference North ivision, going 4-0 and grabbing an automatic qualifier to nationals after winning the SELC conference tournament.
Feb. 9 - UNC-Charlotte (Atlanta, Ga.)
The Rams narrowly missed out on a postseason appearance in the SELC conference tournament by one game in the competitive SELC North and finished the year 3-4. The 10-9 win over North Florida was UNCC's signature win in '18.
Feb. 10 - No. 25 North Florida (Atlanta, Ga.)
The final stop on the Atlanta trip is against the No. 25 Ospreys. In Tucker Clancy’s first year at the helm, the UNF went 9-5, owning a 5-1 record in SELC South play, with their only conference loss to the eventual SELC tourney runner-up Florida Gulf Coast. Featuring a potent offense, North Florida scored the fourth most goals in both divisions of the SELC (208).
The Bears get Lone Star Alliance Division II North subdivisional play underway in Rolla against an opponent that Missouri State has seen often, but those years are not exactly enjoyed by the Miners. In Dustin Rich’s tenure at the helm for the Bears, the Miners have played Missouri State four times in the regular season since 2013. Missouri State has outscored the Miners 80-6.
Feb. 22 - No. 10 Dayton (Allison North Stadium; Springfield, Mo.)
Missouri State’s home opener is not going to be easy. The 10th-ranked Flyers roll into Springfield fresh off their own appearance in the MCLA National Championships powered by Under Armour. Dayton finished last year 4-7 and had an UMLC East record of 0-2. It’s never easy playing in a conference with St. Thomas, St. John’s and reigning national champion North Dakota State.
Feb. 24 - Metro State (Allison North Stadium; Springfield, Mo.)
Coming all the way from Denver for a short visit, the Metro State Denver Roadrunners look to improve on their 5-10 record from 2018. The Roadrunners lost in the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Conference Division II Tournament Semifinals to Montana State, who later became a MCLA D-II Quarterfinalist. A notable win from Metro State last year was a 9-8 victory over eventual Southwestern Lacrosse Conference Division II Tournament Champion, Cal State Fullerton.
March 2 - Kansas (Lawrence, Kan.)
Missouri State will spend a weekend in Kansas and the Bears' first stop is in Lawrence. The Bears face a Jayhawk team that finished their season 5-0 (3-0 in the UMLC D-I West). The Jayhawks did not play in the postseason, but outscored their opponents 56-27 under first year coach Alex Creech
March 3- Kansas State (Manhattan, Kan.) *
The Wildcats posted a 4-7 record under first year coach Mike Cesena. Kansas State finished with a conference record of 3-3 -- two games shy of an LSA postseason berth. The Wildcats scored the second most goals in the LSA North (91).
March 6 - Arkansas (Fayetteville, Ark.)
Missouri State will be looking to avenge a loss at the hands of the Razorbacks last season. Coach Justin Jenkins led his Arkansas squad to a 4-8 record and posted a 1-4 conference in a tough LSA D-I gauntlet. The Razorbacks had wins against Kansas State, Iowa State, North Texas and the Bears.
March 8 - Missouri (Columbia, Mo.)
The contest to determine Missouri bragging rights will take place in Columbia this year. The Bears won last year, 6-3, while Mizzou won in 2017, 7-4. The Tigers had their season ended in the first round of the UMLC Division I conference tournament at the hands of the Oakland , 13-9. Mizzou looks to improve on a 6-8 overall record.
March 23 - Washington University (Allison North Stadium; Springfield, Mo.) *
Washington was close on the heels of Missouri State, posting a 5-1 conference record in the LSA North. But when they played in St. Louis, the Washington Bears lost 12-4. Qualifying for postseason play last year, the Bears and their coach Wayne Jaeckle look to build on that and challenge Missouri State for the LSA North top seed.
March 30 - No. 2 St. Thomas (Allison North Stadium; Springfield, Mo.)
Missouri State is pretty familiar with No. 2 St. Thomas. The Tommies are responsible for the Bears’ last two first round exits at nationals, outscoring the Bears 31-3 in two contests. St. Thomas won their UMLC D-II title, but came up a goal short from winning their its MCLA D-II national title last year, yet finished with a 15-2 record. For context, of the 14 MCLA D-II championship games, St. Thomas has appeared in eight of them.
April 5 - Saint Louis (Allison North Stadium; Springfield, Mo.) *
Missouri State’s fourth LSA North game is against a familiar foe. The Billikens finished their 2018 season with a 3-4 record and went 3-3 in conference play. In their only meeting last year, Saint Louis lost 12-0 in Imperial, Mo. The Billikens have not won a match against the Bears since March 21, 2015.
April 6 - Creighton (Allison North Stadium; Springfield, Mo.) *
Missouri State’s final home game of 2019 is against a Blue Jay team that also has not beat the Bears since 2015. Creighton finished its 2018 season 4-5 under first-year coach Jonathan Hendrzak. Creighton recently tied for 13th in the newly released 2019 LSA Division II Preseason Coaches Poll
April 13 - LSA D-II Quarterfinals – If Applicable (No. 1 Seed in LSA North hosts No. 2 Seed)
April 27-28 - LSA D-II Semifinals and Finals (Southern Methodist University; Dallas, Texas)
May 6-11 - MCLA National Championships powered by Under Armour (Salt Lake City, Utah)
* - Denotes Lone Star Alliance North division contest