September 21, 2012

Fall Ball Weekend Preview: The Season Begins

by Corey McLaughlin | | Twitter | McLaughlin Archive

The Keio University (Japan) lacrosse team posed outside US Lacrosse headquarters in Baltimore with US Lacrosse CEO Steve Stenersen during part of its U.S. fall tour.
© Corey McLaughlin

The leaves haven't yet turned from where I'm sitting, but that does not mean fall ball is not officially underway. Some competitions, scrimmages and alumni games get going in earnest this weekend. Here's our first installment of Fall Ball Weekend Preview.


The tour bus gave it away, and it was not Justin Bieber. On Thursday, the men's lacrosse team from Keio University in Japan, as part of a week-plus U.S. tour to play lacrosse and promote international goodwill along the way, stopped by the US Lacrosse offices and National Hall of Fame and Museum in Baltimore to spend some time before heading to nearby UMBC for a scrimmage. Keio is coached by 32-year-old Motoki Hirata, who was a player on the first Keio team that visited Baltimore in 2002, and he took personal vacation days to make the trip to the U.S. this time with 29 players and five staff members.

As the tour continues, Keio plays at Navy at 7 p.m. Friday, heads to Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., for a 3 p.m. game Saturday before playing Towson at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Hood College in Frederick, Md., at 3 p.m. Thursday.


The Marquette women's team faces an opponent for the first time as a varsity program when it heads to Midwest foe Notre Dame for an 11 a.m. scrimmage. It's the start of a long road, which first-year coach Meredith Black said is something she's needed to get used to. Black took over the fledgling Wisconsin program after spending the last seven years as an assistant coach at Towson, Notre Dame and Cal.

"I know I have to be patient, but I want to win and I want to be playing in championships tomorrow, but that is not realistic," Black said in a mailbag feature on the Marquette athletics website. "There is a lot of work to be done before we get to that point, so I need to calm myself down and do not let my lack of patience get the best of me."

Also Saturday, there will be 15 women's scrimmages played between play days at Rutgers and UMass. Full schedules below:

Rutgers Play Day UMass Play Day
9:30 a.m.: Wagner vs. Montclair St. 9:30 a.m.: UMass vs. UConn
10:20 a.m.: Monmouth vs. Wagner 10:30 a.m.: New Hampshire vs. Stony Brook
11:10 a.m.: Central Conn. vs. Montclair St. 11:30 a.m.: UMass vs. Stony Brook
Noon: Lafayette vs. Monmouth 12:30 p.m.: UConn vs. New Hampshire
12:50 p.m.: Wagner vs. Central Conn. 1:30 p.m.: Stony Brook vs. UConn
1:40 p.m.: Rutgers vs. Monmouth 2:30 p.m.: UMass vs. New Hampshire
2:30 p.m.: Rutgers vs. Wagner  
3:20 p.m.: Lafayette vs. Central Conn.  
4:10 p.m.: Rutgers vs. Lafayette  


The highlighted event of the weekend takes place at College Park, Md., where the returning national women's finalist Maryland hosts a pair of returning tournament teams in Penn State and Virginia. It's the first time to see Terrapins midfielder Katie Schwarzmann since she took home Tewaaraton honors in May. In an interesting twist, Maryland's Kelly McPartland and Penn State's Tatum Coffey, a pair of rising sophomores who were the youngest players to make the most recent U.S. women's national training team, face each other in the day's first game. The full schedule:

Maryland Play Day
1 p.m.: Maryland vs. Penn State
2:15 p.m.: Virginia vs. Penn State
3:30 p.m.: Virginia vs. Maryland

Check back to on Monday for the start of our fall ball coverage series.

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