SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo women's lacrosse team and head coach Lesley Graham announce a home game filled slate for 2017, as they host 10 of their 16 opponents.
"It's always beneficial to have home field advantage, and we are lucky enough to live in a location where the weather is optimal for most of the lacrosse season," Graham said of their heavy home slate. "Not having to travel often also helps with our mental focus and recovery as we aren't constantly missing classes or stuck on a bus for hours at a time."
The Lions' schedule will also feature four top 25 opponents from 2016, including reigning National Champions, Florida Southern. Saint Leo will play No. 9 Queens (N.C.) and No. 17 Limestone on the road while hosting No. 1 Florida Southern and No. 6 Rollins in Sunshine State Conference play.
"We have always wanted to have a vigorous schedule filled with teams that will push and challenge us," Graham said of planning the 2017 schedule. "This year we are fortunate to have the majority of teams as South Region contests, so we can build a strong non-conference schedule to prepare us for our conference slate late in the season. Being able to compete against top opponents such as Limestone and Queens always help us prepare for our conference foes."
Despite their heavy home slate, Saint Leo will open up on the road, heading to South Carolina to take on Newberry on Feb. 25 at 2 p.m., and they will continue the road trip in Charlotte, N.C., with a game at No. 9 Queens on Feb. 27 at 4 p.m.
Following the brief season-opening trip, the Lions return to Saint Leo and the comforts of home for an eight-game homestand. They open at home on March 1 versus Wilmington (Del.), and then on March 3, they will take on Gannon at 7 p.m. Just two day later, on March 5, Saint Leo will host Fort Lewis (Colo.) in a mid-day game with a noon start.
After a six-day break, Saint Leo will take on Seton Hill on March 11 at 7 p.m., and on March 15, they will host Belmont Abbey at 7 p.m.
On March 18, the Lions will take on Alabama-Huntsville at 1 p.m., and on March 22, they will host Colorado Mesa at 7 p.m. Saint Leo will close out their eight-game homestand by opening SSC action with the reigning NCAA Champions Florida Southern on March 25.
Saint Leo then hits the road for a two-game stretch, heading first to Gaffney, S.C., to take on No. 17 Limestone on March 30 at 4 p.m., and they continue the trip with an April 1 game at Young Harris at 1 p.m.
The Lions will then return home to continue SSC play by hosting No. 6 Rollins on April 5 in a 7 p.m. match. Sunshine State action will continue for the Lions as they head to Florida Tech on April 11 at 7 p.m.
The final home game will be played on April 18 at 3 p.m. as Saint Leo hosts Lenoir-Rhyne for their final non-conference game.
They will then close out the regular season and SSC play at Tampa on April 22 with a 7:30 p.m. game.
Saint Leo will be looking to rebound off a 3-12 season in 2016 and will look to replace six seniors.
"Last year was a down year for us, so we are looking to bounce back this season. Our team goal is to return to conference playoffs and battle for a berth in postseason play."
For the latest news, updates, and information on the Saint Leo women's lacrosse team visit SaintLeoLions.com. Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Lions news by following Saint Leo Athletics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.