For the start of the season, Mizzou Lacrosse will be posting a few “Top Five” lists on the program.
Today’s list…five conference games the Tigers are looking forward to. The list comes from the teams on Missouri’s schedule that are members of the Great Rivers Lacrosse Conference (GRLC) Division-1.
1) Kansas (Away, April 9)
Their most-storied rival historically, Missouri will look to bring home the Border War Sword for the sixth year in a row and the ninth time in the last ten tries. Always highlighted on the schedule early on, the game will be the first for the Tigers following their Spring Break and will be Mizzou’s first GRLC West contest of the regular season. This season’s match between the border schools will be in Lawrence, where the Tigers won a thrilling 16-15 battle in their previous game at KU in 2014.
2) Iowa (Home, April 22)
Missouri’s biggest rival in the GRLC West over the past few seasons, the Tigers will take on the Hawkeyes during the final week of the season in a showdown that could determine who gets the top-seed and first round bye for the GRLC Tournament. Over the past four seasons, the two teams have alternated wins, with three of the games being decided by three goals or fewer. After losing in Iowa City by two in their final game of the regular season, Missouri is hoping to return the favor and end their season on a winning note. The game will be part of a final weekend home series that will pit Mizzou against Iowa and Nebraska (see #4), another of the highly-rated programs in the GRLC West.
3) Indiana (Away, March 26)
After taking a season off from playing each other, the Hoosiers and Tigers will square off in Bloomington. The top-rated team in the GRLC for the past two seasons and the 2016 GRLC preseason #1 team, Indiana will face off against Missouri in the Tigers second game of the day on March 26. As the gold-standard in the GRLC over the past few seasons, the Tigers will use this game to see how they match up against the top talent in their conference. This game has the potential during the season to be a preview of the best in the GRLC East against the best in the GRLC West.
4) Nebraska (Home, April 24)
After upsetting Missouri 8-7 at home last season, the Tigers are looking to come back with a vengeance against the team that finished second in the GRLC West in 2015, this time with the game in Columbia on Senior Night. The Huskers have the reigning GRLC Offensive Player of the Year on their roster, but if the Tigers can stifle their attack, they should be able to win their seventh game against their conference rival in their past eight tries.
5) Purdue (Home, March 13)
Winners of two of the last three GRLC titles (2013, 2015) the Boilermakers will face the Tigers in the regular season for the first time since 2011, the last season the program was in the MCLA National Polls. In their last meeting, Purdue beat Missouri 21-9 in a rain-drenched game in the first round of the 2013 GRLC Conference tournament. Missouri will be the home team for the neutral site match-up in St. Louis and will be looking to end a six-game losing skid dating back to 2012 in St. Louis. The game will be a trial for the Tigers before they take on Alabama the following day and may be a potential preview of a GRLC tournament game.