(ISN) – ROSEMONT, Ill. – The inaugural Big Ten men’s lacrosse season gets underway on Saturday, with five Big Ten teams in action. Maryland will begin its season on Saturday, Feb. 14.
Johns Hopkins, the first sport affiliate member in Big Ten history, will host UMBC in its season opener. Michigan will entertain Bellarmine, Ohio State will travel to Detroit, Penn State will host Vermont and Rutgers will visit St. John’s.
Four Big Ten men’s lacrosse teams are ranked in the Nike/Lacrosse Magazine Preseason Top-20, with three squads nationally ranked in the Inside Lacrosse Division 1 Men’s Media Top 20. Johns Hopkins leads the way at No. 5/6 (Lacrosse Magazine/Inside Lacrosse), while Maryland (No. 8/10), Penn State (No. 15/17) and Ohio State (No. 20/rv) also earned top 20 nods. Johns Hopkins was the favorite to win the Big Ten Championship in the preseason coaches’ poll.
The inaugural Big Ten Men’s Lacrosse Tournament will be hosted by Maryland from April 30 to May 2. The tournament will feature a four-team field, with two semifinal matches on Thursday and the championship game played on Saturday.
In June 2013, the Big Ten announced the addition of men’s and women’s lacrosse as the conference’s 27th and 28th sports. The six programs that comprise Big Ten men’s lacrosse boast 56 national championships, with schools that have competed for more than a century. Johns Hopkins has played since 1883 and leads all schools with 44 national championships. Maryland has claimed 11 national titles, while Rutgers has also won a national championship. The Scarlet Knights launched men’s lacrosse in 1887, followed by programs starting in 1913 for Penn State, 1924 for Maryland, 1953 for Ohio State and 2012 for Michigan.