Colorado, MDI, Men's

Pioneers Top 2016 Preseason Coaches’ Poll

0 Comments 12 January 2016

Denver Men's Lacrosse

PERRY, N.Y. – The 2015 Division I National Champion Denver Pioneers men’s lacrosse team has been selected as the top-team in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association/Nike Preseason Coaches’ Poll that was released on Monday

(USILA Poll ). This marks the second-consecutive year the Pioneers were picked No. 1 in the preseason by the coaches.

The Pioneers received 14 of the 22 first place votes and earned 431 points, 15 ahead of No. 2 Notre Dame (six first place votes). Duke checked in at No. 3 (393/1 vote), 2015 National Runner-up Maryland is No. 4 (365/1) and Johns Hopkins rounded out the top five with 340 points.

Denver will see four of the other five teams in the top six before the middle of March. Denver welcomes No. 5 Johns Hopkins to Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium for an exhibition on January 30 (10 a.m. MT). Following a season-opening trip to Air Force, the Pioneers will return to Georgia for the 2016 Cobb County Classic to take on No. 3 Duke (February 20). Denver won the match-up 17-13 in Kennesaw last season. After its first two home games of the season on February 27 and 28, the Pioneers will travel to No. 6 North Carolina (March 5/11 a.m. MT) and No. 2 Notre Dame (March 13/3 p.m. MT) on back-to-back weekends.

The Crimson and Gold’s other opponents in the poll include a home date with No. 11 Ohio State (March 19/1 p.m. MT), trips to No. 13 Georgetown (April 2/9 a.m. MT) and No. 19 Villanova (April 9/10 a.m. MT), a home game in the regular season finale with [RV] Marquette (April 30/1 p.m. MT) and a neutral site clash with [RV] Penn State (March 26/11 a.m. MT in Dallas).

DU is coming off its first National Championship in program history, and its 30th national title as an athletic department. The Pioneers were No. 1 in all four preseason polls a year ago. In December, Denver was also tabbed as the No. 2 team in the nation in the 2016 Face-Off Yearbook Division I Top 20, and No. 2 in the Lacrosse Magazine Preseason Poll last week.

SEASON TICKETS: There is only one way to guarantee yourself a seat in Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium in 2016 as limited season tickets are still available. Fans interested in becoming new season ticket holders in 2016 can purchase their tickets here.

ABOUT DENVER: 2015 USILA Head Coach of the Year Bill Tierney enters his seventh season in 2016 after not only leading Denver to its first National Championship in 2015, but also becoming the first NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Division I head coach to win National Championships at two different institutions. The Levittown, N.Y., native also has an NCAA-record seven National Championships.

Denver returns three of its top four point getters from a 2015 team that finished the campaign on a 13-game winning streak en-route to a National Championship.  Junior Connor Cannizzaro (Cazenovia, N.Y.) shattered Denver’s single-season points record in his first season with the program, finishing with 90 points on 57 goals and 33 assists. Classmates Zach Miller (Steamburg, N.Y.) and Tyler Pace (Coquitlam, B.C) return in the Denver midfield after finishing with 61 (26G, 35A) and 49 (22G, 27A) points, respectively in 2015.

Two-time USILA All-American, including 2015 second-team selection, Christian Burgdorf (Westfield, N.J.) and 25-game starter Pat Karole (Glen Ridge, N.J.) will return for the Pioneers defense in 2016.   

Denver had five Inside Lacrosse Preseason All-Americans represented in the 2016 Face-Off Yearbook. The Pioneers also checked in at No. 2 in the 2016 Face-Off Yearbook Top-20 and No. 2 in the Lacrosse Magazine Preseason poll.

– JOIN THE DENVER PIONEER NATION

Visit DenverPioneers.com for complete coverage of all 17 of DU’s NCAA Division I sports.

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