Denver, Notre Dame, and Duke form a log jam at the top of the college lacrosse preseason polls heading into 2016 and all three teams will be on display at the Cobb County Classic on February 20th. College Lacrosse Productions is proud to present the third annual Cobb County Classic, which will be played at Kennesaw State’s Fifth Third Bank Stadium.
UPDATE From LAS Editor: There will be a livestream of the games! Our main man Marcus Holman is calling the action (and we all know how good he is on the mic!) with Ned Kaish of LB3 Lacrosse. Go to lb3live.com at 1130am for the Notre Dame – Georgetown game. The stream covers all THREE games. It should be a good one.
Cobb County Classic – Game 1
The first game of the day will feature #2 Notre Dame taking on #13 Georgetown starting at 11:30 am. Notre Dame comes into the 2016 season hungry after falling just short in overtime to Denver in the semifinals last spring. The Fighting Irish have appeared in two National Championship games since 2010 but are still looking for the program’s first title win. 2016 has the promise to be that year with the return of preseason All-Americans Matt Kavanagh and Sergio Perkovic on offense and Matt Landis and Garrett Epple on defense.
Last season the Irish averaged 13.3 goals per game behind the play of Kavanagh who led the team with 52 points on 27 goals and 25 assists. Perkovic has made his name known the last two years by playing his best on the biggest stage including scoring five goals against Denver in the semis last year and five against Duke in the 2014 National Championship. Perkovic returns to lead the Notre Dame midfield after scoring 34 goals last season. On the defensive side of the ball reigning ACC Defensive Player of the Year Matt Landis will be joined by preseason second team All-American Garrett Epple to protect the net.
Georgetown is looking to jump start its 2016 season with a win over a top five team and start it’s road back to the NCAA Tournament, a road they haven’t been on since 2007. After finishing last season with a 10-6 record, including 4-1 in Big East conference play, the Hoyas are optimistic about their return to the big dance.
Midfielder Craig Berge, who finished last season with 16 goals and 21 assists, will lead the Hoya’s offense. Georgetown will also look for early production out of freshman attackmen Dan Bucaro and Chris Donovan, both of whom were top 20 recruits. On defense the Hoya’s will rely on another big year from sophomore goalie Nick Marrocco who finished second in the NCAA in saves last year with 206 and boasted a 55% save percentage.
Cobb County Classic – Game 2
The second matchup, which will face off at 2:00 pm, will feature the last three national champions as #3 Duke takes on #1 Denver. Denver took home the hardware last season, their first in program history, however not the first for head coach Bill Tierney. Tierney took over at Denver in 2010 after previously leading Princeton to six National Titles in the 90’s. Prior to the Pioneers win last Memorial Day, Duke coach John Danowski and his Blue Devils had captured the last two titles in 2013 and 2014. Danowski and Duke will look to get back to the Final Four this spring after missing out for the first time in eight years last spring. Last season Duke edged Denver 17-13 in the Cobb County Classic.
This matchup will feature two lacrosse titans who know a thing or two about scoring goals. Last season both teams’ averaged 14 goals and don’t look to have any signs of slowing down. Denver will be lead by junior attackman Connor Cannizarro who finished 4th nationally in points and 6th in goals last season after posting 90 points on 57 goals and 33 assists. Cannizarro will be joined on the offensive end by fellow preseason first team All-American, midfielder Tyler Pace who put up 49 points last year including 27 assists from the midfield. Preseason 2nd team All- American Zach Miller and his 61 points from last season give the Pioneers plenty of offensive threats. At the face-off X Trevor Baptiste looks to continue to make life easy for his offense after winning 68% of face-offs last season.
Duke will be led from the midfield as a pair of Blue Devils headlined the 1st team preseason All-American list. Seniors Myles Jones and Deemer Class combined for 120 points last spring. Jones led all midfielders in assists with 37 and added 40 goals as well. Class, more the shooter, finished last season with 34 goals. The two midfielders will be surrounded by a host of talented attackman which includes Justin Guterding who scored 52 goals last season as a freshman.
The Cobb County Classic will also host #5 Northwestern vs #11 Virginia women’s game the weekend prior, February 13th, at noon.
For tickets and more info on the Cobb County Classic visit lb3lacrosse.com.