Athletics & Recreation

Men’s lacrosse re-fuels roster with 15 newcomers in 2016

The University of Denver men’s lacrosse team has added 14 freshmen and one transfer to its 2016 roster, head coach Bill Tierney announced on Wednesday.

In Denver’s 2016 class, 11 of the 15 are from California or Colorado, with the other four hailing from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and Connecticut. The 2016 class includes 10 United States Lacrosse High School All-Americans.

“The DU senior class of 2015, which led us to our first NCAA Championship, will be sorely missed,” Tierney said. “As in the past, however, we replace our graduates with an amazing freshman group. It is made up of great people, students and athletes, who will help our program continue on its journey to remain at the top of college lacrosse. Four years from now, I believe we will be talking about the DU class of 2019 being one of the best ever.”

Denver’s transfer, Zach Runberg (Centennial, Colo.) joins the Crimson and Gold from the University of Delaware. The rising sophomore was the top freshman scorer for the Blue Hens in 2015, tallying 13 points on four goals and nine assists.

One of the candidates to replace the services of four-year starting goaltender Ryan LaPlante will be incoming freshman Alex Ready (Lancaster, Pa.). Ready was a three-time all-league selection during his high school career and a U.S. Lacrosse All-American. The other goalie in the 2016 class is Colorado product David Winsor (Boulder), who previously played on the Denver Elite Club Team as a rising senior. Denver returns three of its four goalies from its 2015 squad.

The Pioneers also added three defenders to the 2016 squad after graduating 2015 defensive captain Carson Cannon from its starting lineup in the offseason. U.S. Lacrosse All-American Dylan Johnson (Englewood, Colo.), a  top 50 finalist for the U.S. Under-19 Team, joins the Pioneers fresh off a 2015 5A Colorado State Championship, played the night before Denver’s 2015 NCAA Quarterfinal win against Ohio State at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

Defensive coordinator John Orsen adds a pair of East Coast recruits to his roster: Dylan Gaines (Baltimore, Md.) and Jon Ober (Fredericksburg, Va.). Gaines was a three-year letter-winner and 2015 captain at Boys’ Latin School of Maryland, leading his team to the MIAA Championship in his three years there. Ober was a two-time All-Virginia selection and a four-year letter-winner at Episcopal High School.

Long stick midfielder Brett Greenlee (Newport Beach, Calif.) is one of six California student-athletes added to the 2016 roster. Greenlee was a 2015 U.S. Lacrosse All-American and a 2015 Adrenaline All-American Game participant. The Pioneers graduated 2015 NCAA All-Tournament Team selection and LSM Mike Riis from their roster.

Denver also adds a quartet of midfielders to the 2016 squad. Max Begoon (New Canaan, Ct.) will be one of two Connecticut student-athletes on next year’s roster after playing four years for New Canaan High School. Kent Denver product Jaden Franklin tallied 129 career points in 49 games on 96 goals and 33 assists in his high school career. A pair of U.S Lacrosse All-Americans round out the midfield group for the Pioneers’ 2016 class in Colton Jackson (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) and Ryan Harnisch (Huntington Beach, Calif.). Jackson scored 89 career goals and dished out 56 assists in his 63 high school games, including 40 goals and 18 helpers in his senior campaign. Harnisch was also a 2015 Adrenaline All-American game participant, a two-time Orange County Player of the Year and off the field was named a 2015 Scholar Athlete.

All four of Denver’s incoming attackmen were U.S. Lacrosse All-Americans in their high school careers, and all four are California natives. A two-time U.S. All-American and Under Armour All-American, Nate Marano (Tustin, Calif.) scored 99 goals and tallied 22 assists in 22 games in his senior campaign. Adrenaline All-American game participant Quinn McKone (Novato, Calif.) scored 149 career goals and dished out 142 career assists in his two-sport career at Novato High School (he also played basketball). Also a starting safety for his high school football team, Austin French (Danville, Calif.) was his high school league MVP in 2015 and joined McKone at the 2015 Adrenaline All-American game. Las Lomas High School captain Colin Rutan (Walnut Creek, Calif.) was an East Bay Boys Lacrosse First Team selection in 2015, leading his team with 95 points on 42 goals and 53 assists.

Tierney enters his seventh season in 2016 after leading Denver to its first national championship in 2015. Tierney, former head coach of the Princeton Tigers, is 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 scorers 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 Christian Burgdorf (Westfield, N.J.) and 25-game starter Pat Karole (Glen Ridge, N.J.) will return for the Pioneers defense in 2016.

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