KENNESAW, Ga. - The No. 13/14 Georgetown University men’s lacrosse team (0-0, 0-0 BIG EAST) will open the 2016 season against No. 1/1 Notre Dame (0-0, 0-0 ACC) on Saturday morning at 11:30 a.m. as part of the Cobb County Classic at Fifth Third Bank Stadium on the campus of Kennesaw State University. This will be the first time that either team has played a regular season game in Georgia.
SERIES HISTORY: This marks the second consecutive season that the Hoyas meet the Fighting Irish in the season-opener, as GU fell in South Bend, 14-12 last season. This will be the 16th meeting between the former BIG EAST rivals, with Georgetown trailing the all-time series, 8-7. While the Hoyas have dropped their last four games to ND, they have been close contests with each of the four games decided by two goals or less.
BROADCAST INFORMATION: The Cobb County Classic, hosted by LB3 Lacrosse (lb3lacrosse.com), will provide a pay per view stream of all three of the Division I men’s lacrosse games on Saturday, including Georgetown vs. Notre Dame for $4.99 at lb3live.com. Live stats of Saturday’s game will be available by visiting Georgetown’s official athletics website – GUHoyas.com. Fans can also find in-game updates by following the Georgetown men’s lacrosse team’s official Twitter page: @HoyasMLacrosse.
The Hoyas enter their fourth year under Head Coach Kevin Warne, the 2015 BIG EAST Coach of the Year. Georgetown posted a six-game improvement last season, winning 10 games for the first time since 2007. The team advanced to the BIG EAST Championship Game, before falling to the eventual National Champion Denver Pioneers.
HOYAS RETURN EIGHT STARTERS: GU returns eight starters, including sophomore midfielder Craig Berge (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa), a preseason All-America selection. Berge became the first Hoya freshman to earn All-America honors, after finishing with 16 goals and 21 assists in 2015. Junior defender Michael Mayer (Baltimore, Md./St. Paul’s), also a preseason All-America selection, was the only GU defender to start all 16 games last season, finishing with a team-high 15 caused turnovers. The Hoyas also return a pair of preseason All-BIG EAST selections with junior Peter Conley (Mamaroneck, N.Y./Mamaroneck), who finished fourth on the team with 19 goals in just seven games last season, and sophomore goalie Nick Marrocco (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury), a First Team All-BIG EAST selection as a freshman.
Sophomore Stephen Quinzi (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford) is the team’s second leading returning scorer, after registering 20 goals and nine assists during his freshman campaign. Graduate student midfielder Joe Bucci (Ithaca, N.Y./Ithaca) returns for his second season as a team captain after scoring 12 goals and one assist last season. Junior Devon Lewis (Orlando, Fla./Lake Highland Prep) (10 goals, 4 assists), sophomore Ryan Hursey (Finksburg, Md./Westminster) (11 goals, 1 assist) and junior Eduardo White (Littleton, Colo./Kent Denver) (11 goals, 1 assist) give the Hoyas depth and scoring punch at the midfield.
SHOES TO FILL: Warne and the Hoyas will have to replace its top two scorers from a season ago, with Bo Stafford and Reilly O’Connor both graduating. Quinzi and Conley are the only two players on the roster that have previously started at attack, with sophomores Matt Behrens (Bronxville, N.Y./Bronxville) and Zeke Morrill (Baltimore, Md./Gilman/Deerfield) both seeing time last season. GU will also use freshmen Daniel Bucaro (East Setauket, N.Y./Ward Melville) and Chris Donovan (Morristown, N.J./Seton Hall Prep [The Hun School]).
Georgetown will also have to find new production at the faceoff X, with the graduation of Gabe Mendola and Anthony Heaton. Sophomore Peter Tagliaferri (Danville, Calif./San Ramon Valley) and sophomore Riley Mann (Naperville, Ill./Benet Academy) will be tested early.
ABOUT NOTRE DAME: The Irish return three All-Americans with senior attackman Matt Kavanagh, senior defenseman Matt Landis and junior midfielder Sergio Perkovic, helping them to a preseason No. 1 ranking in both the USILA and Cascade/Maverik polls. ND advanced to the NCAA Championship Semifinals, after earning the tournament’s top-seed. They fell to eventual to Denver, 11-10.