Coloradans flavor champions’ roster
Ten years ago, the vision was to make the University of Denver the NCAA lacrosse capital of the West. Mission accomplished, and the growth from the feat has become similarly as obvious.
DU, the defending national champion, has 12 Coloradans on its 2016 roster, the most from any state or Canadian province.
“That gets us excited,” Pioneers coach Bill Tierney said Wednesday.
A handful of freshmen from area high schools are poised to play key roles for the preseason No. 2- ranked Pioneers, who take on theU. S. national teamin an exhibition Sunday in Bradenton, Fla.
“Colton Jackson and Dylan Johnson — they’re going to be players for us — and Jaden Franklin is his own story,” Tierney said.
Jackson is a midfielder from Rock Canyon High School in Highlands Ranch, and Johnson is a defender fromnearbyCherry Creek in GreenwoodVillage. Franklin, a midfielder, is from Denver and starred at Kent Denver in Cherry Hills.
Freshman DavidWinsor, who grewup in Boulder, might challenge for the starting goalie job once he returns from a hand injury.
For now, the starting goalie is freshman AlexReady, a 6- foot- 1, 210- pound left- hander from Lancaster, Pa.
Ready is replacing four- year starter Ryan LaPlante of Fort Collins, who is among five key graduated seniors fromlast season. The others are attackmen Wes Berg and SeanCannizzaro, middfielder Erik Adamson and defenseman Carson Cannon.
“As a coach, you always think you can replace guys, but we had a pretty significant senior group,” Tierney said. “But we don’t need to replace eight seniors with eight freshmen. We’ve got plenty of guys who were on the cusp last year. We had 14 guys playing on our second midfield. We have plenty of guys to step into big roles.”