SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2011
Men’s Lacrosse opens season against Georgetown in Sunshine Classic on Sunday at EverBank Field
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The JU men’s lacrosse team will start its 2011 campaign in the Moe’s Southwest Grill Sunshine Classic on Sunday against Georgetown at noon at EverBank Field.

Nine months after capping its inaugural season, the Dolphins will be looking to start a new season with momentum against the Big East-member Hoyas in the home of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars. Fans who cannot make it out to the stadium can catch all the action on 1010XL, Jacksonville's home for sports talk radio.

Duke and Notre Dame will play the second game of the Sunshine Classic doubleheader. That contest—a rematch of last year’s national championship game— is slated to start at 3 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN.

Tickets are on sale at Ticketmaster.com, with club seats starting at $34.50 and non-club seats starting at $25.50. Discounted prices are available for groups and for all active members of the military.

The Dolphins return a projected six starters from a team that went 6-7 and beat nationally ranked Denver in its first season of play. In all, 26 letterwinners return and 21 new players are on the 2011 roster. JU will also be entrusting its underclassmen to carry the load as 38 of the roster’s 48 players are either freshmen or sophomores.

After playing last season as an independent, the Dolphins will be playing its first season as a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference-member in 2011. JU was selected fourth in the preseason coaches poll and will have a chance to matchup against defending-champion Siena in April at home and will also playing challenging conference foes in Canisius, Marist and Manhattan, among others.

But before worrying about league play, JU will face a strong challenge in Georgetown. The Hoyas were picked to finish third in the Big East according to the preseason coaches poll. Defender Barney Ehrmann and sophomore attack Travis Comeau were also named to the conference’s all-preseason team. Georgetown is looking to make the NCAA Tournament again after falling short the previous three seasons. Before that stretch, the Hoyas advanced to the quarterfinals in eight of the previous nine years.

Georgetown is coming off a 5-1 record and second-place in the Big East and is led by seniors captains Dan Hostetler, Rickey Mirabito, Max Seligmann, David Shriver and Ryan Shuler.

JU counters with its own crop of talented returning veterans. Sophomore Cameron Mann earned preseason all-MAAC team honors after showing his worth as a two-way midfielder. As a freshman, the Hamilton, Ontario native scored 18 goals in starting all 13 games and his 57 ground balls were 12 more than the next closest teammate.

Junior Jake Ziegler and sophomore Corey Lovrich were also named to the all-MAAC team, meaning two of the three defensive selections came from the Dolphins backfield. Ziegler collected 22 ground balls and caused 16 turnovers while Lovrich scooped up 23 ground balls in 2010.

The Dolphins will be playing in the largest venue in its history. EverBank Field, located in downtown Jacksonville adjacent to the St. Johns River, lists its official seating capacity at 67,246.

The Sunshine Classic’s second game will also give JU a chance to scout a future opponent. The Dolphins will face the Blue Devils at home in the regular season finale on April 30. Duke posted a 16-7 win in the first meeting between the schools in program history last year, recording the victory in Durham, N.C.

- By Brian Bohl