The No. 5 Denver Pioneers' 2012 lacrosse season begins on Sunday afternoon against the Ohio St. Buckeyes in the Moe's Southwest Grill Classic. Thus the Pioneers' journey to return to the Final Four of the 2011 NCAA Lacrosse Tournament, falling to Virginia during the 2011 semifinals, starts anew.
The Buckeyes are already 2-0 with wins over Detroit and Mercer. Logan Schuss is already off to a great start for Ohio State, scoring five goals and totaling 10 points. Brock Sorensen leads the team with six goals. Greg Dutton has started both games for the Buckeyes and has allowed eight goals on 20 shots. Scott Spencer has played the other 30 minutes and has seen six goals reach the back of the net.
Denver, meanwhile, returns with a solid offense that is led by seniors Mark Matthews and Alex Demopoulos. Matthews led the team with 46 goals and 70 points last season; Demopoulos wasn't that far behind with 30 goals and 58 points.
The midfield of Cam Flint and Jeremy Noble will help backup the offense and provide support for the defense while Chase Carraro returns as one of the top face-off guys in the country. He won 58.2 percent of his face-offs in 2011.
In net, Jamie Faus returns as a sophomore following a freshman season in which he has an 8.55 GAA and a .560 save percentage. He will have a new defense in front of him with Kyle Hercher and Drew Babb there. Carson Cannon and Mike Riis are also expected to receive plenty of playing time.
With a victory, Pioneers head coach Bill Tierney will reach win No. 300.
Game time/date: 12:00 p.m. MT, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012
Location: EverBank Field, Jacksonville, Fla.
TV: NBC Sports Network
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