NCAA lacrosse powerhouses Maryland and Denver will play in an exhibition match Saturday at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila.
Could college lacrosse attract a following in Seattle?
It could certainly get a boost when two prominent Division I men’s teams, Maryland and Denver, face off in an exhibition at Starfire Sports Complex Stadium in Tukwila at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Event organizers reported that all 3,000 presale tickets had been sold, although more will be available at the stadium.
Maryland has reached the NCAA championship game the past two years, falling to Loyola (Md.) in May in the 2012 title match. Denver lost to Loyola by one goal in the quarterfinals of the 16-team tournament. Both are considered title contenders for the 2013 season.
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Two midfielders on Denver’s roster have local roots, junior Cole Nordstrom (Bellevue High School) and freshman Jack Pruitt (Skyline High School). Landon Carr, a senior midfielder for Maryland, attended Curtis High School in University Place, near Tacoma.
Both schools have deep lacrosse heritages. Maryland has advanced to the NCAA final game 11 times, twice winning titles. Denver has reached the NCAA tournament five of the past seven years and finished last season ranked No. 6 in the coaches poll.
Organizers of the match, dubbed the Seatown Classic, say this is the first Division I contest to be played in Washington.
Lacrosse is played as a club sport at Washington and Seattle University. The western-most NCAA Division I men’s programs are Denver and Air Force. Oregon and USC sponsor women’s D-I programs.
Jack Cerchiara is in his first season as coach for UW’s men’s club team after serving four seasons as assistant coach. His squad plays in one of 10 conferences managed by the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association
“I sincerely believe that the first Pac-12 school to go D-I will have an incredible advantage to recruit talented players from all over the country,” Cerchiara said. “I hope this will be here at the UW.”