DU Lax Pulls Off Upset To Advance To NCAA's

(above) DU's Lacrosse team celebrates their ECAC Championship in Mile High Stadium after upsetting #6 Loyola yesterday 12-4

From: West Side Lax
by Nathan Max

It looks like the Denver men’s lacrosse team has tapped into the Bill Tierney magic after all.

After a rocky start to the season that included a shocking loss to fledgling Jacksonville, the Pioneers are conference champions and heading to the NCAA Division I tournament. And, the best part. On Sunday, it was a West Coast kid who led them there.

Sophomore middie Patrick Rogers, West Coast Lax’s 2008 Oregon Player of the Year, registered a game-high five points on three goals and two assists to lead No. 16 Denver to a 12-4 victory over No. 6 Loyola before a crowd of 2,762 at Invesco Field.

“It just kind of shows the game’s expanding and it’s not as East Coast-centric as it used to be,” Rogers said. “We played a complete game.”

Sophomore Mark Matthews added four points on two goals and two assists, Alex Demopoulos scored three goals and Todd Baxter had a goal and an assist, as the Pioneers (11-4, 6-0 ECAC) won their eighth straight to clinch the ECAC title in their first year in the conference.

By winning the conference, Denver has received an automatic berth into the tournament. And the Pioneers did it in style, posting their most lopsided win of the season. Denver led by as many as nine goals in the fourth quarter.

“It’s too unbelievable, especially in light of all the accolades, all the press and all the things I’ve received through this move to the West,” Tierney said. “They’re the ones who have had to put up with it. They’re the one who’ve had to sacrifice. They’re the one’s who’ve had to change, and they’re the ones who’ve had to believe.”

Cameron Kerr, Dillon Roy and Cameron Flint all scored once for Denver, which will close out the regular season against last-place Air Force next Saturday before playing in the big show. The draw will be announced Sunday May 9.

In the cage, Peter Lowell saved 15 shots.

In defeat, four players scored once for Loyola (9-3, 6-1), which had its six-game winning streak snapped.

Denver, which has won four one-goal games this season, including three against conference opponents, finally put it all together.

Denver led 3-0 at the end of the first quarter, 5-2 at halftime and 7-3 in the third quarter before putting it away with a five-goal run. Kerr scored an unassisted goal with 5:12 to play in the third quarter to give Denver an 8-3 lead to start it.

By the time Roy scored with 6:38 remaining in regulation, Denver was ahead, 12-3, and a shell-shocked Loyola team could do nothing but await time to expire so it could return to Baltimore as the conference’s second-place team.

“All the credit goes to the guys in that room,” Tierney added. “All we did was come in and convince them that they could be as good as they are.”


Anonymous said...

GREAT game, GREAT fan turnout, GREAT team!!! Way to go Pios!

1980 said...

Solid win. Lots of good things: this auto bid to the NCAAs after a rough start, and this without Tierney recruits, Great coverage with the NY Times article, and with Tierney's legacy, hopefully we steal a few blue chip recruits in the next year or two. The future is promising. Regardless of that, congrats to this years team.
I still wish this was on our fancy new field instead of less than 3000 at invesco. We need to get to the point where its hard to get tickets to see you DU lax (as opposed to few years back when Syracuse was here and it sold out with 'cuse fans)

dggoddard said...

The NCAA selection show will be held next Sunday at 6:30 PM MT, with the first round tournament games beginning May 15th.

puck swami said...

Look at near mutiny conditions of last years' DU squad where some good players quit, the loss of seniors to graduation and the loss of key underclassmen to disciplinary expulsions from the team (Lincoln and Gajic) and a 1-3 start this year, what Coach Tierney has done to whip this squad into NCAA tournament level is nothing short of remarkable.