|(above) Jamie Faus made 14 saves on Sunday|
by D. Shirley
The #5 ranked University of Denver traveled to Orlando, FL. to take on Team USA as part of the US Lacrosse Champion Challenge. Team USA, the reigning world champions, prevailed in overtime 16-15, but the Pioneers put up one heck of a battle against some of the best professional players in the world.
Mark Mathews was in mid-season form scoring four goals and four assists to lead all players. The DU Senior is expected to contend for the Tewaaraton Award given to the best NCAA player this season.
The US came out and quickly scored but Denver went on a three goal run behind Eric Law and Mark Matthews. Matthews assisted both of Law's goals and added one of his own. Denver was moving the ball well on offense. Advancement from the back line and movement of players up front is what allowed Denver score.
Team USA then put on an exhibition of their speed and size and quickly took the lead back. Chazz Woodson scored a couple of goals right before half to give the Americans a 9-7 lead going into the break.
Denver slightly outplaying the US in the second half & tied the game at 15 with 2:22 left in regulation. In overtime, both teams found the pipes once but the game winner came off of a rebounded shot that Jamie Faus couldn't contain and Kevin Leveille sent it to the back of the net for a Team USA victory, 16-15.