Pioneers thump Marquette in regular season finale

Photo: Courtesy of SB Nation

No. 2 Denver cruised by Marquette University, 16-8, on Saturday afternoon to complete another undefeated BIG EAST regular season.

In rainy conditions, the Pioneers’ (11-2, 5-0) Ethan Walker and Colton Jackson each poured in four goals and Connor Cannizzaro had a hat trick. Walker, DU’s freshman star also added three assists for a game-high seven points.

The Golden Eagles enjoyed a brief advantage when the Golden Eagles John Wagner capitalized on a man-up opportunity early in the first quarter. CBS Sports programming interrupted the early part of the first quarter of lacrosse with an extra inning baseball game between Bucknell and Navy. The Pioneers caught fire after Marquette’s goal, scoring 10 of the next 13 goals in the first half which basically ended the game as Marquette had no answer for Denver’s offensive ball movement. A late second quarter Denver tally gave the Pioneers a 10-4 halftime advantage. All-American faceoff specialist Trevor Baptiste went 18-of-26 at the X and goalie Alex Ready stopped 12 shots.

The Pioneers committed 14 turnovers to the Golden Eagles’ 6 but led in every other statistical category. Denver won their 6th straight contest and is rounding into shape for tournament time.

The fourth-seeded Golden Eagles will face top-seed Denver again this Thursday again in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Tournament in Providence.

Weird stat of the Day: On offense, the Pioneers had 16 shots on goal and 16 goals.

2 thoughts on “Pioneers thump Marquette in regular season finale”

  1. Pios are looking like a top 4 team right now. They have the best face-off man in the sport, and that possession advantage Baptiste gives DU, when coupled with the Pios deep efficient offense, make the Pios a very difficult opponent at this time of year. The growth of Walker and French as scorers when Cannizzaro’s draws the opponent’s best pole, Pace’s comfort zone coming off injury, Donahue’s slithery-ness and Jackson’s emergence as a bull-like alley-dodger with cannon shot make the Pios a very good offensive threat from anywhere. This team can shoot.

    Defensively, the Pios are improving with Gaines and Johnson’s return to health, which means faster reactions and recoveries. They seem to have made the middle a tougher place for opponents to get their hands free, which leads to longer shots that Ready can see and save more often.

    However, the two question marks I still have for DU right now are goaltending and turnovers. Alex Ready has been improving in recent weeks as the defense around him improves, but he’s still streaky. If he can save 50% the rest of the way, I think DU will probably be ok.

    Turnovers have been an issue all season with this group, and my hope is that the Pios can mitigate some of those risky passes in the defensive zone.

    Liked by 1 person

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