Pioneers finish strong, ready for BIG EAST Tournament runs

The #2 University of Denver Men’s Lacrosse and #16 University of Denver Women’s Lacrosse teams face Marquette and Georgetown respectively in the BIG EAST Tournament semifinals today. The men will be at Chapey Field in Providence, the one in Rhode Island and the women will play at Villanova Stadium in Philadelphia.

Both teams have taken similar trajectories over their last five games. The Denver men are 5-0 while the DU women are 4-1 with their only loss a narrow defeat to Georgetown (9-7) on the road.

Denver men have lit up the scoreboard down the stretch by scoring an average of 16.4 goals per game while allowing just 8.8 goals. A rapidly improving Alex Ready has a 56% save %, stopping 48 shots while allowing 37 goals. Four players have scored double digits with Connor Cannizzaro, BIG EAST Co-Attackman of the Year, with 15 goals and 9 assists. Ethan Walker, BIG EAST Freshman of the Year, is close behind with 14 goals and 16 assists. Austin French is gaining steam the final third of the season with 11 goals and 8 assists. Colton Jackson has also chipped in 10 goals and 2 assists. BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year, Trevor Baptiste, is winning an incredible 74.1% of the faceoffs (106/143) during the same five-game stretch.

The Denver women are scoring 15.6 goals per game over the last five and have given up a miserly 6.6 tallies per game. Goalie Maddie Stevenson has a 46% save %, saving 28 shots while giving up 33 goals over the past five games. Three players are in double digits. Julia Feiss has 17 goals and seven assists, Elizabeth Behrins has 13 goals and three assists, and Emily Conway has 13 goals and one assist. Kendra Lanuza leads the squad in assists with 13 and has chipped in with seven goals over the last five contests. Denver is winning 44% of draw-controls.

If the Denver men defeat Marquette for the second time in six days, they are likely to face Villanova in the tournament final. With the DU men the only BIG EAST team assured of making the national tournament, they will be facing desperate squads over the next few days. Denver is trying to secure a top-4 seed and earn a home game in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

On the women’s side, if DU exacts revenge on Georgetown, they are likely to face a tough Florida (#2/15-2) squad in the BIG EAST finals. The DU women sit squarely on the bubble and likely must win both games to make the NCAA tournament.

DU Men’s Lacrosse faces Marquette at 2:30 pm MT at Providence (CBSSN, AM1600 Denver, GAMETRACKER, & PioneerVision) while the DU women play Georgetown at 5:00 pm MT at Villanova Stadium (Live Stream, BIG EAST Digital, & GAMETRACKER).