Women’s Basketball & Lacrosse thrive in Relative Anonymity

Photo: DU Women’s Lacrosse defeated San Diego State University 17-12 on a chilly Friday afternoon game at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium.

One team’s season is winding down and the other team’s season has just begun.

DU Women’s basketball is 16-13 (7-7 Summit League) and having a solid season following 8-23, 5-25 and 6-24 seasons under former head coach Kerry Cremeans who posted a 24-112 overall record in her five seasons at DU. Head Coach Jim Turgeon has guided the team above .500 in just one season. According to one parent, Coach Turgeon employs a system that involves all the players instead of funneling the ball to the same one or two stars.  The result is an impressive winning season in Turgeon’s first season.

Jordyn Alt, Ciera Morgan and Sydney Kohl are the only seniors. Clair Gritt leads the Pioneers with 10.6 points per game (ppg) followed by Briana Johnson (8.8 ppg) and Samantha Romanowski (7.8 ppg). The Pioneers are scoring 70.9 points per game and the approach is ‘scoring by committee’. The team gets it done with 100 more rebounds than their opponents for the season along with an edge in steals and blocks.

The Pioneers dropped a 77-61 decision to Western Illinois Saturday to close out the Summit League regular season. But Sturgeon is looking at the long-term. Said Turgeon to Denver Magazine at the beginning of the season – “We must improve day by day, week by week, month by month. And then season by season – that’s how you build a program. Maybe three years, four years down the line, we have a women’s basketball program we can be proud of.” DU Women’s basketball just might be ahead of Turgeon’s timeline.

Basketball Women WIL
Women’s basketball fell to Western Illinois Saturday afternoon in front of a sparse Senior Day crowd

They travel to Sioux Falls March 3rd-6th for the Summit League championships.

DU Women’s Lacrosse (3-0) has started the season with a victory over long-time rival Stanford (12-9). Then, the Pioneers traveled to Louisville and won their first road game of the season and defeated San Diego State University 17-10 yesterday. The three straight wins hint at another strong season by DU women’s lacrosse. Head Coach Liza Kelly and her staff have leveraged the move from the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) to the Big East conference by recruiting some excellent talent to the University of Denver Program. Inside lacrosse has DU ranked 25th in their most recent poll.

The Pioneers are returning offensive firepower with six of last seasons top seven scorers (Kendra Lanuza, Julia Feiss, Elizabeth Behrins, Audrey Schreck, Caitlin Derry and Katherine Fischer). These six players scored 256 of DU’s 332 points last season – so expect goal scoring in bunches from DU. Goalie Maddie Stevenson graduated and sophomore Carson Gregg is now picking up starts in goal.

The team travels to (#2 Inside Lacrosse) Stony Brook, New York for a game this Sunday and returns to Peter Barton for matches against Virginia Tech and Temple March 18th and 24th respectively. The Stony Brook road game will be a great test to see where Denver stands nationally.