Denver Falls Flat in Big EAST Tournament Final, 8-3

It took nearly 28 minutes for Denver to score – and it got worse from there. Credit Georgetown and their red-hot goalkeeper Nick Marrocco. The Hoyas allowed Denver few easy looks and pushed the Denver offense to the perimeter and created uncharacteristic Pioneer turnovers all four quarters in the 8-3 Pioneer loss.

Denver (12-3, 5-1) started ice cold on the offensive end and Josh Matte had trouble in the cage containing Georgetown (12-4, 4-2). Georgetown got a pair of goals from Jake Carraway to take a 2-0 lead on Denver in the first quarter. The Hoyas Lucas Wittenberg beat Matte at 12:52 of the second quarter to make it 3-0. Carraway made it a hat trick at 9:45 to take a 4-0 lead and chase Josh Matte from goal. Eight minutes later Denver finally caught net when Colin Rutan made it 4-1 at 2:08. But, Georgetown responded with another dagger from Wittenberg to take the steam out of any Denver comeback hopes before halftime. Georgetown goalkeeper Nick Marrocco had 9 saves in the half to 2 for Alex Ready and 0-2 for Josh Matte.

The third period was a draw. A defensive breakdown led to an easy Georgetown goal at 11:02 of the third period.  Nearly ten minutes later, Colin Rutan scored on an over-the- shoulder flip at 1:30 to make the score 6-2 entering the fourth quarter. In the fourth quarter, Matt Behrens stuffed the ball into the Pioneer net to extend the advantage to 7-2. Lucas Wittenberg scored the Hoyas second hat trick at 8:42 to create an insurmountable 8-2 lead. DU’s Rutan quickly responded with his third goal to make it 8-3. DU was unable to create scoring opportunities against the Georgetown pressure. The Hoyas ran the clock to end the contest with a decisive 8-3 win.

For whatever reason, Denver was never in this game. While Denver is nearly certain to make the playoffs, a first round NCAA road contest may be in their future. Of greater concern was Denver’s inability to get the ball inside on offence and improve their shot selection and scoring. While DU had 37 shots on goal, few were high-quality. Also, goal keeping appears to be a potential question mark heading into the NCAA’s with highs and lows experienced this season by both Josh Matte and Alex Ready.

The NCAA selection show will be held Sunday night at 7:00 PM.