#20 Denver (3-3) battled the #8 North Carolina Tar Heels tough Saturday but lost by one goal, following a three-goal run by the Tar Heels to close out the game. The difference in the game was ground balls, 34-18 advantage Heels, which contributed mightily to the 17-16 loss.
Denver trailed by as many as six goals in the third quarter, 12-6, before drawing even with UNC, 14-14, on a JJ Sillstrop goal with 10:25 remaining in the game. Denver’s Noah Manning and Sillstrop each added goals to increase DU’s lead, 16-14, but the Tar Heels responded with three consecutive goals to win the game.
JJ Sillstrop led Denver on the day with 3 goals and 3 assists. Jack Hannah and Alex Simmons chipped in with 3 goals each and 1 assist. Denver won the faceoff battle by five, 20-15, but turned the ball over four more times than the Tar Heels.
Denver has lost three of their last four games in one of the biggest skids under head coach Bill Tierney.
Next up for DU is a Yale home game on Sunday, March 13th.
2 thoughts on “Denver Drops Squeaker to UNC in Chapel Hill”
This was certainly an improvement from the earlier two losses by virtue of closeness of the score, but there are no moral victories in losing.
As the tape will reveal, even when everything else is equal, it’s very hard to beat quality teams when you lose the ground ball battle by a 2-1 margin, a continuing problem that has haunted DU in the losses to Duke, Jacksonville and now, Carolina.
Ground ball stats are a proxy for “who wants it more” — measured by speed, strength, positioning and hustle/desire.
With this loss, there are only three few more opportunities for a quality non-league win – Yale, Ohio State and Georgetown.
It looks increasingly likely that if DU is headed for 5-6 loss season and if it is to win an NCAA bid, it likely won’t be a seeded bid/home game (top 8). They are probably going to need to win the Big East Tourney…
I haven’t seen any games this year yet, but is the program trending downward? Lack of talent? Might Tierney’s message getting stale? Something else? Seems a bit perplexing.