After DU (18-2, 5-0) put on a dominating display against Vermont 16-3, they set their sights on Boston College (16-2, 6-2) in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Bea Behrins voiced her thoughts on playing the three-seed Eagles on their home field. “They think that they are going to come in and run all over us. That underdog mentality, grit, that we have will show in that game (Sunday).”
In the 2008 superhero film The Dark Knight, the Joker makes the statement about Batman’s daring and finally a successful attempt at capturing him, by saying “This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object”. In this case, the unstoppable force is the high-powered BC offense. The immovable object is the Denver defense. Despite a solid offense, led by record-breaking Behrins, and a shutdown defense, DU is a clear underdog heading into the contest.
BC defeated Denver earlier this season in a weather-shortened contest, 9-5, at Peter Barton Stadium. However, the conditions and mindset of the Pioneers should be much different in this game. Denver has gone 12-1 since that game and appears to be peaking at just the right time, driven by a stingy defense that ranks second in the nation in forced turnovers (13.05 per game), 4th in the nation in win percentage, 4th in scoring defense, and 14th on ground ball controls.
The Eagles are the opposite, playing a run and gun style of play. The Eagles are 6th in the nation in scoring and have a host of scoring options. The Pioneer defense must key on the ever-dangerous Tewaaraton finalist Charlotte North who is 4th in the nation with 75 goals. Denver must put defensive pressure on the Eagles who are second in clearing percentage, 3rd in scoring, 10th in draw control, and 6th in scoring margin. North is not the only Eagle threat as teammate Jenn Medjid has 112 points followed by four more players with more than 50 points on the season. The Pioneers can ill afford to trade goals with BC and must mark their opponents and not allow easy fast-break goals. If Denver is to have any chance, they must muck up the game, using every bit of the shot clock and maintaining a solid defense posture against the fast-strike Eagles.
The game begins Sunday at 11:00 am at the Newton Campus Lacrosse and Soccer Field. The game will be shown on ESPN+.
Photo courtesy of Denver Athletics