#10 Denver men’s lacrosse (8-4, 3-1) put away a sloppy Providence team on Senior Night at Peter Barton Stadium, 13-6. The Friars lost track of the ball 12 times and were forced into turnovers seven more times on a brisk Rocky Mountain evening. The Pioneers reeled in seven more ground balls than Providence, creating extra possessions and stalling offensive opportunities for the visitors who appeared to still be operating in a different time zone. In a week that featured Matt Brown as DU’s future head coach, it was Coach Bill Tierney’s defense that turned up the heat in the first half – holding the visitors to only two goals. Not to be outdone, the Pioneers scored a host of seven straight goals in Brown’s offense. The Denver ‘D’ capped the night with a length-of-the-field goal by defender Jimmy Freehill, 13-6.
— Denver Men’s Lacrosse (@DU_MLAX) April 22, 2023
The teams traded goals early and DU trailed 2-1. Once again, as they have many times this season, the Pioneers caught fire and reeled off seven straight goals over the first and second periods, taking an 8-2 lead into haftime. The Friars went scoreless with 11:34 remaining in the first quarter until halftime, over 26 minutes of turnovers and missed opportunities as Denver took control.
The Friars woke up and scored two goals to open the third period. DU’s Noah Manning and JJ Sillstrop restored order with two straight goals for Denver to take control, 10-4. Providence Ryan Bell scored a man-up goal to end the third period but the Pioneers looked comfortable as the snow began to fall.
It was all but over when Denver opened the final quarter with a pair of goals by Noah Manning and Josua Carlson to go up 12-5 and the party was on. At 9:46, Michael Chabra scored the Friars’ final goal. Two minutes later, Denver’s Jimmy Freehill caught the Friar goalkeeper James Corasaniti creeping upfield and heaved a perfect strike almost the length of the field to cap the dominant performance by DU on Senior night. It was only fitting that senior JJ Sillstrop led DU scoring with four goals while six other Pioneers joined in the scoring on the night.
DU is turning heads with a team with few stars, relying on smart defense and an opportunistic offense. This workman-like team is quietly developing a swagger and a stingy defense that might delay Matt Brown taking the reins of the program until several weeks later than expected. On a chilly spring night, the Pioneers continue to improve and show fans the best may be yet to come.
A huge BIG EAST weekend looms as Denver travels to Milwaukee to face Marquette next Friday at 5 pm MT in the regular season finale. Georgetown-Villanova play against each other at the same time. With a win, Denver could end up at the top of the table heading into the BIG EAST Tournament in Milwaukee.