The recently released men’s lacrosse schedule (below) has some interesting takeaways.
Bill Tierney means it when he says he want to grow the game of lacrosse in the west. He has taken an RPI risk by scheduling a new program (Utah) and a relatively new program (Cleveland State). The Pioneers play Utah this season in the Utes’ first D1 lacrosse campaign. Utah lacrosse is almost certain to become a natural regional rival for Denver. Tierney has family connections to Cleveland as Vikings head coach Dylan Sheridan is married to his daughter Brianne. The Pios and Vikings will meet for a second straight year in Denver. However, there is no doubt that one of the major reasons he scheduled these contest was to grow the programs’ visibility in non-traditional areas.
26-0 in regular season in BIG EAST play? That is ridiculous. Sometimes it is easy to take winning streaks for granted but a conference winning streak this long over four seasons is an incredible accomplishment. The Pioneers, as usual, will have targets on their back every BIG EAST contest. This season will be no exception.
While not all of DU’s teams have announced their 2018-2019 schedules yet, we know just enough to start planning potential road trips to see our beloved Pioneers play in some of America’s most iconic destinations. If you’ve never travelled to see the Pioneers play, you are missing out on some amazing experiences. There is a special “us against the world” feeling that comes from watching DU on the road as Pio fan, and when the team gets a road win, it can feel even more special than a home win, because the team just needs you more on the road. Here are some possibilities to help get you started, with DU men’shockey, basketball, soccer and lacrosse road trips, in alphabetical order by area:
The NCAA Lacrosse Rules Committee is going to introduce a 60 second shot clock for men’s collegiate lacrosse with an additional 20 seconds to get the ball into the offensive half. A LetsGoDU article covered the topic last season but this issue has been raging for a long time.
The mechanics? Twenty seconds to clear to midfield, then a 60-second shot clock, according to sources to multiple Inside Lacrosse reporters. Paul Rabil first tweeted this would be the form of shot clock for men’s lacrosse. The change will be effective for the upcoming 2019 season.
The NCAA Rules Committee for several rules cycles has been inching toward a shot clock for men's lacrosse https://t.co/POMdnN6vnh
Teams that already employ a free-lance style of lacrosse, such as Albany, would appear to have an advantage. However, Denver recruits and encourages their players to participate in box lacrosse. And, the sport utilizes a shot clock. These players are used to working in traffic and getting off shots in tight quarters. On the other hand, the around-the-horn perimeter passing employed by Denver to initiate their offense will need to be shortened and additional work will be required on their interior offense. Also, from a recruiting perspective, athletic and skilled one-on-one creative offensive players will be in high demand as offenses will require players that can break down defenses when the shot clock is running down.
Fans on both sides of the issue have made compelling arguments. However, the demand for a shot clock was overwhelming.
So explain why almost EVERY post I see during college lax season from MLL pros are posts begging for a shot clock? Those guys played college ball. They love the shot clock.
When it was recently announced that Denver Pioneers lacrosse would return to Southern California to showcase one of college lacrosse’s best rivalries next season in the Sixth Annual Pacific Coast Shootout, there was some local disappointment that the duel would not resume at Peter Barton Stadium in Denver. However, both Denver and Notre Dame are taking a smart, strategic approach by scheduling their next contest in SoCal.
Notre Dame has over 7,000 California alumni while Denver boasts 8,800 alumni based in the Golden State, most of whom are located in Southen California. The matchup will offer an ideal opportunity to draw local alumni to the game. However, there is even more to this match. With a burgeoning lacrosse culture in California, this is fertile recruiting ground for both the Fighting Irish and the Pioneers. The California Interscholastic Federation reports growth in participation in overall high school athletics with lacrosse showing the largest percentage increase of any sport, a combined 7.40% or 1,245 new participants in the past year.
With both schools turning into non-east coast perennial powers, there is plenty of future lacrosse talent being developed out west for both squads. While only one girl and four boys were invited from California to the 2018 Under Armour All-America lacrosse games, the West Coast is likely to become a solid source of future stars for college lacrosse. And Denver and Notre Dame are well positioned to capitalize on that growth.
Denver and Notre Dame will square off on Saturday, March 9 at 7:00 PM (PST) at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, CA. This year’s appearance in the Shootout will mark Denver’s second and Notre Dame’s third time playing in Orange County. The Pioneers and Irish met in 2014 in the event’s inaugural game, where Denver beat Notre Dame 10-7. Notre Dame appeared again in the 2016 Shootout, beating Maryland 9-4.
If you are a fan of Denver Lacrosse, the meteoric rise of lacrosse in the west, head coach Bill Tierney, or if you just want to relive the success of DU’s quest to repeat as national champion in 2016, this documentary film, Rush for the Gold – Pioneering Lacrosse in the West, by 7&CO Productions and directed by Ali Aboudas is for you. The film is 46 minutes long and features interviews with Bill Tierney, Matt Brown, and Paul Carcaterra.
Sports scheduling for the Denver Pioneers, in all sports, is often an elusive and frustrating exercise.
Being located in Denver is the largest problem, as playing here requires plane rides and hotel stays for all but a handful of DU’s D-I opponents, which is tough for non-revenue sports. We don’t have the exact figures, but it’s probably a safe bet that about 85% of DU’s opponents must fly here to play us, and likewise, DU needs to fly its own mostly non-revenue sports teams to 85% of its opponents — a dynamic that puts a lot of pressure on athletic budgets and eliminates many opponents for cost reasons.
Then there is the mile-high altitude here, a factor that still scares a number of opposing coaches from flatter places. For example, in 2004, the University of Virginia men’s lacrosse team, ranked #1 nationally at the time, came out here to play both DU and Air Force, and lost both games. The Cavaliers’ coach publicly blamed the altitude for their stumbles, and the Cavaliers have not appeared on the DU home schedule since then. Who knows how many other opposing coaches privately loathe our altitude? Continue reading Puck Swami: DU and the Elusive Art of Sports Scheduling in Denver→
Just like that, another season of lacrosse has come and gone. The Yale Bulldogs ended the Ivy League drought by claiming the 2018 national title and their first of the NCAA era by defeating Duke 13-11 on Monday, May 28. The last Ivy team prior to Yale to have hoisted the championship trophy come Memorial Day was Princeton in 2001 under Bill Tierney, whois now at the helm of the University of Denver Pioneers.Continue reading Denver Men’s Lacrosse 2018 season in review→
There was no stopping the high-powered No. 2-seeded University of Albany Great Danes from advancing to their first ever Championship Weekend with a 15-13 Quarterfinal win over the University of Denver Pioneers. The energy, the hard-hits and the passion from the Great Danes was unbeatable. The game came down to dogfight across the entirety of the field and it was evident, the Great Danes wanted it more. The efforts from Denver to stay in the game were too little, too late. Continue reading Great Danes win Quarterfinal dogfight to end Denver’s season→
Throughout the 2018 season, the Denver Pioneers men’s lacrosse team has had issues playing a full 60 minutes. A fourth quarter collapse against Duke in February cost them a big early season nonconference victory and a first quarter mishap against Notre Dame dug the Pioneers into a hole they couldn’t climb out of. Both of their regular season losses were directly related to the Pioneers’ inability to play to their potential for a full four quarters of lacrosse. Today, however, against Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament, Denver played great lacrosse all game long and came away with a big 9-7 victory to end the Irish’s season for the second year in a row. Continue reading Denver ends Notre Dame’s season for second straight year, advances to Quarterfinal vs. Albany→