#12 Denver men’s (9-4, 4-1) and #15 women’s lacrosse (12-2, 4-0) completed a rare regular season Championship sweep on the same day Friday. Both teams earned their regular season titles in different ways.
The women earned a convincing 14-8 win against the Villanova Wildcats. DU ran out to a 7-3 lead in the first half and coasted to victory. DU’s Quintin Hoch-Bullen and Eliza Radochonski led the Pioneers with three goals each against the Wildcats en route to the crown.
Inside Lacrosse published an article on the shot clock, Have the New Rules Increased the Pace of Play? And the piece concludes, “The shot clock (80 seconds) has resulted in every DI team playing at a faster pace of play in 2019. The average possessions per game has hit its highest mark in our 10-year data set at 82 possessions per game. This represents nearly a 20% increase year-over-year as compared to 2018.”
So, how have the new rules affected Denver Men’s Lacrosse?
We did an analysis below comparing this season to the prior three years. However, this does not take into account roster changes during this period, the Trevor Baptiste factor (.714 winning % at the X), weather and opponents.
The 12th ranked Denver Pioneers (8-4, 3-1 Big East) men’s lacrosse team clinched a berth in the Big East Tournament on Senior Day, defeating Providence College (6-8, 2-2 Big East),14-8 before a sellout crowd of 2,187 at Barton Stadium on April 20.
“We had to keep shooting,” said DU coach Bill Tierney after the game today. “Everyone battled and we had a lot of guys score today…[Providence] is big, tough and extremely well-coached. We’re thrilled to get out of this one [with a win]…We [honored our seniors] one of the winningest senior classes in the country and they keep our winning culture and imparted that culture on the younger guys… We’re now playing for a [share of] a regular season championship, and we’ll have our hands full in Milwaukee [with Marquette] on Friday night.”Continue reading Denver Thumps Providence Friars, 14-8 to Seal Big East Tourney Berth→
DENVER – For the first time since joining the BIG EAST six years ago, the #10 Denver Pioneers have lost a regular season, conference game. It took a career day from the Villanova Wildcats’ freshman goalie Will Vitton who stopped 19 of Denver’s 30 shots on goal and a sloppy game from the Pioneers to break DU’s 27-game regular season BIG EAST winning streak. Villanova also snapped a 10-game losing streak against the Pios dating back to 2001. Continue reading Denver drops nail-biter to Villanova in first-ever BIG EAST regular season loss→
DENVER – Wednesday night, a host of family, friends and university officials were at the Hilton Denver City Center to celebrate the athletic career of former DU star faceoff specialist, Trevor Baptiste. At the dinner, featuring some of the greatest athletes in the history of the state of Colorado, Baptiste was named the 2018 Male College Athlete of the Year by the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame. Continue reading Colorado Sports Hall of Fame recognizes Trevor Baptiste→
After losing a one-goal heartbreaker in DU coach Bill Tierney’s emotional return to Princeton University last Tuesday, the #9-ranked Denver Pioneers desperately wanted to get head coach Bill Tierney his 400th win as a head coach on Saturday, March 30th.
Georgetown, the 19th ranked team in the nation and a team that beat DU 8-3 in last year’s Big East Tournament, was the big obstacle in front of Denver.
But the Pioneers left no doubts, exploding for a season-high 10 first-half goals and cruised to a 16-9 victory over Georgetown for the Pioneers’ most complete win of the season.
The win also guaranteed the 400th career victory in the 35-year head coaching career of coach Bill Tierney. Tierney now joins his good friend, Duke Head Coach John Danowski, as the only two men in the history of Division One lacrosse to reach that 400 coaching win milestone.
The Pioneers (6-3) took the field in charged-up state of mind on this cold and snowy Barton Stadium morning, hooting and hollering more than usual in the warm-up – and that emotional advantage, coupled with a solid game plan on both sides of the ball, led to a 16-goal offensive output against a ranked team. This was the kind of potent offense DU fans were waiting for this season for a very solid opening win in Big East Conference play.
“Coming out of that game [last Tuesday] at Princeton, we were down-and-out,” said Coach Tierney after the win. “But the guys responded to coaching really well [this week] and the [assistant coaches} coaches put together a great game plan, and the [DU] players played extremely well today…When you lose a game [at Princeton] that you feel you could have won…you gotta get the next one – you’re so desperate…I’m proud of the guys today.”
The Pioneers responded to the desperation with crisp offensive execution, with very balanced scoring on the day, with five different Pioneers scoring multiple goals. Senior Austin French topped the DU scoresheet with a four-goal, two assist day, followed by hat tricks from Ethan Walker (3g 2a) and Colton Jackson (3g, 1a), and supplemented by two-goal performances by Teddy Sullivan and Jack Hanna. The Pioneers scoring machine was fed by a strong performance at the face-off X (Brett Boos went 17-26 on the day), a confident clearing effort (16-18) and good ball control, giving up only eight turnovers. DU led 10-5 at the half and never looked back.
“[DU Associate Head Coach] Matt Brown had a good game plan and the [team] followed it.” said Tierney. “We only only had one turnover in the first half…and the [Georgetown] goalie was playing well. We said to the guys in the locker room ‘Keep shooting. Don’t be afraid to shoot, don’t let your hands get too tight, just keep shooting’ and they [goals] will eventually fall – [we] got a bunch of shots and they did [fall] .”
Indeed, Georgetown goalie Owen McElroy was heroic for the Hoyas in the net, making 16 saves in a losing effort.
Denver also played solid defense on the day, holding a strong Georgetown offense, averaging 13+ goals per game to only nine goals. DU’s star close defenseman Dylan Gaines had an excellent outing, containing Georgetown’s star attackman, Senior Daniel Buccaro, to only two goals in the game, while DU goalie Alex Ready chipped in with 12 saves to get the Pioneer victory.
DU will play #20th ranked Villanova Wildcats next Saturday at 3:30 pm MT in the second Big East game for the Pioneers.
Our thanks to Jason Evans for his photo and interview of Coach Tierney after the game.
It was supposed to be a special homecoming to Princeton, New Jersey for DU lacrosse coaching legend Bill Tierney, but the Princeton Tigers had other ideas, winning a wild and emotional game full of scoring and lightning-fast counter punches over #8th ranked Denver, 14-13.
Tierney, who spent 22 years coaching the PrincetonTigers to six national titles before jumping to coach Denver in 2009, had to be excited to bring his DU Pioneers to Princeton for the first time ever, gunning for his 400th career win on national TV. Tierney returned to his coaching roots at Sherrerd Field Tuesday afternoon with admittedly mixed emotions, and the significance of the game could be heard in a pregame interview as Tierney’s voice cracked with emotion as he reminisced about his Princeton past. The interview was less about his six national championships and more about the people he met along the way. Continue reading Princeton Spoils Tierney’s Return in Wild, 14-13 upset over Denver→
It’s never too early to start thinking about the postseason and NCAA Tournament in collegiate men’s lacrosse. The season is so short that every win and loss matters more than in almost any other sport. For the #13 Denver Pioneers, a team that has lacked a signature, resume-building win this season, a matchup with the #8 Towson Tigers in Maryland presented a golden opportunity. Denver seized that opportunity won a close, defensive game 7-6 and added a key victory to their resume. Continue reading Pioneers win defensive struggle over Towson on the road, continue to build postseason resume→
Senior attackman Austin French, who missed DU’s first four games of the season due to upper body injury, came back to the DU starting lineup with a vengeance to lift the eighth-ranked Pioneers (4-1) to 12-10 road victory over [15/20] North Carolina Tar Heels . The Pioneer road win ruined the christening of UNC’s brand new 4,000-seat Lacrosse and Soccer Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C. on Saturday morning, Mar. 2.
French tied his career-high with a six point overall performance, and set a new career-high with five assists in the game to lead Denver. His ball distribution skills are critical to the flow of Denver’s offensive attack, and the Californian’s return to the lineup provided just the tonic DU needed to secure its first road win of the season. Continue reading Pioneer Lacrosse French-Fries North Carolina, 12-10 →