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
Photo credit: Towson Athletics
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
Photo courtesy of Pat Stewart
After graduating in 2018 with a decorated career at Maryland including as being a part of four-straight Final Four appearances and one national championship (2017), long stick midfielder Matt Neufeldt had hung up the cleats and crosse and already accepted a job in Real Estate. Continue reading Maryland transfer Matt Neufeldt embraces ‘funny situation’ with Denver
Photo: Courtesy of Georgia Peachy
The match was much closer than the final score of 16-8 would indicate. In a highly physical contest, the first half ended with Denver holding a slim 4-3 advantage. However, Denver upped the defensive pressure and took advantage of turnovers and offensive opportunities to outscore the Vikings 12 to 5 in the second half.
On the keys that allowed DU to pull away, Coach Bill Tierney said, “We stuck with it. We didn’t need to re-do everything at half time. We just needed to keep going and stick with it and we finally started to break through. Continue reading Denver Pressure Sinks Cleveland State 16-8
Photo: Courtesy of Georgia Peachy
The Denver Pioneers honed a 15-6 win in a western showdown against the NCAA’s newest addition the University of Utah Utes. The No. 8-ranked Pioneers struggled to find a consistent rhythm and committed senseless errors that troubled the coaching staff but still managed the victory.
“I’m bewildered by this team,” coach Tierney said candidly postgame. “That’s what I told them in the locker room. You see five-minute spurts of what could be greatness. But then you see dumb, selfish, soft things going on out there. We’re trying to put our finger on it. We’re working hard. We’ve got older guys and younger guys — we’ve got to remember that we’ve even got some older guys out there who haven’t played much for us before — but even so, we’re not getting that flow or synch going.
“Credit to a team like Utah for coming out and playing hard. It’s a first-year program.” Continue reading Denver rises 15-6 over first-year program Utah
Photo courtesy of Denver Athletics
A decade ago, Bill Tierney left a comfortable dynasty and headed west to establish a western lacrosse presence in Denver with two objectives; to create a western lacrosse mecca capable of regularly contending for a national title and to continue advancing the growth of the sport. Nine-consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, five Final Fours and one national championship later, Coach Tierney and the Pioneers have established themselves for the long run as the Lacrosse Capital of the West. While Tierney and Denver aim to again hoist the national championship title trophy this Spring, the 66-year old lacrosse maven continues his tandem goal of growing the sport. Continue reading Bill Tierney still “finding a way” to Pioneer lacrosse out west
Photo: Courtesy of GoDuke.com
It was a goal with 7 seconds left that broke a tie, ended #8 Denver’s surprisingly necessary comeback attempt, and sealed a #5 Duke win. But it was excellent goaltending and untimely Pioneer turnovers that allowed Duke to get back in the contest in the fourth quarter after trailing 6-4. Continue reading Turnovers & fourth quarter collapse spell defeat for Pioneers against Blue Devils