#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.
While men’s hockey and lacrosse take up the lion’s share of fan interest for most Pioneer fans, it’s important to recognize some otherDU athletic teams who continue to climb higher into national prominence and greater conference impact:
The 13th-ranked DU women’s lacrosse team beat its very first top five opponent since coach Liza Kelly took the helm in 2006, upsetting (#6/#4) Stony Brook (N.Y.) University, 11-7, behind Bea Behrins’ three-goal hat trick. This was a statement win for the program. The Pios have been a top-20 program for a while now, but have had trouble beating the very top echelon teams. Sunday’s win over SBU kept DU undefeated at 4-0 and may see the Pioneers knocking on the door of a top-10 ranking. The Michigan Wolverines come to town this Tuesday to face the surging Pioneers for a 12 noon start.
The sixth-ranked DU women’s gymnastics team scored its second highest all-time score (and the highest score of this season) with a 197.725 on Sunday afternoon before over 4,000 fans at Magness Arena, to win the meet over Iowa State and Boise State. This kind of scoring should keep DU in the hunt for a top-five national ranking as the season moves into the stretch run.
The DU men’s (#24th nationally) and (#47) women’s swim teams once again won the Summit League title for the sixth year in a row. DU was so dominant at the Summit League Championships that the DU women set an all-time league record for points, and DU mens and women swimmers won 37 of 38 of the swimming events overall. That’s an incredible achievement – perhaps the swimming equivalent of winning the Summit League basketball title game by 30 points, and repeating the winning margin for six straight years.
DU women’s basketball (15-12, 8-6 Summit league) continued its rise into a winning program with a dramatic road win at North Dakota. Often-injured senior Pioneer Haley Simental hit the long-range three point shot-of-her-college-career to send the game into overtime at the buzzer, in a game that the Pios would later win, 92-91. With the OT win, the Pios’ have earned at least a top-five seed at the Summit League tournament next month.
The DU women’s tennis team, ranked #40 nationally, are 7-2 this year in a sport where 317 teams compete nationally. DU has already defeated brand name schools such as Oregon, Wisconsin, BYU and Colorado this season.
All of these teams deserve our support, and we look forward to seeing how they compete in the coming months.
It wasn’t a guarantee that the Denver Pioneers women’s lacrosse program would even be at this point, playing the top-seeded Maryland Terrapins in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, a week ago. After a great regular season and BIG EAST Tournament that ended at the hands of the Florida Gators in the conference title game, Denver remained on the bubble heading into Selection Sunday. Thanks to a number of major conference victories and a signature nonconference victory over the Colorado Buffaloes, Denver was awarded a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Continue reading Pioneers’ season ends at hands of defending national champs→
Photo courtesy of DU Twitter. DU’s 10-8 win against Colorado was one of the team’s signature wins for the season
Unseeded Denver women’s lacrosse (12-6, 7-4) was rewarded for an excellent season with several signature wins and a run to the Big EAST title game and loss to #6 seed Florida. The Pioneers will play unseeded High Point (17-2, 7-0) for the chance to play the tournaments #1 seed Maryland in the second round.
Photo: Courtesy University of Denver. This rendering shows DU hockey’s Miller Complex locker room when complete
The University of Denver is undergoing an athletic transformation that many fans may not see but are, nonetheless, critical to DU’s success now and in the future.
Of course, fans want to see the glitzy, visible additions like the new Denver Tennis Park and the upgraded Hamilton Gym with a new synthetic playing surface for volleyball that an anonymous donor purchased this past season.
Photo: DU Women’s Lacrosse defeated San Diego State University 17-12 on a chilly Friday afternoon game at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium.
One team’s season is winding down and the other team’s season has just begun.
DU Women’s basketball is 16-13 (7-7 Summit League) and having a solid season following 8-23, 5-25 and 6-24 seasons under former head coach Kerry Cremeans who posted a 24-112 overall record in her five seasons at DU. Head Coach Jim Turgeon has guided the team above .500 in just one season. According to one parent, Coach Turgeon employs a system that involves all the players instead of funneling the ball to the same one or two stars. The result is an impressive winning season in Turgeon’s first season. Continue reading Women’s Basketball & Lacrosse thrive in Relative Anonymity→
The University of Denver homecoming weekend will be held Friday, October 20th and Saturday, October 21st.
Homecoming events are being held on the north end of campus between the Ritchie Center & Buchtel Boulevard to leverage an increased focus on DU athletics, especially the defending national champion hockey team. Locals can also use light rail to gain easy access to the weekend’s events. Continue reading University of Denver Homecoming details announced→
Photo:The DU grounds crew spent long hours preparing for the opening of fall sports. (L to R) Landscape Manager Doug Rightmire, Horticulture Technician Todd Mickelson, Irrigation Technician Paul Rightmire, Groundskeeper John Maes and seasonal support Jacob Hartman.
As DU fall sports began several weeks ago, one DU team was in mid-season form. The DU grounds crew was working overtime to deliver some of the best practice and game venues in Division I Athletics. If you attend soccer games at CIBER Field, lacrosse games at Peter Barton Stadium, or play intramural athletics on Diana Wendt Sports Field, you know that the Pioneer facilities and grounds are impeccably maintained. Continue reading DU’s grounds crew delivers for Pioneer teams & fans→
Men’s college lacrosse needs to move into the modern age if it wants to gain even more universal appeal. To this writer, that means adding a shot clock.
How many times this season did we see Denver or its opponents take the air out of the ball to protect a lead at the end of tight games? Then, watch smart coaches on both sides call time-outs when the 30-second shot clock was about to be called and get a fresh start to stall even more.