Tag Archives: NCAA Lax

Radochonski Powers Denver to 11-10 OT Upset of USC Trojans in NCAA First Round

Eliza Radochonski (#26 at center) was the DU hero, scoring the game-tying and game-winning goals for Denver in a 11-10 NCAA first round overtime upset over USC. Photo: University of Denver

The #17th-ranked University of Denver women’s lacrosse team upset the #13th-ranked University of Southern California, 11-10 in a dramatic overtime finish in Ann Arbor, Mich. to advance to the second round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament.

“I’m really proud of our fight today,” said DU head coach Liza Kelly after the game. “This is what we’ve been preparing for all year, and I think we came out ready to fight for that [NCAA Second Round] spot on Sunday.”

The late-game drama in Ann Arbor on Friday night was simply incredible.

Indeed the Pioneers, who had played very well in building a commanding 8-4 second half lead over USC, watched in horror as their lead suddenly evaporated as the Trojans bore down and took over the game in the middle portion of the second half.

USC reeled-off six second-half goals as the women of Troy grabbed a 10-9 lead into the final minutes of regulation time. USC looked very poised to win and advance, and the Pioneers’ awesome season was slipping away fast under the Trojan momentum…

But the Pioneers were determined not to let USC hold on. Indeed, Georgetown had come back on the Pioneers to win the Big East final in Milwaukee, Wis. in overtime last week, and the Pios did not want their season to end on a similar bitter note on this Ann Arbor night.

This time, DU dug-in and had their hero cued and ready…  

Sophomore attack Eliza Radochonski became the hero by the force of her dominant will in the final minutes of the game, putting the Pioneers’ whole season on her own proverbial back as she thundered into the offensive zone with about 4:40 left in regulation.  Taking a dangerous pass from DU’s Julia Feiss 10 feet outside the USC net with two Trojan defenders draped in her face and making any shot on net almost impossible, Radochonski had other, more radical ideas. She suddenly turned away from the goal (and the USC defenders) and fired a trick shot backwards over her own shoulder and into the high corner of the USC net to tie the game, 10-10 in highlight-reel fashion.  The Pioneers were so inspired by Radochonski’s goal that they held on for the rest of regulation time, forcing the game into overtime.

Then soon into the sudden-death extra frame, Radochonski moved into DU legend territory by striking again with the overtime-winner on a bouncing shot from 15 feet out just 1:30 into the OT, after a nice pass from DU’s Kendra Lanuza.  The ball came to rest in the back of the USC net behind dejected Trojan netminder Riley Hertford as the DU players swarmed “Rado” in elated victory in a swirling pile of Crimson jerseys. TheTrojans fell stunned to the turf, their season over.

Radochonsky (#26) after her game-winning goal sent Denver to the NCAA Second Round. Photo: DU

The Pioneers thus improved to 15-3 on the season and head to the second round for the fourth time in program history, and will have a chance to get revenge on the University of Michigan on Sunday at 10 am MT in a second round game. The Wolverines beat DU in Denver earlier this season in a game that the Pioneers will well remember.

Radochonski led the Pioneers with three goals in the USC contest, on top of earning her 100th career point.

Following Radochonski’s hat trick, Bea Behrins, Julia Feiss and Kendra Lanuza all posted two goals against the Trojans. Elizabeth Behrins and Quintin Hoch-Bullen tallied one apiece.

Radochonski and Lanuza led the team with five points each.

USC was led by Hope Anhut, Izzy McMahon and Kaeli Huff, who each had three-point efforts for the Trojans, who ended the season as Pac-12 Champions.

Maddie Baum won four draw controls for Denver, Laura Milleker earned a career-high three draws and Hayden Dean, Audrey Schreck and Hoch-Bullen each had one.

Eight Pioneers caused at least one turnover against USC, Katherine Fischer led the team with two in the contest.

Carson Gregg spent 51 minutes in the DU net and totaled six saves. Amelia Cole wrapped up the final nine minutes in net, including the two minutes of overtime, and had one save.

This marks as the fourth time (2013, 2014, 2018 and 2019) the Crimson and Gold will advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, winning the first round game in all four trips. Last season the Pioneers defeated High Point in the first round 19-10, but fell to Maryland 15-4 in the second round on May 13.

The Pioneers have never won an NCAA second round game, and beating Michigan would be the highest point in the history of the DU program.

Pioneer Lacrosse French-Fries North Carolina, 12-10 

DU ruined the debut of North Carolina’s new lacrosse stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C. Photo: University of Denver

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 

Beast Baptiste the New Era of Faceoff Specialist

Photo courtesy DU Athletics

Faceoff specialists have been traditionally designated as “faceoff get-off” players, hence the FOGO acronym, but the University of Denver Pioneers men’s lacrosse phenom Trevor Baptiste has completely redefined the position in his first three years at DU. Continue reading Beast Baptiste the New Era of Faceoff Specialist

Two Pioneers picked in first three rounds of Major League Lacrosse draft

A day after the University of Denver men’s lacrosse team had their hearts broken after Connor Donahue’s last minute diving goal was waved off because he landed in the crease, Major League Lacrosse, the professional outdoor lacrosse league, held its annual Collegiate Draft. The event took place in Boston and featured a number of college lacrosse’s best players, including two of Denver’s standouts this year. Continue reading Two Pioneers picked in first three rounds of Major League Lacrosse draft

Christian Burgdorf, Denver’s enigmatic captain, leading Pioneers back among lacrosse’s elite

Photo courtesy DU Athletics

Christian Burgdorf rose to the occasion. The University of Denver men’s lacrosse dominant defenseman displayed resilience when the team needed leadership and strength to come back from the shock of losing to Towson in the First Round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament as reigning national champions. Continue reading Christian Burgdorf, Denver’s enigmatic captain, leading Pioneers back among lacrosse’s elite

From player to coach to teacher, John Orsen has come full circle

Photo courtesy DU Athletics

Denver men’s lacrosse head coach Bill Tierney watched John Orsen develop as a college athlete, professional, and coach, all the while keeping a close eye. When the opportunity presented itself, Coach Tierney got Orsen on the phone and offered him a position as the University of Denver Pioneers’ defensive coordinator in September 2014. Continue reading From player to coach to teacher, John Orsen has come full circle

Bill Tierney & Matt Brown: Success bred from opposition

Photo courtesy DU Athletics

As a coach, establishing a rapport that is effective, trusting, innovative and compelling for players and other staff members is not a simple feat by any means. It takes chemistry and experience to even qualify for such position. Legendary men’s lacrosse coach Bill Tierney and Matt Brown were on opposite ends of the coaching spectrum when their paths collided at the University of Denver in June 2010. Canadian-born Brown was entering his third year on Denver’s sideline, while New York-native Tierney was in his 28th year of coaching. Continue reading Bill Tierney & Matt Brown: Success bred from opposition

Pioneers reach fifth Championship Weekend in seven years with delightfully boring Quarterfinal victory

Photo Courtesy AP Photo

With a 16-4 victory over Notre Dame in the NCAA Quarterfinal round, the University of Denver men’s lacrosse team has earned its fourth trip to Championship Weekend in the last five years. Trevor Baptiste won 21-of-22 faceoffs (no, that’s not a typo) and the Pioneers simply imposed their will on the Irish today. Continue reading Pioneers reach fifth Championship Weekend in seven years with delightfully boring Quarterfinal victory

Trevor Baptiste dominates as Pioneers shoot down Falcons in NCAA First Round

Photo courtesy DU Athletics

DENVER – Air Force really never had a chance. Trevor Baptiste was on fire both at the X and in the offensive half of the field and he nearly singlehandedly ended the Falcons’ season as his 5th-seeded University of Denver Pioneers topped the Air Force Academy 17-10. Continue reading Trevor Baptiste dominates as Pioneers shoot down Falcons in NCAA First Round

Brotherhood on the attack: Connor Cannizzaro and Ethan Walker share a unique bond

Photo courtesy DU Athletics

When you look at Connor Cannizzaro and Ethan Walker, you’d be forgiven if you give a double-take. The manner in which the two present themselves, their dialect, and their physical appearance translate to the field. If it weren’t for their jerseys, No. 40 worn by Cannizzaro and No. 57 sported by Walker, it’d be nearly impossible to tell them apart thanks to their nearly identical playing styles. Continue reading Brotherhood on the attack: Connor Cannizzaro and Ethan Walker share a unique bond