What a difference a week makes at Barton Stadium.
Last Saturday, the Pioneers went toe-to-toe with a storied Duke program, losing 15-13.
This Saturday, before another sellout crowd of 2,000+ at Barton Stadium, Denver faced the St. Bonaventure Bonnies from New York State, representing the polar opposite side of the D-I college lacrosse spectrum — a second-year program that has yet to win a single D-I lacrosse game. The #13th-ranked Pioneers made sure it stayed that way, cruising to a 16-3 beat-down of the Bonnies behind the balanced scoring of 13 players at DU’s Barton Stadium on Feb. 22 in the annual Face-Off Classic.
The Pios, wearing black uniforms, jumped out to 5-1 lead in the first period, extended it to 10-1 at halftime, and throttled back a bit in the second half with a big lead, dominating the face-off X, winning 20 out of 23 face-offs — Alec Stathakis’ won 14 of 16, while John Boos won 6 of 7 for Denver. The Bonnies tried four different players at X to stop Stathakis and Boos, but could only win 3 of 23 faceoffs on the day. DU also won the ground ball battle, 39-19.
Freshman attackman J.J. Sillstrop led the way for the Pioneers with a 3-goal hat trick (the second such feat for the Californian in his three college games so far), Drew Erickson added two goals for DU and the Pioneers got single-goal scoring from 10 other players. The Pioneers were able to play much of the roster in the rout, with three different DU goalies getting playing time in the contest. DU played mostly reserve players in the entire fourth quarter en-route to the win.
And it certainly could have been a lot worse for the Bonnies, were it not for the heroics of SBU goalie Brett Dobson, who had an outstanding 18 saves in the contest on 34 DU shots on goal. SBU could only manage two shots on goal in the first half against DU’s best players, and finished with just eight total shots on the afternoon. Matthew DeGirolamo had two of SBU’s three markers to pace the Bonnies.
Denver moved to 2-1 on the young season. The Bonnies, who went 0-13 last year as a brand new lacrosse program, and were 0-2 coming into Denver’s Face Off Classic, fell to 0-3 this year and remain looking for the program’s first victory.
The Pios will next face the Cleveland State Vikings tomorrow (Sunday) at 4:30 PM MT in the finale of the Face-Off Classic.