DENVER - The No. 5/6 nationally ranked and No. 4 seed University of Denver men’s lacrosse team will make its second trip to Championship Weekend in three years when it travels to Philadelphia, Pa., to take on top-seeded Syracuse in the second NCAA Semifinal on Saturday at 3 p.m. MT. The first game between seventh-seeded Duke and Cornell will be played at 12:30 p.m. MT.
Tickets are on sale at either NCAA.com/Tickets or at TicketMaster.com. Tickets include both Semifinal Games. All-Session passes for the weekend start at $65.
The game will be televised live on ESPN2/WatchESPN. Denver will see the same commentary team for the second-consecutive week, with Eamon McAnaney (play-by-play) and Quint Kessenich (analyst) in the booth and Paul Carcaterra on the sidelines. 102.3 ESPN Radio will be carrying the game live, as well, with the voice of the Pioneers Mitch Hyder and color analyst Devon Farrell. Fans also can follow the game via Live Stats through DenverPioneers.com. Live updates will be available on Twitter at @DU_MLAX or by using #DUGameDay.
DENVER IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
Denver is in the middle of its sixth NCAA Tournament appearance, and its fourth-consecutive trip to the postseason during Bill Tierney’s tenure. The Crimson and Gold are 5-3 in the NCAA Tournament under Tierney, and 5-5 overall. After going winless in its first three appearances, the Pioneers reached the Final Four in 2011 and the Quarterfinals a year ago.
The Crimson and Gold are 0-3 all-time against Syracuse, a series that dates back to 2002. This will be the first meeting between the two teams on a neutral site. In each of the last two meetings, both under Tierney, Syracuse was ranked in the top-two in the country. Heading into the NCAA Tournament, Syracuse was No. 2 in both polls, and received the top seed in the NCAA Tournament.
The Orange enters this Saturday’s game ranked No. 2/2 in the nation and has won 10 of its last 11 games. Syracuse erased a 4-0 deficit to defeat Bryant by a count of 12-7 in the NCAA First Round, before ending its Quarterfinal game on a 3-0 run in the final 3:04 to top Yale 7-6 on Saturday. The Orange boasts the 13th-ranked scoring offense in the country, averaging 11.72 goals per game, and the 12th-ranked scoring defense in the game, allowing only 8.61 goals per game. JoJo Marasco leads the Orange with 58 points on 20 goals and 38 assists. Luke Cometti and Derek Maltz found the back of the net 30 times apiece to lead the team in 2013.
Senior Eric Law leads the Pioneers with 75 points off 40 goals and 35 assists, while sophomore Wesley Berg leads the squad with 56 goals to sit in second with 72 points (16 assists). Senior Cameron Flint is third on the team with 50 points off 36 goals and 14 assists. Face-off specialist Chase Carraro leads the Pioneers with a 57.8 winning percentage, having won 155-of-268 face-offs. Carraro also leads the Pioneers with 71 ground balls. Junior Jamie Faus leads the Pioneers between the pipes with a .567 save percentage and a 9.07 goals-against average; however, sophomore Ryan LaPlante is close behind with a .557 save percentage and a team best 10.14 goals-against average. As a team, Denver is averaging 9.57 goals per game off 36.9 shots per game.
HOT AT THE RIGHT TIME
Sophomore Wesley Berg has scored 12 goals in Denver’s two NCAA Tournament games, the most this year and the 13th-most in a single NCAA Tournament in history. With potentially two games still left to play, Berg is just five goals shy of Loyola’s Eric Lusby (2012) for the NCAA record. Berg has 17 NCAA Tournament goals in his two-year career.
Senior Eric Law has tallied at least one point in each of the Pioneers’ games this season, making it 18 straight games that he has either scored a goal or assisted on one. Law has recorded two or more goals in 17 of the Pioneers’ 18 games this season. He has also recorded three or more goals in eight games this season and three or more assists in six games. One of the Pioneers’ captains, Law has proven his leadership on the field, as he has led the Pioneers in points 10 times this season (14 over his three-year career) and in assists nine times this season (16 over his career).
FACING THE BEST
Senior face-off specialist Chase Carraro tied a career-high with 22 face-off wins in Denver’s First Round victory over Albany. Instrumental in the six-goal comeback, Carraro followed that up by winning 17-of-26 face-offs last week against North Carolina. Carraro is 155-of-268 in 14 games this season, after being named to the All-ECAC First Team last season.
Senior Cameron Flint is on a 21-game consecutive point scoring streak heading into the NCAA Semifinals. The midfielder has recorded 54 points during that stretch, including two five-point performances during the 2013 campaign. This season, Flint has scored two or more goals in 11-of-18 games and has recorded two or more points in 15-of-18 games. After recording only one point in the Pioneers’ 15-12 win over Penn on March 2, Flint has tallied multiple points in the last eight games, compiling 29 points over that stretch.
SPREADING THE LOVE
Denver’s First Round win over Albany marked the first time in Denver’s Division I history that the Pioneers have had three players score four or more goals. The last time DU accomplished the feat was against Regis on April 16, 1994 (Denver was a club team).
Head coach Bill Tierney recorded his 50th victory with the Pioneers on May 19 against North Carolina. The Denver coach is 50-19 in his four-year tenure with the Crimson and Gold and has a 322-112 career-record in 27 seasons as a head coach. Tierney’s career achievements include six national titles and eight national championship games appearances. Saturday marks Denver’s second trip to Championship Weekend in the last three seasons, and Tierney’s 12th overall.
Last Sunday’s comeback win over North Carolina saw the Pioneers climb out of a 6-0 hole and erase a 9-4 halftime deficit to go on to win their NCAA Quarterfinal matchup. The six-goal comeback is the greatest deficit overcome in an NCAA Division I Tournament game since Delaware topped UMBC 12-11 on May 16, 1999 in a First Round game after trailing 11-5. The five-goal halftime deficit is the largest overcome in NCAA Tournament history (Division I).
ONE GOAL MANTRA
After dropping six of seven one-goal games a year ago, the 2013 Pioneers have gone 5-3 in games decided by a goal in 2013, including last Sunday’s Quarterfinal win against North Carolina. Denver is 11-11 in one-goal games in Bill Tierney’s four seasons at the helm.
IT AIN’T OVER ‘TIL IT’S OVER
Denver has outscored its opponents 24-11 in the final minute of quarters this season, including 7-2 at the end of the first half and 6-3 in the final minute of regulation. In four years under head coach Bill Tierney, the Pioneers have outscored their opponents 64-46 in the final minute of quarters, including 22-10 at the end of the second quarter and 18-10 at the end of the third.
CLEANING UP THE TRASH
The Pioneers have scored 21 times this season directly off rebounds, with 10 of those goals coming from Wesley Berg. Four of those goals belong to Eric Law, including his game-winning ground ball and put-back in last Sunday’s Quarterfinal win over North Carolina. Denver had two rebound goals against the Tar Heels, and has three in the NCAA Tournament.
SECOND HALF LOCKDOWN
Denver gave up just two goals en route to a second-half comeback that saw the Pioneers outscore the Tar Heels 8-2 in the final 30 minutes. DU’s last game was the fourth time this season and the ninth time in the Bill Tierney era that the Pioneers have allowed two goals or less in the second half.
ONE OF THE GREATS
Bill Tierney is the fifth winningest coach in NCAA history with a 322-112 mark in 28 seasons of Division I coaching. Duke’s John Danowski, who is also coaching in Championship Weekend, is six wins ahead of Tierney with two additional seasons under his belt.
BERG BY THE NUMBERS
Sophomore Wesley Berg set career-highs in points and goals in May 11’s First Round win over Albany, tallying nine and eight, respectively. Coming into the 2013 season, Berg was riding a 12-game consecutive point scoring streak. He extended it to 17 games to start the season, including a seven-point performance against Penn on March 2. His streak ended in the Pioneers 10-9 win over Ohio State on March 9, but since then, the middie-turned-attackman has recorded a point in the last 12 games. Since being blanked against the Buckeyes, Berg has tallied 52 points, including 33 points in the last eight games. He has led the Pioneers in goals 10 times this season and in points eight times.
TIERNEY AGAINST THE NCAA FIELD
Head coach Bill Tierney is 29-25 all-time against the other three teams in Championship Weekend, including an 8-15 record against Syracuse. Tierney is 4-6 against Syracuse in the NCAA Tournament, and is 4-3 against the Orange in Championship Weekend. The fourth-year Denver coach played his opener with Denver at Syracuse, a game the Pioneers lost 15-9. Six of Tierney’s 23 games against the Orange have been decided by a goal or less, games in which Tierney is 5-1 in. Tierney has won two championships against Syracuse, including his first in 1992.
PIONEERS IN THE NCAA STATS
The Pioneers enter Saturday’s contest with the fifth-best scoring offense in the nation with a 12.67 average. Denver is sixth in turnovers per game with 12.61, and the Crimson and Gold are third in winning percentage (.778), third in shot percentage (0.341) and ninth in scoring margin (3.0).
CAN I GET A HAT TRICK?
Senior Cameron Flint has recorded 14 career hat tricks, while fellow senior Eric Law has 13 career hat tricks. Sophomore Wesley Berg has 12 career hat tricks. Sophomore Eric Adamson started the 2013 season off with a bang, scoring five goals to record his first career hat trick. Freshman Gordie Koerber tallied his fifth hat trick of his career with three goals against Michigan.
SOCK TRICK ANYONE?
Sophomore Wesley Berg’s seven-goal performance against Penn (03/02/13) earlier this season was the first sock trick under Coach Tierney and just the second time since the Pioneers turned Division I that a student-athlete has scored seven goals in a game. Berg improved on that mark with his eight-goal performance against Albany, setting a DU single-game record. Berg also became the sixth Pioneer in DI program history to score six goals in a game as he netted his second career sock trick against Air Force (03/26/13). Peter Baum of Colgate ranks first in the nation among active players with five career sock tricks.
The Pioneers’ senior class has provided 42.1 percent (96-of-228) of DU’s goals through 18 games this season, followed by DU’s sophomore class which has provided for 40.4 percent of DU’s goals (92-of-228). The Pioneers’ seniors have assisted on 56.2 percent of all goals scored to lead the way with 49.1 percent of the team’s total point production (170-of-346). DU’s sophomore class is close behind with 37.9 percent of the point production (131-of-346).
SCORING BY POSITION
The Pioneers’ attack corps is responsible for 61.8 percent of Denver’s point production, while the midfield group is responsible for 39.6 percent through 18 games so far this season. The attack group of Harrison Archer, Wesley Berg, Sean Cannizzaro, Bailey Dodds, Gordie Koerber, Eric Law, Tom Moore, Colin Scott and Tyler Simmons are also responsible for assisting on 58.6 percent of DU’s goals. DU’s midfielders (Eric Adamson, Chace Calkin, Chase Carraro, Tyler Ekeroth, Terry Ellis, Cameron Flint, Hunter Gore, Garret Holst, Jeremy Noble, Connor Pagnani, Michael Pirone, Sean Snodgrass, Colin Woolford and Taylor Young) have produced 39.0 percent of the Pioneers’ goals this season.
The Pioneers’ nine-goal scoring outburst against Duke and Canisius was the most goals scores consecutively by the Pioneers under head coach Bill Tierney. Last season the Pioneers posted an eight-goal streak against Robert Morris and a seven-goal streak against Loyola in the ECAC Tournament.
DENVER IN THE RANKINGS
The University of Denver men’s lacrosse team started the 2013 season ranked within the top-10 in both the Inside Lacrosse Media Poll and the USILA Coaches Poll. The Pioneers were ranked No. 8 in the Media Poll and No. 9 in the Coaches Poll. For the second-straight season, the Pioneers were ranked within the top-10 in the USILA Coaches Poll. Last season, Denver was ranked No. 8. The Pioneers steadily climbed the charts this season, achieving the No. 1 ranking for the first time in program history on Apr. 15, 2013. Denver held the No. 1 ranking for just one week, suffering a 10-9 overtime loss to unranked Fairfield at home. Currently, the Pioneers finished the regular season ranked 5/6, while Syracuse comes into the game ranked second in both polls.
PUTTING UP 0s
In four-year head coach Bill Tierney’s tenure, Denver has held its opponent scoreless in a quarter 27 times, including six this season. Denver has been shutout in a quarter just once all year, and eight times in Tierney’s four seasons.
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PIONEERS ON YOUR COMPUTER
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