DENVER- It was an electric atmosphere at the University of Denver during the years annual Big East Men’s Lacrosse Tournament on Thursday in early May. DU played Providence College all the way from Rode Island in the first round and the results were, well very expected.
This victory continued a 22 game winning streak at home for the Pio’s and left Providence the 4th seat rather embarrassed. The first half however, was well contended as the game was tied at 4-4 just with around 10 minutes left in the second quarter of play. The tables turned quickly though, as the Friar’s fell on the wrong end of a 5 goal rally by DU to make the halftime score 9-4.
In the third quarter of play the Friars tried to hold off the explosive Denver offense, made of up all-stars Zach Miller, Jack Bobzien and Connor Cannizzaro Big East offensive player of the year. After holding DU to just 2 goals in the first half of the quarter things looked as if a Providence comeback could be in order.
Unfortunately shortly after that it turned into a typical DU route with the Pio’s putting up 18 when the final whistle was blown. Trevor Baptiste, DU’s face-off specialist, was the star of the show winning 21 of the 26 face-offs he took. His monstrous strength and skill is unrivaled in NCAA Division 1 mens lacrosse and he is sure to be a huge driving force in the upcoming playoffs.
The rest of the team was on top of their game as usual. The offense and defense on the Denver side looked clinical and well organized making coach Bill Tierney once again prove that he is the best in the business.
I got a unique opportunity to sit down with Kaley Rickert,Athletics Marketing Graduate Supervisor for all DU sports to discuss the amazing turn the program has taken. “The school has really been transformed by the amazing success of the team… students and alum alike are coming out in greater number than we’ve ever seen before.” Rickert continued to talk about the underdog story of the program, “There is no school like us west of the Mississippi… all the schools you see in the tournament are predominantly east coast private institutions so to see the success of our program all the way out here in Denver, Colorado is amazing.” This is Rickerts first year on the job and by the looks of it she is doing very well.
DU will play Marquette in the next round of the tourney at home once again. The matchup should be close but the Pioneer’s are a strong favorite to win once again. Will DU be able to keep going all the way to be Men’s Lacrosse Champions again? We shall see but it is surely looking good for the squad. All those game will be broadcasted on ESPNU around the country so stay tuned for a great showing of athletics at the Division 1 college level.