Athletics & Recreation

Men’s lacrosse defeats Villanova, hosts NCAA championship Saturday

The University of Denver men’s lacrosse team captured the Big East Championship with a 14-7 win over No. 3 seeded Villanova Saturday at Villanova Stadium in Pennsylvania. The victory extends the Pioneers’ win streak to 11 straight games and gives Denver the automatic bid to the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championships.

The Pioneers were seeded No. 5 in the NCAA championship and will host North Carolina at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, May 10, at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium on the DU campus. The game will air live on ESPNU.

This is the second straight year the Pioneers have hosted the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship First Round and the third time in program history. This will also be the third straight time that the Pioneers and the Tar Heels will meet in the NCAA Tournament.

“We are thrilled about the season that our young men put together, with so many big victories, a Big East regular season title and a Big East championship,” said DU men’s lacrosse head coach Bill Tierney. “We are also very excited to be in our fifth straight NCAA Tournament and honored to be able to host a great North Carolina team at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium.”

In Saturday’s game, freshman Zach Miller led the Pioneers with five points off four goals and two assists, picking up his seventh hat trick of the season. For his efforts Miller was named to the Big East All-Tournament team, finishing with five goals and three assists for eight points in two games.

“Villanova really played us tough in the first half, taking us out of our game a little,” Tierney said. “I think our defense really stepped up in the second half. Chris Hampton had another outstanding game, and our offense found its rhythm in the second half.”

Junior Wesley Berg was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament, posting three goals on the day, bringing his two-game total to eight goals and two assists for 10 points.

Sophomore Jack Bobzien and freshman Tyler Pace both registered three points of two goals and an assist. Bobzien also picked up four ground balls, earning a spot on the All-Tournament Team.

Senior Jeremy Noble and junior Garret Holst both tallied assists, while juniors Mike Riis and Sean Cannizzaro, along with senior Harrison Archer, all tallied a goal each.

Sophomore face-off specialist Chris Hampton tied his career-high by winning 16-of-24 face-offs, while also grabbing a career-high 10 ground balls to earn a spot on the All-Tournament Team.

Senior goalie Jamie Faus was the goalie of record, making five saves and allowing only one goal, bringing his season record to 5-2 on the season. Faus earned All-Tournament Team honors. Junior goalie Ryan LaPlante made three saves on the day.



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