October 25, 2010

Denver Opens 2011 Season at Syracuse

from press release

DENVER – The University of Denver men's lacrosse team will open up the 2011 season on the road against national powerhouse Syracuse, DU head coach Bill Tierney announced today. The 2011 schedule also features a neutral site matchup against defending national champion Duke, and the Pioneers will look to defend their 2010 Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Regular Season Championship when they host the inaugural ECAC Tournament in May.

"We are very excited about our 2011 schedule," Tierney said. "Although we are very proud of our accomplishments in 2010, we are aware that we have a lot to live up to and much room for improvement in the future. A tough schedule allows the players to compete at the highest level and playing the best in the game, allows them to see what it takes to 'be the best in the game.' We couldn't be more excited to face the challenge our 2011 schedule presents."

"Our non-league schedule is highlighted by some of the toughest competition in the country," Tierney said. "We start once again, by visiting Syracuse in the Carrier Dome. This is a formidable task, yet one that our players are looking forward to again."

Following their game with the Orange, the Pioneers return to Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium for a four-game home stand beginning on Feb. 27 which features matchups with Vermont, Jacksonville, Manhattan and last year's national championship runner-up Notre Dame.

Denver will then hit the road to take on conference rival Loyola on March 16, a team that the Pioneers defeated 12-4 in a pivotal game played at INVESCO Field at Mile High last season which determined the ECAC Champion. The Pioneers wrap up the two-game road trip in Fairfield, Connecticut on March 19 when they visit Sacred Heart.

Denver will resume ECAC play when it returns to host Air Force on March 26 and then leaves to face Hobart the following week on April 2.

Denver will then face the defending national champion Duke Blue Devils in perhaps the most highlighted game of the season in Bethpage, New York on April 9. Duke defeated Notre Dame in an overtime thriller 6-5 to capture the 2010 National Title.

"Out game against the reigning NCAA Champions will be played at the new Bethpage High School Stadium on Long Island," Tierney said. "It will be an honor to be on the same field as Coach Danowski and his fantastic team."

The Pioneers then return home to host Ohio State at INVESCO Field at Mile High on April 16. The Pioneers play their final away game of the 2011 season at Bellarmine on April 23, then return home to conclude regular-season play against Fairfield on April 30.

Previously, the ECAC champion was determined by the regular season conference record, but this year Denver will play host to the first ECAC Tournament from May 6-8 at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium. Denver held a perfect 7-0 conference record in its first season of ECAC affiliation, and will look to defend its 2010 title in a championship format.

"The University of Denver is especially anxious to host our first ECAC Tournament next May," Tierney said. "It will be a great event and whatever four teams are involved will demonstrate the ECAC at its best."

The Pioneers welcome 16 freshmen on this year's squad, but return much of their offensive firepower in juniors Mark Matthews (Oshawa, Ontario) and Alex Demopoulos (Canton, Conn.). The duo provided 39 percent of the scoring for Denver last season, combining for 74 goals and 35 assists during the 2010 campaign. The Pioneers will look to improve upon their early exit in the NCAA Tournament last season, where they fell 9-7 to Stony Brook in the first round.

Day    Date      Opponent          Location              Time
Sun.   Feb. 20   Syracuse          Syracuse, N.Y.     11:00 a.m.
Sun.   Feb. 27   VERMONT           Denver, Colo.      12:00 p.m.
Sat.   Mar. 5    JACKSONVILLE      Denver, Colo.       1:30 p.m.
Sun.   Mar. 6    MANHATTAN         Denver, Colo.       1:30 p.m.
Sat.   Mar. 12   NOTRE DAME        Denver, Colo.       7:00 p.m.
Wed.   Mar. 16   Loyola *          Baltimore, Md.      5:00 p.m.
Sat.   Mar. 19   Sacred Heart      Fairfield, Conn.   10:00 a.m.
Sat.   Mar. 26   AIR FORCE *       Denver, Colo.       1:00 p.m.
Sat.   Apr. 2    Hobart *          Geneva, N.Y.       10:00 a.m.
Sat.   Apr. 9    Duke              Bethpage, N.Y.     11:00 a.m.
Sat.   Apr. 16   OHIO STATE *$     Denver, Colo.       3:00 p.m.
Sat.   Apr. 23   Bellarmine *      Louisville, Ky.    11:00 a.m.
Sat.   Apr. 30   FAIRFIELD *       Denver, Colo.       1:00 p.m.
Fri.   May 6-8   ECAC Tournament   Denver, Colo.         TBA

* ECAC Opponent
$ played at INVESCO Field
Home Games in CAPS
All times Mountain Time

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