March 11, 2014

Adamson Anchors Denver's 2nd Top-10 Win in Three Days

by Calvin Jouard | | Twitter

DENVER – Two games against two top-10 teams in a matter of three days. There has to be some fatigue right? This is Division I lacrosse we're talking about here.

If there was, eighth-ranked Denver didn't show it Monday in a 15-11 win over the seventh-ranked Penn State. The Pioneers were coming off a victory Saturday against Notre Dame in California.

"My staff was up until 4 in the morning the other night, bussing bags back from the airport, getting scouting reports ready for tonight," Denver coach Bill Tierney said. "This was a team effort tonight."

Conversely, Penn State last played March 1. Nine days had passed since its 11-8 win over Ohio State.

"Credit Denver, I thought they did a real nice job coming off a Saturday game against Notre Dame," Nittany Lions coach Jeff Tambroni said. "They played with a lot of energy tonight."

Penn State led for most of the first half. Midfielder Tom LaCrosse painted the top corner of the goal to put the Nittany Lions ahead 7-4 with 8:15 left in the second quarter. Penn State won 13 of 16 first-half faceoffs.

In-Game Blog Replay


Down 7-4 in the second quarter after an unassisted Tom LaCrosse top-corner ping, Denver got back into the contest with a 5-0 run that began with a great hustle play from attackman Wes Berg, who forced Nittany Lion goalkeeper Austin Kaut out of bounds with the ball. The Pioneers regained possession and ultimately scored when Sean Cannizzaro fed Hartford transfer Jack Bobzien on the crease for a goal at the 5:22 mark.

That ignited a 5-0 run for Denver, which tied the game at 7 at halftime and then outscored Penn State 8-4 over the final two quarters.

"We were doing a nice job controlling faceoffs in the first half, giving ourselves a lot of possession time and probably just didn't score enough early with all the time that we had," Tambroni said. "Then in the third quarter, the first seven minutes got away from us."

The Pioneers got four more goals from attackman Erik Adamson, the California native who scored six in his homecoming against Notre Dame.

Although the Nittany Lions finished 21-for-30 on faceoffs, the extra possessions partly were nullified due to 14 turnovers (compared to five for Denver).

The Pioneers led 10-8 entering the fourth quarter. After the teams exchanged goals, Pat Manley pulled Penn State within one, making it 11-10 with 11:23 remaining.

A frenetic sequence followed, with four goals in 45 seconds. It started with a Cannizzaro goal with 9:01 remaining made it 12-10. Attackman Shane Sturgis, who led Penn State with three goals and three assists, pulled the Nittany Lions back with a goal just seven seconds later. But the rest of the run belonged to Denver. Goals by Mike Riis at the 8:41 mark and Zach Miller -- on a hidden-ball trick -- at the 8:16 mark put the Pioneers ahead for good.

Kaut bit on the trick exchange and Miller scored from above the restraining box.

"We run it all the time, and we finally got lucky enough to get one in today," Miller, a freshman attackman, said of the trick play.

Berg iced the game with 30 seconds left.

"Sometimes most of fatigue is just mental," Tierney said. "I think what happened was [our fatigue] got overrun by adrenaline."

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