March 22, 2014

Denver Opens Big East Play With Win Over Rutgers

from Press Release

DENVER – Four Pioneers finished with four points each as the No. 5/5 University of Denver men's lacrosse team defeated Rutgers University 17-11 in front of a sell-out crowd of 2,232 fans at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium in snowy conditions on Saturday afternoon. The win is the first for the Pioneers in BIG EAST play as the league's newest members.

"Overall it was a good win," said head coach Bill Tierney. "It was our first BIG EAST game. Our kids have never seen Rutgers and even though I've played against them during my days at Princeton, this is a whole new team. You could see it in the first quarter that everyone was dancing around one another trying to get their offenses to click. We definitely feel like there are things that we could have done better, but I'm proud of how this team fought to get the win, considering the weather conditions that we played in."

Freshman Tyler Pace (Mission, B.C.) led the team with four goals for his second career hat trick. Sophomore transfer Jack Bobzien(Littleton, Colo.) and freshman Zach Miller (Steamburg, N.Y.) both finished with three goals and an assist each for four points, both netting their fifth hat trick of the season.

Senior Jeremy Noble (Orangeville, Ontario) also finished with four points off one goal and three assists, while junior Sean Cannizzaro(Cazenovia, N.Y.) scored two goals and tallied one assist for three points.

Juniors Wesley Berg (Coquitlam, B.C.) and Erik Adamson (Anaheim Hills, Calif.), as well as freshmen Connor Flynn (Charlotte, N.C.) andMax Planning (Alexandria, Va.) all scored one goal each on the day to round out the scoring.

Sophomore Chris Hampton (Bethesda, Md.) led the face-off corps with a 9-of-16 showing at the X, while sophomore Joe Bano (Dublin, Ohio) won 3-of-9 and sophomore Christian Thomas (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) won 2-of-5. Hampton also grabbed a career-high seven ground balls, leading the Pioneers.

Junior Ryan LaPlante (Fort Collins, Colo.) earned his fourth win of the season with 11 saves in just 30 minutes of action, allowing only five goals. Senior captain Jamie Faus (Lakeville, Conn.) made two saves in 27:25 minutes of action, while sophomore Joey Gigantiello (Shamong, N.J.) made one save in 2:35 minutes.

Defensively, redshirt-junior Teddy MacKenzie (Livingston, Mont.) caused a career-high six turnovers, while freshman Christian Burgdorf(Westfield, N.J.) finished with two.

Christian Trasolini and Scott Bieda both led the Scarlet Knights with five points each, as Trasolini netted four goals and an assist and Bieda scored three goals and two assists.

Denver held the advantage in saves (14-8), shots (39-32) and ground balls (35-29).

After an eight-goal first quarter, both teams were deadlocked at 4-4 to start the second quarter. Denver made it 5-4 with 13:25 left to play off a goal by Noble. Noble's goal sparked a six-goal scoring streak for the Pioneers that included goals from Adamson, Berg, Pace, Miller and Flynn. Rutgers scored with 17 second left before the half, however, Denver took a 10-5 advantage heading into the locker room.

Denver picked up the scoring again to start the third quarter with four straight goals from Bobzien, Cannizzaro, Miller and Pace to put the Pioneers up 14-5 with 58 second left. After a goal by Rutgers with 15 seconds left in the quarter, Planning netted his second of the season with two second remaining to put DU up 15-6.

The Scarlet Knights strung together three goals to start the fourth quarter to cut into the Pioneers' lead 15-9. Bobzien answered with back-to-back goals to put the Pioneers up 17-9 before Rutgers scored the final two in the closing thee minutes of action.

Denver heads on the road, continuing with BIG EAST play, taking on Georgetown in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, March 29 at 9 a.m. MT.

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