May 3, 2014

Denver Wins Big East, Winning Streak Reaches 11

from press release

Chris Hampton won 16-of-24 faceoffs and had a career-high 10 groundballs as No. 3 Denver won the Big East Championship to lock up a NCAA playoff berth.

© Kevin P. Tucker

VILLANOVA, Pa. - The No. 3 University of Denver men’s lacrosse team captured the BIG EAST Championship with a 14-7 win over No. 3 seeded Villanova on Saturday afternoon at Villanova Stadium. The win extends the Pioneers’ win streak to 11 straight games and gives Denver the automatic bid to the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championships that begins May 10-11.

“Villanova really played us tough in the first half, taking us out of our game a little,” said head coach Bill Tierney. “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.”

Freshman Zach Miller (Steamburg, N.Y.) led the Pioneers with five points off three 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.

Junior Wesley Berg (Coquitlam, B.C.) 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 (Littleton, Colo.) and freshman Tyler Pace (Mission, B.C.) 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 (Orangeville, Ontario) and junior Garret Holst (Fishers, Ind.) both tallied assists, while juniors Mike Riis (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Sean Cannizzaro (Cazenovia, N.Y.), along with senior Harrison Archer (Washington, D.C.) all tallied a goal each.

Sophomore face-off specialist Chris Hampton (Bethesda, Md.) 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 (Lakeville, Conn.) 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 (Fort Collins, Colo.) made three saves on the day.

Denver held the advantage in shots (42-24), ground balls (40-18), face-offs (17-of-26 to 9-of-26), while Villanova made 13 saves to Denver’s 8.

Devin McNamara and Matt McIver both led the Wildcats with two goals each.

BIG EAST All-Tournament Team
Scott Bieda, Rutgers
Liam Byrnes, Marquette
Devin McNamara, Villanova
Thomas Croonquist, Villanova
John LoCascio, Villanova
Chris Hampton, Denver
Zach Miller, Denver
Jack Bobzien, Denver
Jamie Faus, Denver
Wesley Berg, Denver (Most Outstanding Player)

The NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship selection show airs on Sunday, May 4 at 7 p.m. MT on ESPNU. The hour-long show will breakdown the 18-team field. This is the Pioneers’ fifth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance. Denver has advanced to the NCAA Semifinals twice in four years.

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