May 10, 2014

Denver Wins 12th Straight to Advance in NCAA Tournament

from press release

Denver's Zach Miller had a pair of goals to help the Pioneers to a 9-5 win over North Carolina to advance to next weekend's NCAA quarterfinals at Delaware.

© Trevor Brown

DENVER – In front of a record-breaking crowd of 2,748 at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium, the No. 5 seed University of Denver men’s lacrosse team defeated North Carolina 9-5 in the first round of the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championships on Saturday evening.

“I couldn’t be more proud of this team’s performance out there tonight,” said head coach Bill Tierney. “From offense to defense our guys left it all out on the field and really played a great game. Credit to UNC for really playing us tough and not letting up throughout the game.

Freshman Zach Miller (Steamburg, N.Y.) and junior Erik Adamson (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) led Denver’s offensive effort with a combined five points, each recording two goals, while Miller adding an assist. Denver extended its win streak to 12 games, tying its longest winning streak in Pioneer history. 

This is the second-straight year that the Pioneers (15-2) have hosted an NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship First Round game and the third in program history. This was the third consecutive season that the Pioneers played North Carolina (10-5) in the NCAA Tournament, coming out on top in all three matches.

Sophomore Jack Bobzien (Littleton, Colo.) led the Pioneers with four points off one goal and an assist, while junior Wesley Berg (Coquitlam, B.C.) and senior Jeremy Noble (Orangeville, Ontario) both tallied a goal and an assist.

Junior Sean Cannizzaro (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and freshman Dallas Bridle (Orangeville, Ontario) all added to the Pioneers’ scoring force as they each picked up a goal.

Sophomore face-off specialist Chris Hampton (Bethesda, Md.) won 7-of-16 face-offs, while grabbing two ground balls. Bobzien tied his career-high of five ground balls, while Noble picked up five as well.

Securing the win, junior goalie Ryan LaPlante (Fort Collins, Colo.) improved to 10-0 on the season, making three saves on the day and helped Denver into the locker room with a 5-1 lead at half, while senior goalie Jamie Faus (Lakeville, Conn.) also had three saves, allowing four on the evening. Tar Heels goalie Kieran Burke made 11 saves on the evening.

UNC’s Joey Sankey led the Tar Heels with two goals, while Chad Tutton led the way in points off one goal and two assists.

Denver held the advantage in shots (38-28), ground balls (26-19), while the Tar Heels led in saves (11-6) and won 9-of-16 face-offs.

Denver advances to the quarterfinals for the fourth straight season and will play the winner of the Penn vs. Drexel game, set to take place on Sunday, May 11 at 1 p.m. MT, at Delaware Stadium on Sunday, May 18 at a time to be determined.

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