Senior attackman Bill McCutcheon scored a career-high five goals and added two assists as the
Tigers (1-1) won their first game of the year, an 11-9 non-conference victory over Air Force (1-2) in the opening game of the Harrow Sports Face-Off Classic at Barton Lacrosse Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
McCutcheon, who has scored six goals with four assists this season, also tied his career high with a seven-point performance.
“We needed a win today and we got a win today,” Coach Tony Seaman said. “I thought we played really well in the first and third quarters, which gave us the ability to put all of our guys in to get some time.
The No. 16 University of Denver men’s lacrosse team (2-1) defeated the Sacred Heart Pioneers (0-3) 15-8, in front of a home-opening crowd of 888 at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium on Saturday afternoon on the first day of the Harrow Face-Off Classic.
But, when Air Force made that late run, we had to put the regulars back in to get the win.”
McCutcheon gave the Tigers a quick 1-0 lead just 56 seconds into the opening quarter when he converted a feed from freshman Matt Lamon. The Tigers upped their advantage just over two minutes later when junior midfielder Will Harrington tallied his first goal of the season, an extra-man marker past Matt Sanders.
After Air Force narrowed the deficit to 2-1, the Tigers ran off four straight goals to take a commanding 6-1 lead with 6:14 left in the second quarter. Junior midfielder Brock Armour scored two of his career-high three goals during the spurt.
The teams traded goals before Bryan Gilbreath ended the first half by scoring his second goal of the season off an assist from Jeff Pecora, narrowing the margin to 7-3 at the intermission.
The Falcons closed the gap to 7-4 early in the third quarter on a goal from Griffin Nevitt. But, the Tigers used a 4-1 spurt, including three goals from McCutcheon, to take an 11-5 lead.
However, the Falcons used a four-goal run over a three-minute span to move within 11-9 with 1:59 remaining. But, junior goalkeeper Rob Wheeler and the Tigers held off the Falcons for the victory.
While McCutcheon led the Tigers with seven points, Armour tallied the first “hat trick” of his college career by scoring three goals with an assist.
Wheeler tied his career high for the second straight game and had 14 saves in a winning effort.
Eric Evans led Air Force in the loss with a three-goal effort while Sanders posted 10 saves.
The Tigers, who are 3-0 all-time in the Face-Off Classic, will face 16th-ranked Denver on Sunday afternoon in the final game of the tournament. The Pioneers defeated Sacred Heart by a 15-8 margin on Saturday afternoon.