The No. 5/6 University of Denver Pioneers host ECAC opponent Fairfield University in their final regular-season home game at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium on Saturday.
The Pioneers come into their match-up with the Stags ranked No. 5 in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media poll and No. 6 in the USILA Coaches’ Poll. Denver is also on a seven-game winning streak and is a perfect 5-0 in league play.
The Pioneers and Stags are deadlocked at 3-3 in the all-time DU DI standings. Last season, the Pioneers defeated the Stags 9-8 in the first game of the Inaugural ESPNU Warrior Classic at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. The Pioneers were ranked No. 18, while the Stags were No. 18. The win also marked the Pioneers seven-consecutive win.
Fairfield University comes into its match-up with DU after defeating Ohio State 11-9 in Columbus, Ohio. The Stags are sporting a 7-6 overall record, 3-2 in ECAC play. Sam Snow and Max Trunz lead the Stags with 26 points each, as Snow has scored 17 goals and Trunz leads the way with 21 assists. Marshall Johnson and Steve Golmont are sharing the face-off duties with Johnson leading the way with a 44.1 face-off percentage. Johnson also leads the team with 34 ground balls. Goalkeeper Charlie Cipriano holds a 7-6 record between the pipes, having logged 779 minutes for a 59.8 save percentage and a 7.46 goals against average. The Stags are averaging 8.00 goals per game on 34.5 shots per game. The Stags have amassed 317 ground balls and have a 40.7 face-off percentage.
PIONEER LEADER BOARD
Junior Mark Matthews (Oshawa, Ontario) leads Denver with 53 points (34g, 19a), ranking him fourth in the nation in points per game (4.42), third in goals per game (2.83) and 22nd in assists per game (1.58). Junior Alex Demopoulos (Canton, Conn.) is second on the team with 44 points (23g, 21a), ranking him 10th in the nation in points per game (3.67), 45th in goals (1.92) and 10th in assists (1.75). Sophomore Chase Carraro (Louisville, Ky.) ranks 14th in the nation with a 58.4 face-off percentage. Carraro also ranks 12th in the nation with 6.08 ground balls per game. Denver leads the nation in points per game (20.25) and is second in scoring offense (13.0) and assists per game (7.25).
PETER BARTON STADIUM TO HOST ECAC TOURNAMENT
DU will host the first-ever Eastern College Athletic Conference Tournament at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium on Thursday, May 5 and Saturday, May 7. Thursday’s first game will begin at 4 p.m. MT, followed by the second game at 7 p.m. MT. Both semifinal games will be webcast live on Pioneer Vision, through DenverPioneers.com.
The winners of the two semifinal games will advance to Saturday’s conference championship that is slated to begin at 11 a.m. MT and will be broadcast live on ESPNU. Fans are encouraged to check with their local cable or satellite provider for ESPNU in your area. The top four teams at the conclusion of the regular season standings qualify for the conference’s postseason tournament. The ECAC tournament champion will receive an automatic berth into the NCAA Division I Championship Tournament.
Last season, both Denver and Loyola (Md.) qualified for the national tournament with the Pioneers getting the automatic bid and the Greyhounds earning an at-large. Tickets for the ECAC Tournament will go on sale Friday, April 15 at 10 a.m. at the Ritchie Center Box Office or at TicketMaster.com.
An All-Session Pass that includes all three games is available for $20 for adults, $15 for kids (12 and under). A Thursday Session Pass is also available for the two semifinal games for $15 for adults, $10 for kids (12 and under). Tickets for the championship game on May 7 are available for $10 for adults, $7 for kids (12 and under). Students from any college who present a valid student ID can purchase tickets for $5 for any game.