The No. 6 seeded University of Denver men’s lacrosse team won its first-ever NCAA Tournament game with a 13-10 victory in the First Round in front of a record 2,575 fans at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The game, which was the first NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Tournament contest ever played west of the Mississippi River, extended DU’s winning streak to a program-record 11 wins and advances the Pioneers to the Quarterfinals for the first-time in program history.
“I’m so proud of these young men,” head coach Bill Tierney said. “They faced a good Villanova team that gave us everything they had and more. They really gave us fits. We had just enough steam and enough heart to go out there and win against a very good team. Congratulations to Coach Mike Corrado, his staff and his player for such a great game.”
Denver (14-2) trailed by as many as three goals in the third quarter, but the Pioneers scored three goals in a 41-second span to tie it (8-8). Freshman goalie Jamie Faus (Lakeville, Conn.) made six of his 13 saves in the final quarter to hold Villanova scoreless, while DU racked up three goals to take the victory.
Freshmen Jeremy Noble (Orangeville, Ontario) doubled his career-high with six points off a career-best four goals and two assists, and junior Mark Matthews (Oshawa, Ontario) had a hat trick and an assist, all in the second half.
The Pioneers outshot the Wildcats 41-37, despite registering just 11 shots in the first half, nearly doubling Villanova’s shot total in the second half.
Villanova started with quick goals just six seconds apart to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead with 12:15 left in the first quarter, but junior Alex Demopoulos (Canton, Conn.) scored and dished an assist to tie it up.