The No. 4 University of Denver men’s lacrosse teams opens the 2014 season this Saturday at Air Force, traveling to USAFA, Colo., to take on the Falcons at Falcon Stadium. Opening face-off is slated for 1 p.m. MT.
Denver leads the all-time Division I series 14-2, however the Falcons lead the overall series 52-20. Last season, Denver stunned the Falcons 11-10 in overtime at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium.
SCOUTING THE FALCONS
Air Force, which finished the 2013 season with a 7-7 overall record, takes the field this season with 34 returning letterwinners and nine-of-10 starters from last year. The Falcons, who return over 94 percent of their points from 2012, are led on the offensive end by seniors Mike Crampton and Tommy McKee and junior Keith Dreyer. Crampton, who notched 53 points on the year, led Air Force in total goals scored last season with 34, the most for an Air Force player since the 1998 season. Dreyer tallied a team-leading 26 assists and 36 total points in his sophomore campaign, while McKee added 33 points (29g, 4a) to complete the Falcons’ starting attack. Other top scorers for the Falcons include midfielders Erik Smith, Christopher Allen and Kyle Cassady, who tallied 29, 23 and 20 points, respectively, in 2013.
SCOUTING THE PIONEERS
Denver, ranked fourth in this week’s USILA Coaches Poll and Warrior media poll, begins its season this weekend. The Pioneers posted a 14-5 overall record in 2013, advancing to the NCAA semifinals, where they fell, 9-8, to Syracuse. Among the leading returners for Denver is junior Wesley Berg, who tallied 56 goals and 16 assists in 2013, while midfielder Erik Adamson added 27 goals and 13 assists last season. Carson Cannon leads the Pioneers’ defense, while Denver also returns goalkeepers Jamie Faus and Ryan LaPlante, who split time between the pipes in 2013.