BALTIMORE, Md. - Led by a five-point effort from senior Todd Baxter (Eden Prairie, Minn.), the No. 16/19 University of Denver men's lacrosse team (4-2, 1-0 ECAC) defeated the No. 15/17 Loyola Greyhounds (3-1, 1-1 ECAC) 12-8 on Wednesday evening at the Ridley Athletic Complex in Baltimore, Md., to open Eastern College Athletic Conference play.
Baxter finished the night with two goals and three assists, while juniors Alex Demopoulos (Canton, Conn.) and Mark Matthews (Oshawa, Ontario) and sophomores Chase Carraro (Louisville, Ky.) and Cameron Flint (Georgetown, Ontario) all added two goals each.
"It was a very gutsy performance by the Pioneers tonight," said head coach Bill Tierney. "Chase Carraro, Jeremy Noble, Cameron Flint and Todd Baxter were all warriors tonight, and along with our defense putting in a great performance in the second half I am thrilled that our team persevered through a tough game against a tough team, especially after our disappointing loss on Saturday night. We are happy to be off to a 1-0 start in ECAC play, yet know there's a long way to go."
Also scoring for the Pioneers was sophomore Eric Law (Centennial, Colo.) and freshman Jeremy Noble (Orangeville, Ontario) with a goal apiece. Demopoulos finished the night with four points as he added two assists.
Freshman Jamie Faus (Lakeville, Conn.) recorded his third win of the season as he made five saves, while the Pioneers defense caused four turnovers and eight ground balls.
Carraro led the Pioneers from the face-off, winning 11-of-23, while also recording three ground balls. Noble led the Pioneers with four ground balls on the night.
"Chase was outstanding for us tonight on face-offs and created the chances for our offense to capitalize," Tierney said. "Todd had a gritty game and led our offense with five points, while Jamie and the defense had a great second half."
Loyola's Mike Sawyer led the Greyhounds with four goals, while Davis Butts, Patrick Fanshaw, Matt Langan and Stephen Murray all added a goal apiece. Josh Hawkins led the team with nine ground balls, while John Schiavone won 12-of- 23 face-offs.
Loyola opened the scoring just 47 seconds into the game as Sawyer scored his 15th goal of the season. However, with 11:52 remaining in the quarter, the Pioneers went on a four-goal tear to take a 4-1 advantage that spanned into the second quarter until Sawyer scored for the Greyhounds with 8:40 left.
Two minutes later, Loyola's Murray scored to cut the deficit to one goal, 4-3, however five seconds later, DU's Carraro scored his fourth of the season to give the Pioneers a two-goal cushion. Both teams exchanged goals as the first half expired and the Pioneers took a 6-5 lead into the break.
Loyola's Fanshaw scored just 39 seconds into the third quarter to tie the game at 6-6, however the Pioneers exploded with six straight goals to take a 12-6 lead that spanned into the fourth quarter until Loyola's Sawyer scored with 2:06 remaining. Langan scored the final goal of the game with 1:46 remaining, but it wasn't enough as the Pioneers prevailed 12-8.
- PIONEERS -