DENVER - Powered by a seven-point performance from senior Eric Law (Centennial, Colo.) the No. 11/11 University of Denver men's lacrosse team defeated No. 8/12 Lehigh 18-10 on Saturday afternoon in the second game of the Frontier Airlines Face-Off Classic at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium. The win brings Denver's record to 2-1, while Lehigh now sits at 2-1.
"We've been working hard all week," said head coach Bill Tierney. "We asked the guys to come out and play hard this week and even though we made some of the same mistakes in the first half that we did last week, I thought we played much better in the second half. Once we got on a roll, it really got their confidence up and we really shot well today."
Freshman Gordie Koerber (Baltimore, Md.) tallied a career-high four goals and his second career hat trick, while Law finished with three goals and four assists for his seventh career hat trick. Sophomore Wes Berg (Coquitlam, B.C.) finished with his fifth career hat trick, second of the season, while senior Cameron Flint (Georgetown, Ontario) recorded two goals and two assists. Sophomore Eric Adamson (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) and junior Jeremy Noble (Orangeville, Ontatio) scored two goals apiece.
In his first game back from injury, junior Jamie Faus (Lakeville, Conn.) finished with eight saves, while Chace Calkin (Englewood, Colo.) won a career-high 17 face-offs. Scoring their first collegiate goals for the Pioneers were sophomore Garret Holst (Fishers, Ind.) and freshman Tom Moor (West Islip, N.Y.).
Denver outscored Lehigh 12-3 in the second half en-route to the win. The Pioneers out-shot the Mountain Hawks 34-28, held the advantage in ground balls 41-27 and won 17-of-31 face-offs. Denver was also 2-of-6 on the man-up and 10-of-11 on clears.
Dan Taylor recorded three goals for Lehigh. Kurtis Kaunas tallied two goals, while Brian Hess added one goals and one assist.
The Pioneers got on the board first, when Moore scored 3:30 into the contest, but Lehigh responded with a pair of goals to take a 2-1 lead. The Pioneers bounced back with two goals of their own to retake the lead at 3-2.
Lehigh tied the game at three, but Noble scored from close range on an assist from Calkin to return the lead to the Pioneers, before Kyle Stiefel found the net for Lehigh to close the first quarter tied at four.
Lehigh tallied a pair of goals to open the second frame, but Koerber found the net with nine minutes left in the period to pull the Pioneers back to within one. The Mountain Hawks scored less than a minute later, but DU responded in less than 10 seconds, as Law put one past the goalkeeper to bring the Lehigh edge back to one. Neither team scored in the final 7:59 of the first half, as the Pioneers entered the break trailing 7-6.
Denver wasted no time in the second half, as Berg and Noble both score within the first two minutes of the third quarter to give the Pioneers an 8-7 lead. Lehigh found the net less than 30 seconds later, however, to bring the score level at 8-8. Goals from Berg and Flint gave DU a 10-8 lead with 5:51 left in the third. The Mountain Hawks cut the lead to one, before Adamson ended the period by finding the net, to give the Pioneers an 11-9 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Holst opened the scoring in the closing period, scoring the first-of-four unanswered goals for Denver to start the frame. Lehigh's Kaunas broke the Mountain Hawks' scoring drought with 5:59 remaining in the contest, but the Pioneers tallied two goals by Koerber and one from Law in the final five minutes to seal the eight-goal win.
The Pioneers will return to action tomorrow, when they face Canisius at 1:30 p.m. MT. The Air Force Falcons and Lehigh will meet in the first game that is slated to begin at 11 a.m. MT. The Pioneers game against the Golden Griffins will be on Pioneer Vision as well as 102.3 ESPN Radio.
Air Force defeated Canisius 10-8 in the first game of the Frontier Airlines Face-Off Classic. Keith Dreyer led Air Force with three goals in the contest, while Kyle Cassady and Erik Smith added two goals apiece. Cody Gould topped Canisius with three goals. Vince Gravino and Tim Edwards added two goals and one assist each.
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