DENVER - With its 11-9 win over Fairfield University, the No. 4 University of Denver men's lacrosse team won the ECAC Championship and earned the automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. Denver will host the No. 11/12 Villanova Wildcats on Sunday at 3:15 p.m. MT in a first-round game of the NCAA Tournament, marking it the first time in program history that Denver has hosted an NCAA Tournament game.
The No. 6-seeded Pioneers are on a program record 10-game winning streak heading into the match-up that will be featured live on ESPNU. Villanova comes off of an 11-9 loss to Georgetown.
Fans can follow the game live via ESPNU. Live Stats and the Pioneers' interactive in-game blog through CoverItLive will also be available through DenverPioeners.com.
Tickets for the NCAA Tournament first-round game on May 15 are sold out. Fans are encouraged to watch the game on ESPNU and follow the Live Stats and Live Blog through www.DenverPioneers.com.
The Pioneers lead the all-time series with the Wildcats 3-2 that includes a 2-0 record at home. The last meeting between Denver and Villanova resulted in a 12-11 double overtime victory for the Pioneers on March 3, 2007 in Denver, Colo.
Villanova comes into its match-up with DU after an 11-9 loss to Georgetown on May 7 in Washington, D.C. The Wildcats are sporting an 11-4 overall record, 3-3 in Big East play. Kevin Cunningham leads the Wildcats with 41 points on 23 goals and 18 assists. Jack Rice leads the team with 32 goals and 73 shots, and is second on the team with 35 points. Nolan Vihlen and Thomas Croonquist are sharing the face-off duties with Croonquist leading the way with a 60.0 face-off percentage. Brian Karalunas leads the team with 71 ground balls. Goalkeeper Billy Hurley holds an 11-4 record between the pipes, having logged over 898 minutes for a 48.7 save percentage and an 8.01 goals against average.
PIONEER LEADER BOARD
Junior Mark Matthews leads Denver with 62 points (41g, 21a), ranking him fourth in the nation in points per game (4.13), fifth in goals per game (2.73) and 30th in assists per game (1.4). Junior Alex Demopoulos is second on the team with 53 points (27g, 26a), ranking him 12th in the nation in points per game (3.53) and 17th in assists (1.73). Freshman goalkeeper Jamie Faus ranks ninth in the nation in save percentage (0.577) and 16th in goals against average (8.052). Sophomore Chase Carraro ranks 11th in the nation with a 61.0 face-off percentage. Carraro also ranks 10th in the nation with 6.07 ground balls per game. Denver is second in the nation in assists per game (7.07), and ranks third in scoring margin (4.4), win percentage (0.867) and points per game (19.67).
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