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Pioneers Face Cavaliers in NCAA Semifinals
Courtesy: Denver Athletics  
Release: 05/25/2011

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BALTIMORE, Md. - With its 14-9 win over Johns Hopkins University in the NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals, the No. 4 University of Denver men's lacrosse team advanced to the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Final Four for the first time in program history.

No. 6 seeded Denver travels to Baltimore, Md., to face the No. 7-seeded Virginia Cavaliers on Saturday at 2 p.m. MT at M&T Bank Stadium. The Pioneers are on a program record 12-game winning streak heading into the match up that will be featured live on ESPN2 HD and The No. 9/10-ranked Cavaliers are on a three-game winning streak after their 13-9 victory over Cornell on May 21 in Hempstead, N.Y. 

MEDIA INFO                                        

Fans can follow the game live via ESPN2 HD, and on FM 104.3 The Fan. Live Stats will be offered on and Fans can also follow the action live via the Pioneers' interactive in-game blog through CoverItLive on Fans on Twitter can also follow the action via DU_MLAX.

TICKET INFO                             

Single game tickets for Saturday and Monday will go on sale Friday at 8 a.m. MT. They will be available only at the M&T Bank Stadium Box Office and through Ticketmaster.

THE SERIES                               

The Cavaliers lead the series against the Pioneers 4-1, with all four of Denver's losses occurring at Virginia. The Pioneers beat the Cavaliers 9-7 in Denver on Feb. 29, 2004 in an upset against the No. 1-ranked team at the time. Denver head coach Bill Tierney has posted a 10-10 all-time record against Virginia. Two of those wins include Tierney's NCAA Championship victories over Virginia in 1994 and in 1996.


As head coach, Tierney's teams have gone 8-2 all-time in semifinal appearances.

TIERNEY'S 300                

Along with Duke's head coach John Danowski, head coach Bill Tierney is searching for his 300th career win this weekend, heading into the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament. Tierney would join an elite group of coaches with a win this weekend. Only four coaches in the history of Division I lacrosse have amassed 300 or more wins. (David Urick-338, Dom Starsia-327, Jack Emmer-326 and Dick Garber-300)


Virginia comes into its semifinal match up with Denver after the 13-9 win over Cornell on May 21 in Hempstead, N.Y., that gave head coach Dom Starsia the most Division I wins in NCAA history. The Cavaliers are sporting an 11-5 overall record. Steele Stanwick leads the Virginia squad with 64 points (29g, 35a), while Chris Bocklet leads the team with 41 goals and ranks second in points (46). Garett Ince, Brian McDermott and Ryan Benincasa share the face-off duties for the Cavaliers. Ince leads the three, winning 51.9 percent of face-offs, followed by Benincasa and McDermott, who have won 50.6 and 47.8 percent, respectively. Goalkeeper Adam Ghitelman holds a 10-5 record between the pipes, having logged over 856 minutes, a 53.2 save percentage and 9.81 goals against average.


Junior Mark Matthews leads Denver with 69 points (45g, 24a), ranking sixth in the nation in points per game (4.06), fifth in goals per game (2.65) and 29th in assists per game (1.41). Junior Alex Demopoulos is second on the team with 57 points (29g, 28a), ranking 20th in the nation in points per game (3.35) and assists per game (1.65). Freshman goalkeeper Jamie Faus ranks 11th in the nation in save percentage (0.57) and 17th in goals against average (8.22). Sophomore Chase Carraro ranks 13th in the nation with a 58.9 face-off percentage. Carraro also ranks 14th in the nation with 5.71 ground balls per game. Denver is tied for first in the nation with Syracuse in win percentage (.882), and ranks second in scoring offense (12.71), scoring margin (4.35) and points per game (19.65).  The Pioneers also rank third in the nation in assists per game (6.94).


The Pioneers added a third historical moment for the Denver record book on May 21st, when they played in and won their first-ever NCAA Quarterfinal game. With its 14-9 victory over No. 3-seeded Johns Hopkins, Denver advanced to the Semifinals for the first time in program history to face No. 7-seeded Virginia. Previously in the NCAA Tournament, the Pioneers made history becoming the first team in Pioneer men's lacrosse history to win an NCAA Tournament game by defeating Villanova 13-10 in the first round. Prior to that win, Denver was 0-3 in the NCAA Tournament. Denver also made history by hosting the first NCAA First Round game west of the Mississippi River.



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