[7/5] Denver Sprints Past [17/17] Air Force at 17-10 in First Round of NCAA Tournament

May 13, 2017

  MLAX v Air Force (13 MAY 17) - Highlights
  MLAX v Air Force (13 MAY 17) - Post Game

  MLAX v Air Force (13 MAY 17) - AFA Post Game

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DENVER - 2017 Tewaaraton Finalist Trevor Baptiste (Denville, N.J.) went 23-of-27 from the dot, added a pair of goals and picked up 18 ground balls to lead the [7/5] fifth-seeded Denver men's lacrosse team to a 17-10 win in the first round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Championship in-front of the 23rd-straight sellout at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium on Saturday. 

Baptiste moved his career faceoff wins total to 847, ahead of Syracuse's Ben Williams and into third place in NCAA history. Williams and the Orange will host their first round game tomorrow night. The Denver junior also took his ground ball total to 462, good for eighth in NCAA history.

2016 Tewaaraton Finalist Connor Cannizzaro (Cazenovia, N.Y.), sophomore Austin French (Danville, Calif.) and senior Max Planning (Alexandria, Va.) led the attack as the trio put away four points on three goals and one assist for the Pioneers (12-3) in the win. Denver had three players score hat tricks in the same game for the 12th time since the start of the 2015 season.

Cannizzaro, who stretched the nation's longest active point streak to 56 games, had four points to move into second in DU's DI record book with 220 points in his 2+ year Denver career.  

2017 BIG EAST Freshman of the Year Ethan Walker (Peterborough, Ontario) added four points of his own with a pair of goals and helpers to aid the attack. Walker, the Hat Trick Trios, Baptiste and junior Connor Donahue (Groton, Mass.) all had multiple goals, the 12th time since the start of the 2014 season that Denver has had 5+ player with at least a pair of goals.     

Walker has the most points in a season by a freshman, now with 64, to move into eighth in Denver's DI single-season record book. 

Grant Gould led the Falcons (12-6) with three goals and one ground ball, while Matthew Schwartz and Chet Dunstan both added a pair of markers in the loss. 

The Falcons struck first in the contest as Schwartz took a feed from Chris Walsch and slotted a shot past DU at the 10:09 mark of the opening frame. The Pioneers responded as French had a hand in every Denver goal in the remainder of the period, first by connecting with Planning at the 9:01 mark and adding two of his goals for a 3-1 lead by 4:48.

DU extended the lead to 5-2 behind a goal each from Donahue and junior Jeremy Bosher (Kamloops, B.C.) by the 13:03 mark of the second, before Air Force's Cameron Carter potted his first goal at 11:43 to keep the Falcons within two.

The Pioneers doubled up the visitors for a 6-3 lead thanks to the one-two combo from Cannizzaro to Walker with 4:13 on the clock, carrying the three-goal cushion into the locker rooms.

Denver opened up the floodgates in the third quarter after Baptiste and Cannizzaro fired off three goals in a two-minute span for a 9-3 lead by the 12:45 mark. The Falcons kept pace after narrowing the gap to 10-6, but the hosts were persistent in building the lead back to 13-7 heading into the final stanza.

The Pioneers' seven-goal third quarter set an NCAA Tournament program record for most goals in a quarter. 

DU kept the pressure up at the start of the fourth with Cannizzaro, French and Planning going back-to-back-to-back by the 7:21 mark for a 16-7 lead, eventually cruising to a 17-10 final.

UP NEXT:

Denver men's lacrosse, Presented by Your Hometown Toyota Stores, will face the winner of Notre Dame/Marquette contest (Sunday, May 14, 10 a.m. MT) in the "West Regional" final on Saturday, May 20, in Hofstra. Game time will be announced on Sunday night and will be broadcast on ESPNU.

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