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[5] Denver Edged by [1] Maryland 9-8 in NCAA Semifinal

May 27, 2017

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Box Score | Postgame Quotes

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -
The fifth-seeded [7/5] University of Denver men's lacrosse team concluded its season as it fell 9-8 to the top-seeded [1/1] Maryland Terrapins Saturday in the NCAA Semifinal game at Gillette Stadium. The Pioneers twice tied up the score against the Terps, including with 10 minutes remaining in the game as freshman Ethan Walker (Peterborough, Ontario) scored his second goal in a row to tie the score, 8-8. Maryland had the final answer as junior Connor Kelly scored his game-leading third goal. 

The Pioneers conclude the 2017 season with a 13-4 record after the loss to Maryland in the program's fifth trip to the NCAA Semifinals. Denver's senior class will graduate with a 59-12 record, second in wins only to the Terrapins. 

Maryland took an early lead as Colin Heacock tallied the first goal 1:30 into the contest. Sophomore Colton Jackson (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) evened the score, 1-1, with a timer-on goal with 10:40 to play in the first quarter. The Terps scored a pair of unassisted goals to close out the first quarter with a 3-1 lead.

The Terrapins added to their lead in the second quarter as Matt Rambo found Dylan Maltz for the first assisted goal of the game, extending Maryland's lead to 4-1 with 10:18 to play in the half. 

The Pioneers responded with a couple of goals by sophomore Nate Marano (Tustin, Calif.). Marano cut the Terp lead to 4-3 with 3:59 to play in the second quarter, but Heacock scored his second goal of the game with 1:39 on the clock in the first half to give Maryland a 5-3 advantage at the half.

At the faceoff dot, Tewaaraton finalist Trevor Baptiste (Denville, N.J.) was held to 5-for-10 and 11-of-21 in the game, improving to 48-2-2 in his career. Baptiste picked up six ground balls from the dot. 

Junior Connor Donahue (Groton, Mass.) opened the scoring in the second half to cut the Maryland lead to 5-4, the first of three times in the second half that the Pioneers cut the Terps lead from two to one. Tim Rotanz and Dylan Maltz scored for the Terps before seniors Joe Reid (Petaluma, Calif.) and Connor Cannizzaro (Cazenovia, N.Y.) answered to pull Denver back to within 7-6. The Terps got the final strike of the third quarter as Connor Kelly scored off a Maltz feed with 47 seconds to go in the stanza to make it 8-6 to go into the final 15 minutes. 

Walker opened the fourth with two goals 95 seconds apart to make it 8-8 with 10 minutes to play in regulation. Maryland answered with Kelly's 45th of the season with 8:41 and the Terps defense denied Denver's equalizer in the final minutes.

Donahue temporarily appeared to have tied the game, but the junior's arm landed in the crease behind GLE and Maryland killed off the final seconds of the game to advance to its third-straight NCAA title game. 

Baptiste did keep his streak of now 52-straight games with double digit faceoff wins, and will head into his senior season in 2018 ranked third in NCAA Men's Lacrosse history with 879 and fifth in ground balls with 481. 

Cannizzaro ended his career with a 58-game active point streak. In three years with the program, Cannizzaro finished second in DU history in career points behind Wesley Berg (225), third in career goals (145) and tied for second in career assists (80). If his freshman stats at Maryland counted towards Dever's record book, the Cazenovia, N.Y., native would have finished first in point and assists and second in goals. 

A four-time All-American, Burgdorf ended his career third in DU history in caused turnovers with 41. Burgdorf started in all 70 of his appearances, and played in 70 of 71 games for the second-winningest senior class in the country. 

Saturday marked the first game that Denver has lost while allowing less than 10 goals since the 2014 national semifinals against Syracuse. 

Fans interested in making a donation to the men's lacrosse program can do so by clicking here. Your contribution will make a direct impact on the success of YOUR Pioneers. Thank you in advance for your unwavering support of our student-athletes and their quest for excellence. 

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