April 2, 2011

Denver Erases Early Deficit, Tops Hobart

from press release

GENEVA, N.Y.—Junior attackman Mark Matthews notched game-highs of five goals, six points, and eight ground balls to lead 12th-ranked Denver to a 15-11 ECAC Lacrosse League victory over Hobart on Boswell Field at the Caird Center for Sports and Recreation today. The Pioneers trailed 6-2 early in the second quarter, but used a 9-1 run to take control of the contest.

Denver (7-2, 3-0) outshot Hobart 55-37 and held the edge in ground balls 47-33. The Statesmen (4-5, 1-1) controlled the faceoff X 18-11. The final result turned on the Pioneers’ relentless ride that limited Hobart to a 13-of-23 clearing day.

The Statesmen seized the early momentum when junior Chris Pedersen fired home a feed from senior Tim Bigelow. Less than two minutes later, senior Mike White set up senior Sam Miller’s extra-man score for a 2-0 Hobart lead. The goal extended Miller’s point streak to a team best 19 games.

The Pioneers pulled even with consecutive scores by sophomore Chase Carraro and Matthews in the final three minutes of the opening frame. The latter score was an impressive one-handed effort with two Statesmen draped on Matthews.

Hobart’s offense stepped on the gas early in the second quarter, scoring four in a row. Miller buried a feed from Pedersen 56 seconds in the quarter and then completed his fifth hat trick of the year seven seconds later. Not to be out done, Bigelow also scored back-to-back goals, both of his man-up, to give the Statesmen a 6-2 lead with 11:19 remaining in the half, prompting Denver to call timeout.

The break in the action proved to be just what the Pioneers needed. Denver won the ensuing faceoff and 15 seconds later, junior Alex Demopoulos dumped home a pass from senior Todd Baxter. The strike ignited a 6-0 run, including a pair of goals by sophomore Cameron Flint, that gave the Pioneers an 8-6 halftime lead.

Hobart got within one with the first goal of the second half as Bigelow completed his first hat trick of the year. Denver countered with three unanswered goals to build an 11-7 lead entering the fourth quarter.

Junior Bobby Dattilo won the first faceoff of the fourth quarter and assisted on senior Alex Caton’s goal just six seconds in. Hobart scored again two minutes later, this time Bigelow set the table for sophomore Tyler Simmons, closing the gap to 11-9.

Denver, which boasts the No. 4 scoring offense in the nation, rattled off the next four goals to shut the door on a Statesmen comeback. Matthews led the surge by scoring the first two and assisting on the last.

Bigelow recorded a team-high five points (3-2) for Hobart, while Miller (3-0), Pedersen (2-1), and White (0-3) chipped in three points apiece. Dattilo (6th in the nation in FO%) was 18-of-29 on faceoffs, outdueling Carraro (12th). Sophomore Jake Eisenhard picked up a team-high six ground balls.

Hobart senior goalie Evan Kirk matched his career-high with 15 saves in 59 minutes of work. Sophomore Jon Lawless stopped the only shot he faced in one minute of relief work, while Kirk has a piece of dirt flushed out of his eye.

Baxter, Demopoulos, and Flint all finished with three points for Denver. First-year goalie Jamie Faus earned the win with seven saves.

Hobart will be back in action on Saturday, April 9, when the Statesmen visit Ohio State. The opening faceoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.


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