DU Claims Inaugural ECAC Tournament Title
from press release
DENVER – No. 5 Denver held off a late rally by Fairfield to claim the inaugural ECAC Tournament championship with an 11-9 win this afternoon at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium. The Pioneers, who also won the ECAC regular season title, earned the league's automatic NCAA tournament bid with the win and extended its winning streak to a program-record 10 wins.
"A great deal of credit needs to go to Fairfield and all those young men that competed and didn't give up for the full 60 minutes," said head coach Bill Tierney. "I am proud of our guys for sticking in there and coming up with goals when we needed them, but our team just learned something out there and that is to never give up until that buzzer sounds. I am excited that we were able to secure the first-ever ECAC championship and to get the automotive qualifier to the NCAA tournament. It's been a long season, but we're ready to keep playing and show everyone what Denver lacrosse is all about."
Denver led 11-4 early in the fourth quarter before the Stags mounted their comeback with five consecutive goals to cut the deficit to two goals with 3:04 remaining. The Pioneers sealed the win as goaltender Jamie Faus (Lakeville, Conn.) stopped the Stags final two attempts on goal.
ECAC Player of the Year Mark Matthews (Oshawa, Ontario), sophomore Eric Law (Centennial, Colo.), senior Todd Baxter (Eden Prairie, Minn.) and junior Alex Demopoulos (Canton, Conn.) scored two goals each for Denver and Faus earned his 12th win of the season with 13 saves.
Freshman Jeremy Noble (Orangeville, Ontario), sophomore Hayden Schuette (Encinitas, Calif.) and tournament MVP Chase Carraro (Louisville, Ky.) also scored, while Carraro dominated faceoffs by winning 16 of 22 draws.
Max Trunz led Fairfield with three goals, while Nick Baglio, Matt Plominski, Doug Kuring, Sam Snow, Matt Lanzaro and John Snellman added goals for the Stags. Charlie Cipriano made 13 saves as Fairfield ends its season at 8-8.
Denver held a 5-2 advantage after an entertaining first period. Law opened the scoring at 3:43 before Baglio tied it at 1-1 less than one minute later. Matthews scored back-to-back goals, followed by Noble and Demopoulos as the Pioneers outshot the Stags 8-4 in the first period.
Baxter and Schuette scored goals in the second quarter to extend DU's lead to 7-2 at the half. Faus stopped all five Fairfield shots in the quarter.
Law, Baxter and Carraro scored for Denver in the third quarter as the Pioneers held a commanding 10-3 lead. Plominski netted Fairfield's lone goal in the quarter.
After a Demopoulos goal at 2:32 of the fourth quarter, Fairfield rallied with goals from Lanzaro, Snow, Trunz (2) and Snellman to make the final score 11-9.
Matthews, Baxter, Faus and Demopoulos joined Carraro on the all-tournament team. Tyler Frederick (Ohio State), Mike Sawyer (Loyola), Snellman, Cipriano, Trunz and Drew Palmer of Fairfield were also named to the team.
Denver learns its first round opponent during the NCAA Men's Lacrosse Division I Selection Show tomorrow night live on ESPNU at 7 p.m. MT First round games are scheduled for May 14-15 at on-campus sites.
ECAC All-Tournament Team
Chase Carraro, Denver – MVP
Alex Demopoulos, Denver
Mark Matthews, Denver
Todd Baxter, Denver
Jamie Faus, Denver
Max Trunz, Fairfield
Drew Palmer, Fairfield
Charlie Cipriano, Fairfield
John Snellman, Fairfield
Mike Sawyer, Loyola
Tyler Frederick, Ohio State