Denver Tops Hopkins in Sold-Out Exhibition
DENVER – The University of Denver men's lacrosse team used an 8-0 start to defeat Johns Hopkins 14-10 in front of a sellout crowd of 2,571 for a Saturday afternoon exhibition at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium.
Denver will officially open its 2016 campaign in two weeks with a quick trip to Air Force (Feb. 13 at 1 p.m. Mountain). The defending NCAA champion Pioneers are ranked No. 2 in the Nike/Lacrosse Magazine Preseason Top 20.
"We were thrilled with the start obviously," coach Bill Tierney said. "We practiced beforehand, which obviously isn't something we normally do, but we got a lot out of that practice session as well. I thought in the second quarter, their coaching staff made great adjustments, and then we had to make adjustments to their adjustments. It made it a fun chess match out there today."
Freshman Nate Marano led the Pioneers in scoring Saturday, netting four goals and providing a helper on junior Connor Cannizzaro's first of the day. The freshman's hat trick came just 87 seconds into the second quarter. Cannizzaro had two goals and an assist, all as part of Denver's 8-0 run to start the game.
Johns Hopkins, ranked No. 6 in the Nike/Lacrosse Magazine Preseason Top 20, cut into the 9-1 second-quarter deficit with a 5-2 run of its own to end the first half, as Ryan Coulter netted his second of the day with three seconds left to send the two teams to the locker room at 11-6.
"I'm proud of the guys, but we made some errors that keep coming up over and over and over again at the defensive end that we just need to straighten out," Tierney said.
Taking his fellow countryman's number (14) after the graduation of Wesley Berg, British Columbia native Jeremy Bosher had a goal and an assist, while senior Colin Woolford rounded out the Pioneers' multiple point getters with two goals on four shots. In all, nine different players scored for the Pioneers, and eight different players each had one assist.
2015 USILA first-team All-American Trevor Baptiste set the tempo for the Pioneers, winning all 10 faceoffs in the opening quarter. Baptiste finished 19-for-23 in three quarters.
Freshman goalie Alex Ready made eight saves and allowed eight goals in three quarters.
"I thought Alex did a good job," Tierney said. "It's hard on a goalie when you don't see a lot of shots early. I thought he played really well. If we get that kind of game out of him each and every game, we'll be fine."
The sellout was the 24th in the history of Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium, which was built in 2005. Saturday's crowd was the ninth-largest in the stadium's history.
"I'm really excited about the fan support that turned up for an exhibition out here today," Tierney said. "One part of the old-school coach in me wants to say, 'Oh, this is silly. This is a scrimmage. Why are you here?' And another part of me says, 'It's 60 degrees. We might not have a nicer day here all spring. If they want to be here and they want to follow our guys, good for them.' It was a great to see the fans so into the game, again, especially for an exhibition. I thought that was really cool."
Numerous NCAA men's lacrosse teams saw their first action Saturday. The following scores are unofficial and were compiled from various social media, newspaper and staff reports. Rankings reflect the Nike/Lacrosse Magazine Preseason Top 20.
No. 1 Notre Dame 11, Air Force 8
No. 2 Denver 14, No. 6 Johns Hopkins 10
Hofstra 9, No. 5 Syracuse 8 (ended in 4th)
No. 5 Syracuse 10, Le Moyne 1 (half)
No. 16 Towson 4, Hobart 2
Bucknell 5, No. 16 Towson 4
Denison 11, No. 18 Marquette 5
Michigan 15, No. 18 Marquette 13
Boston University 12, Merrimack 6
Michigan 5, Denison 4
Lehigh 12, Rutgers 10
Colgate 8, Delaware 8 (OT)
Hopkins, Huber Family Keep Memory Alive
Tuesday marked one year since Jeremy Huber, a freshman defenseman for the Johns Hopkins men's lacrosse tema, died of complications from pneumonia and flu. The team sent 19 roses (Huber wore jersey No. 19) to Huber's family and gathered Tuesday in the Cordish Lacrosse Center for a video conference call with his parents and his brother, The Baltimore Sun reported Saturday.
"We checked in with them, and we shared with them how much we loved them and how much strength we derived from them and how sad we still are," Johns Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala told The Sun. "And yet we were still going to celebrate Jeremy and not mourn him. We were going to try to make it a day where we remembered all of the great things about him."
According to the article, Huber's parents were planning to fly Saturday from Las Vegas to Denver to watch the Blue Jays scrimmage the Pioneers.
'Be The Best'
Several teams honored late Hall of Fame coach Bud Beardmore by breaking their huddle with "Be the best," the Maryland men's lacrosse team tweeted Friday. Beardmore, who led the Terps to NCAA championships in 1973 and 1975, died Jan. 20 of complications related to Parkinson's disease. He was 76.
Why We Love Sports: College lax teams to honor Bud Beardmore this weekend by breaking the huddle with "Be The Best" pic.twitter.com/1HBHuouqtP— Maryland MLax (@TerpsMLax) January 29, 2016
Syracuse Offense in Spotlight
Syracuse is ranked No. 5 in the Nike/Lacrosse Magazine Preseason Top 20, but the Orange offense remains something of a mystery. The one known standout, Dylan Donahue, did not play in scrimmages Saturday against Hofstra and Le Moyne. Coach John Desko told The (Syracuse) Post-Standard he expects Donahue to play in next weekend's scrimmage against Brown.
The Post-Standard provided a lengthy analysis of Syracuse's scrimmages at the Ensley Athletic Center. Unofficially, the Orange lost to Hofstra 9-8 and defeated Le Moyne 10-1. Both scrimmages were abbreviated. The report dubbed Jordan Evans as the "quarterback" of the offense and UMass transfer Nick Mariano was the "wild card," while acknowledging that much of the offense remains "up for grabs."
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