Once again, DU finds itself on a national sports stage—this time in men’s lacrosse.
In May the team wrapped up its best season ever, which culminated in a first-round showing in the NCAA tournament—the Pioneers’ first-ever national bid.
“The players were hungry to take the next step and make the NCAA tourney,” says head coach Jamie Munro. “They sacrificed and bought in to the philosophy of the team and it paid off.”
That philosophy? Hard work, dedication and a team-first attitude.
“We’re trying to build a lacrosse power,” Munro says.
By all measures, they’re doing just that with an imposing momentum.
The Pioneers finished their regular season ranked 12th (up six points from last year) and won the Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL).
And the team is teeming with stars: Senior midfielder Geoff Snider set the NCAA record for ground balls (gaining control of loose balls) in a season, earned All-American and was the league’s player of the year. Senior midfielder Adam Goodwin took first-team All Conference and scholar All-American honors. And defensemen David Hahn (a junior) and Rory Shepard (a sophomore) were named to the All-GWLL first team.
Hahn credits cohesion for much of the team’s success. “We’re all friends and we play well together,” he says. “We know what each other is going to do out there.”
Munro says the team’s trademark is pressure defense with motion offense and physical dodging.
Whatever the reason for the good fortune, the Pioneers men’s lacrosse program is gaining some impressive recognition and predictions of continued success.
Brian Reese, the general manager of the Outlaws, Denver’s new pro lacrosse team, has recruited several players from DU and has said the school is building “a strong program” that will continue to “put out great players.”
And Mike Law (BSBA ’01), a former DU standout who now plays for Reese, predicts DU lacrosse will be one of the top collegiate teams in the next two years.
“We’re trying to be the best in the world at what we do,” Munro says. “It took us many years to figure out how we want to play and now we have the recipe. But we feel that we can still get better at everything we do from coaching on down.”