Athletics & Recreation / News

Men’s lacrosse team makes NCAA Final Four

Men's lacrosse player Todd Baxter played a pivotal role in DU's victory over Johns Hopkins.

Fueled by three-goal performances from senior Todd Baxter and sophomore Cameron Flint, the No. 6-seeded University of Denver men’s lacrosse team defeated the No. 3-seeded Johns Hopkins Blue Jays 14-9 in the second game of the Hofstra quarterfinals at Shuart Stadium in Hempstead, N.Y.

With the victory, the Pioneers (15-2) advance to the NCAA tournament semifinals for the first time in team history.

“I can’t express to you how proud I am of these guys because they have just done everything that we as coaches have asked of them and more,” head coach Bill Tierney says. “Johns Hopkins is an outstanding team and they gave us everything they had. It was a great showing for the sport of lacrosse and I am just so proud that our team has the opportunity to experience it and make history.”

Freshman Jeremy Noble led the way for the Pioneers with five points off three goals and two assists while junior Mark Matthews finished with a goal and two assists to go along with Baxter’s and Flint’s three-goal performances.

Baxter, who suffered a high ankle sprain and partial MCL tear two weeks ago, and Flint scored two goals each during a six-goal run by the Pioneers in the first and second quarters.

Johns Hopkins battled back in the second half, winning 12-of-15 face-offs shrinking DU’s lead to one goal at 8-7 with 7:16 remaining in the third quarter. Baxter scored his third goal with 4:47 left in the quarter and sparked another Pioneer run of five straight goals that stretched the DU lead to 13-7 .

The Blue Jays attempted a comeback, scoring with 6:20 remaining, but Denver’s defense clamped down and Noble buried a man-up goal into an empty net to seal the victory with 2:18 on the clock. 

The Pioneers travel to M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md., where they will face the No. 7-seeded Virginia Cavaliers on May 28 at either 2 p.m. or 4:30 p.m. MT. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com. The winner of the semifinal will advance to the national championship on May 30 at 1:30 p.m. MT, which also will be shown on ESPN and ESPN3.com.

For more, visit the DU Athletics website.

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3 Comments

  1. Tom Douglis says:

    This is a very historic accomplishment for the men’s lacrosse team and coaches, the DU athletic department, the University of Denver community and for the sport of college lacrosse. There has never been a team from West of the Mississippi River to advance to the final four of this sport at the NCAA Division I level. Our Denver Pioneers have become true pioneers in the westward expansion of the sport from a eastern regional game what is quickly becoming to a national sport.

    With 60,000+ tickets sold for the semifinls and finals this weekend in Baltimore, this will be the largest live crowd to ever see a DU team in any sport, at least since DU football was dropped in 1961. The Pioneers’ recent exposure on ESPN and other eastern media has raised the profile our school, and that helps DU not only in recruiting players, but with prospective students to apply to DU.

    Finally, the last few weeks on campus has seen an explosion of DU school spirit among the current students, bringing people together to share this historic experience.

    This NCAA advance is a tribute to some visionary and talented DU people working very hard towards a common goal, and exemplifies what it means to be a Pioneer!

  2. michelle Andrews says:

    YEA!

  3. Tia Gordon says:

    My husband and I (both alumni) will be there to root them on Sat in Baltimore! GO DU!

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