Sports & Recreation / Summer 2017

Men’s lacrosse slips to Maryland in NCAA semifinal

The men’s lacrosse team lost to Maryland in the semifinal game at Gillette Stadium. Photo: John Baker

The NCAA championship proved elusive for another year for the DU men’s lacrosse team, which lost 9-8 to the Maryland Terrapins in the May 27 semifinal game at Gillette Stadium outside of Boston. Maryland went on to defeat Ohio State in the championship game.

This was DU’s fifth trip to the NCAA semifinals; the Pioneers beat Maryland in the finals in 2015 for their first-ever national championship.

The game kept Pioneers fans on high alert. With only 15 seconds remaining in the final quarter, junior Connor Donahue took off for the goal, ran past his defender and scored on a dive shot. It appeared that the Pioneers had battled back and tied the game against top-seeded Maryland. However, the goal was called off because Donahue landed in the crease, and Maryland was able to run off the final remaining seconds.

“When we got to 8-8, I thought we had a chance,” said DU coach Bill Tierney. “Our kids just played like warriors. Couple bad breaks here and there; could have gone either way. But they played hard.”

The Pioneers finished the 2017 season with a 13-4 record. In the individual honors department, sophomore midfielder Colton Jackson received the NCAA Elite 90 Award for men’s lacrosse. The award is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA’s championships.

“Think back on the great four years we had at Denver—three final fours and a national championship is obviously huge,” defenseman Christian Burgdorf told the Denver Post following the loss. “The great people we’ve met on the way and the lessons we’ve learned and developed as young men over the past four years—it’s a [heck] of an experience and something I wouldn’t trade.”


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