SEATTLE, Wash. – The University of Denver men’s lacrosse team stunned the University of Maryland lacrosse team 12-9 in a fall-season exhibition at the Starfire Sports Campus in Tukwila, Wash., on Saturday afternoon.
“I’m just really happy that our guys came and competed against a great Maryland team,” said head coach Bill Tierney. “That’s all we told them to do, just come out and compete. We knew the score wasn’t going to mean a lot but we wanted to come out and compete against a Maryland team that has made it to the National Championship game the last two years.”
Senior Eric Law (Centennial, Colo.) led the Pioneers with three goals and two assists, while sophomore Mike Pirone (Bethesda, Md.) and freshman Gordie Koerber (Baltimore, Md.) both added two goals each.
Sophomore goalkeeper Ryan LaPlante (Fort Collins, Colo.) earned Seatown Classic Player of the Game honors as he finished with nine saves and seven goals allowed in 45 minutes of action while also scoring his first collegiate goal.
Also scoring goals for the Pioneers was sophomores Wes Berg (Coquitlam, B.C.) and Tyler Ekeroth (Baltimore, Md.), as well as seniors Cameron Flint (Georgetown, Ontario) and Tyler Simmons (Belvedere, Calif.). Senior Chase Carraro (Louisville, Ky.) finished the day winning 11-of-18 face-offs to go along with one assist and five ground balls.
Sophomore Eric Adamson (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) and senior Taylor Young (Littleton, Colo.) both finished with two assists each, while Simmons tallied one assist. Senior Chace Calkin (Englewood, Colo.) also saw time at the face-off x, winning 4-of-6 and scooping up two ground balls.
Maryland’s Kevin Cooper led the Terrapins with three goals and two assists, also earning Player of the Game honors. Starting keeper Nicholas Amato led the way with six saves, back-ups Kyle Bemlohr and Thomas Guarino finished with three and one saves, respectively.
Maryland’s Jack Bemhardt opened the scoring four minutes into the game off a pass from Cooper. The Pioneers answered with two straight goals as LaPlante and Law scored. Cooper tied the game at 2-2 with 5 minutes left to play, before Law answered with 3:27 remaining to give the Pioneers a 3-2 advantage. Cooper scored the final goal of the first quarter to make it 3-3.
Denver opened the second quarter scoring three straight goals, as Berg, Ekeroth and Law all found the back of the net. Maryland’s Owen Blye snapped the Pioneers’ scoring streak with a goal at the 5:55 mark, but Pirone answered with a goal at the 4:13 mark to put the Pioneers up 7-4.
Following the halftime break, Maryland scored three straight goals to tie the game at 7-7 as Cooper, Blye and Landon Carr all scored. Koerber snapped the Terrapins run as he scored back-to-back goals to give Denver a 9-7 lead. Bradlee Lord scored with 53 seconds left in the third quarter, but Flint answered with a goal from Adamson with six seconds remaining.
After Maryland’s James Carlson scored less than three minutes into the fourth quarter, both teams played solid defense till the Pioneers took a two-goal lead off a goal by Pirone with 1:41 left. Denver made it 12-9 in the final 30 seconds as Simmons scored an unassisted shot.
Maryland held a slight advantage in shots (32-31), while Denver led the way in ground balls (25-22). The Pioneers’ goalie corps finished the day with 14 saves, compared to Maryland’s 10, while Denver’s face-off group won 15-of-25 face-offs, compared to Maryland’s 10-of-25.
Up next, the Pioneers return home to host their annual alumni weekend. Alumni, family and friends are invited to the annual Fall Celebration Dinner (registration required) on Saturday, Oct. 20 at the Inverness Hotel and Conference Center.