STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – The No. 11/13 University of Denver men’s lacrosse team defeated the No. 10/10 Penn State Nittany Lions 14-6 in State College, Pa., on Saturday afternoon at Penn State Lacrosse Field. Led by a five-point outing from senior Mark Matthews (Oshawa, Ontario) the Pioneers improved to 4-1 on the season, while the Nittany Lions fall to 3-2.
Matthews led all scorers with four goals, while junior Eric Law (Centennial, Colo.), freshman Wes Berg (New Westminster, B.C.) and junior Cameron Flint (Georgetown, Ontario) all chipped in two goals apiece. Law finished the day with four points as he also notched two assists. Senior Alex Demopoulos (Canton, Conn.) finished with four points off one goal and three assists.
“We did a great job of playing together today and improving on our mistakes from last week,” said head coach Bill Tierney. “Our offense and defense did a great job of continuing to communicate and playing like a unit. We have a big game coming up on Sunday against Notre Dame that we need to get ready for.”
Berg and Flint both tallied assists to finish the day with three points each. Sophomore Jeremy Noble (Orangeville, Ontario) chipped in with one goal and two assists for three points, while junior Chase Carraro (Louisville, Ky.) tallied one goal, while winning 12-of-21 face-offs.
Sophomore Jamie Faus (Lakeville, Conn.) finished with a season-high 13 saves on the day, there shy of tying his career-high.
Denver opened the scoring with three straight goals as Berg netted his fifth of the season off a pass from Matthews, followed by back-to-back goals from Matthews, both assisted by Law. Penn State’s Jack Forster scored with 5:09 left in the first off a pass from Matthew Mackridges, and Nick Dolik netted an unassisted shot to pull within one.
The Pioneers then scored seven straight goals in the second quarter, while holding the Nittany Lions scoreless. Matthews, Law, Flint, Demopoulos and Noble all scored to put the Pioneers up 10-2 at halftime.
Forster scored for the Lions to open the third quarter, but the Pioneers answered with two straight from Carraro and Law to take a 12-3 lead. Dolick and Shane Sturgis scored for Penn State to open the fourth quarter. Berg and sophomore Bailey Dodds (Eden Prairie, Minn.) answered for the Pioneers to give DU a 14-5 lead. Travis Crane scored the final goal for Penn State with 53 seconds remaining and the Pioneers played solid defense to close out the game with a 14-6 victory.
Dolick and Forster led the Nittany Lions with two goals each, while Sturgis and Crane both finished with one.
The Pioneers remain on the road, traveling to South Bend, Ind., for a game against No. 7 Notre Dame on Sunday, March 18 at 11 a.m. MT. Denver then takes on No. 3 Cornell on Tuesday, March 20 at 2 p.m. MT. Denver’s game against the Fighting Irish will be broadcast live on ESPNU.