DENVER – With solid performances from seniors Alex Demopoulos (Canton, Conn.) and Mark Matthews (Oshawa, Ontario), the University of Denver men’s lacrosse team earned a comeback victory over the MLL’s Denver Outlaws, 17-13 in the Third Annual Colorado Lacrosse Showcase.
Demopoulos led the Pioneers with four goals and four assists, while junior Eric Law (Centennial, Colo.) followed up his performance with three goals and an assist. Matthews assisted on four DU goals and scored two of his own, four six points for the Pioneers.
The first half was a tight affair that featured four ties and four lead changes. Demopoulos scored four goals and recorded two assists in the first half alone. Along with leading the Pioneers in goals, Demopoulos produced the highlight of the game, with a behind-the-back goal on an assist from sophomore Paul Danko (Towson, Md.).
DU opened the scoring early with an unassisted goal from sophomore Jeremy Noble (Orangeville, Ontario) 2:25 into the first quarter.
After the Outlaws took the lead at 2-1, junior Chase Carraro (Louisville, Ky.) and Matthews helped DU regain the lead with a pair of goals. Carraro scored off an assist from Demopoulos at the 4:27 mark, and 28 seconds later Matthews added a goal of his own to help DU take the 3-2 lead.
Following Demopoulos’ highlight goal, the Outlaws scored three goals in a 17-second span to take a 7-4 lead. Not to be outdone, Demopoulos countered with three goals of his own, including two unassisted, to help the Pioneers take the 8-7 lead going into the half.
The Pioneers outshot the Outlaws 46-40 and converted on nearly 60 percent of their face-offs. DU also dominated ground balls, 51-37, with freshman Tyler Ekeroth (San Diego, Calif.) leading the way with six.
Coming out of the intermission, DU used a 3-0 run to gain some early momentum. Matthews dominated the early part of the second half, assisting on goals from senior Patrick Rogers (Portland, Ore.) and a man-up goal by Law.
The Pioneers took a commanding 11-7 lead in the third quarter on a transition goal from Demopoulos to Matthews. Following the Outlaws miss, the Pioneers ran the fast break to perfection, as Demopoulos found Matthews to the right of the crease for Matthews’ second goal of the game.
After the Pioneers’ increased their lead to 12-7 on Carraro’s second goal of the game, Matthews and Law connected for two straight goals scored 1:17 apart.
The Outlaws gained some ground in the fourth, scoring three straight goals to cut the Pioneers’ lead to three, but goals from junior Colin Scott (Ridgefield, Conn.) and Eric Adamsom (Anaheim Hills, Calif.) sealed the victory.
Earlier in the day, the Pioneers hosted their annual alumni game with the crimson team defeating the white team 8-2. Notable alumni in attendance were Jordan Hendry (10), Kevin O’Brien (00), Glenn Berglund (03), Kyle Widerstedt (09), Clark Woodard (00), Christian Anderson (05), Ron Grahame (71), Andrew Lay (11), Art Lohrman, George Rentz (71), Travis Taylor (01), Ben Wahler (09), Brett Kohl (08), Ben Cole (07), Payton Sanders (10), Todd Baxter (11), Brad Richerdson (09), Joey Murray (09), Jamie Macdonald (11), Matt Brown (05), Devin Farrell (01), Greer Hanlon (05), Joe Archambault (04), Alex Stanton (01), Cory Vann (04), Andrew Huelskoetler (04), Austin Konkel (09), Steve Simonetti (11), Cameron Kerr (10), Brandon DeBlois (11), Jerry Fritchie, Emerson Eichler (11), McAdory Lipscomb (01), Branden McMoran (02), Kenny Crowley (01) and Tim Tenney (75).
Next up, the Pioneers travel to Orlando, Fla., to take on the U.S. National Team in the 2012 Champion Challenge on January 29 at 11:30 a.m. MT.
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