Caitlan Gannam | Clarion

With a 18-12 victory over the St. John’s University Red Storm on Saturday, April 17, the No. 3 DU Pioneers clinched their sport in the BIG EAST Men’s Lacrosse Championships in Providence the first week of May.

Head Coach Bill Tierney recorded his 500th game on Saturday, becoming the seventh coach in Division l men’s lacrosse to reach that achievement. Tierney is second in Division l wins with 377, three behind Duke coach John Danowski.

The Pioneers attack was led by 2016 Tewaaraton Finalist and senior captain Connor Cannizzaro (Cazenovia, New York) who amassed six points on five goals and one assist. Cannizzaro currently holds the nation’s longest active point streak at 52 games. Freshman attack Ethan Walker (Peterborough, Ontario) drew a five-point day, scoring two goals and dishing three assists. Sophomore midfielder Colton Jackson (Highlands Ranch, Colorado) recorded his fourth-career hat trick, scoring each on the man-up.

Faceoff extraordinaire Trevor Baptiste (Denville, New Jersey) dominated 22-for-29 at the X. Baptiste collected 13 ground balls and scored his eighth goal of the season.

Sophomore goalie Alex Ready (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) recorded 7 saves in his 54:40 of play before being substituted by freshman Josh Matte (Issaquah, Washington) who made 3 saves in the duration of the game.

Denver jumped to an early 5-2 advantage over St. John’s, as sophomore attack Austin French (Danville, California) sparked a six-goal run carrying over into the second quarter, with less than two minutes remaining in the first quarter. Classmate Quinn McKone (Novato, California) rounded out Denver’s run, tallying the score 7-2 four minutes into the second quarter as the midfielder scored his first career goal.

The Red Storm gained momentum on a 4-2 run to trail Denver 6-9 at the half. St. John’s were the first to draw blood starting the second-half, but the Pioneers would outscore the Red Storm 5-2 in the third quarter, extending their lead 14-8.

With the cushioned lead, Denver rotated third and fourth lines in the final quarter of play. DU and St. John’s exchanged four goals in the final frame of action.

Denver’s win also punched the Providence College Friars’ ticket to the conference tournament. The two unbeaten BIG EAST teams will clash Saturday, April 22 at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium. Faceoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. MT.