Men’s lacrosse stumbles into NCAA Tournament

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A six-game winning streak was snapped for the top-seeded No. 2 DU men’s lacrosse team in the Semifinal of the BIG EAST against the fourth-seeded Marquette University Golden Eagles on Thursday, May 4 in Providence, R.I.

The Golden Eagles pulled away from a tied score of 8-8 with a three-goal run over the final eight minutes to clinch the 11-8 victory over the Pioneers.

Tewaaraton nominee and faceoff extraordinaire Trevor Baptiste (Denville, New Jersey) completed his afternoon going 14-for-22 at the faceoff to advance to fifth in NCAA history in faceoff wins (824), surpassing Duke University alum Brendan Fowler. Baptiste also collected nine ground balls in the effort.

Senior captain and Tewaaraton nominee Connor Cannizzaro (Cazenovia, New York) and classmate Tyler Pace (Coquitlam, British Columbia) led Denver’s offense with a hat trick apiece.

Cannizzaro opened up scoring 1:36 into the game, but the Golden Eagles responded by countering with two of their own later in the quarter.

The Pioneers regained a 3-2 lead with goals from Pace and sophomore Austin French (Danville, California) within the opening five minutes of the second quarter before Marquette added one of their own. Denver and Marquette headed into intermission with the scored locked 5-5 at halftime.

The Golden Eagles dominated the third quarter, outscoring the Pioneers 3-1. Denver rallied early in the fourth quarter with two goals in the first five minutes, but the efforts weren’t enough to throttle Marquette’s momentum.

Marquette advanced to the BIG EAST Championship game against the host, Providence University, on Saturday, May 6 and won their second-consecutive BIG EAST Championship title by a score of 10-9. Last season, the Golden Eagles defeated 2016’s hosts, the Pioneers, by the same score to win their first ever title.

Even with the conference semifinal loss, the Pioneers earned the fifth seed in NCAA tournament. For the fifth straight year, Denver will host the first round on Saturday, May 13 welcoming the Air Force Falcons. Faceoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. The winner will advance to face the winner of fourth-seeded Notre Dame University and Marquette University in Hofstra University on May 20.

Sasha is a second-year Journalism Studies major with minors in Business Analytics and Marketing. Sasha loves combining her passions of sports with writing and is a HUGE fan of data-driven narratives and visualizations. Despite being a Colorado native, Sasha aspires to live in New York City or Boston as soon as she can.

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