Dustin Amick | Clarion

Participating in the BIG EAST Tournament in Bryn Mawr, P.a., the DU women’s lacrosse team defeated the Georgetown University 9-8 on May 4 but lost in the championship game to the No. 2 University of Florida 18-12 on May 6 to close out their season.

With the game tied 8-8 in the waning seconds, junior attack Caitlan Derry (Seal Beach, California) scooped up a ground ball and fired the game-winner with only 35 seconds left to help Denver down Georgetown in the semi-final matchup. Derry also recorded an assist and two shots in her heroic effort.

DU took the lead at 28:49 of the first quarter and would keep the advantage for nearly the entirety of the game, taking a commanding 6-2 lead into halftime. But Georgetown would regroup, battle back and score the equalizer with 2:11 remaining.

Sophomore midfield Audrey Schreck (Charlottesville, Virginia) recorded DU’s first tally, while classmate Kendra Lanuza (Littleton, Colorado) was the only Pioneer who recorded multiple goals, posting two scores on two shots.

Making four saves in each half, senior goalkeeper Maddy Stevenson (Bainbridge Island, Washington) continued her high-quality 2017 play in net.

Having advanced to the BIG EAST championship match, the Pioneers were back in action two days later against Florida, but they were unable to contain the Gators’ electric offense. DU fell 18-12 with an automatic NCAA Tournament berth on the line.

DU fell behind early, going down 4-0 at the 21:44 mark and facing a heavy 11-4 deficit at halftime. A late four goal run in the second half brought the Pioneers within shouting distance at 14-9, but they were unable to complete the comeback.

In what would be her final game suiting up for DU, senior attack Emily Conway (Darien, Connecticut) chalked up four goals on a whopping seven shots in the contest. She also added two ground balls.

Sophomore attack Julia Feiss (Baltimore, Maryland) capped her outstanding season with a five goal performance that helped her reach the 50-goal plateau.

Despite not achieving their desired result at their conference tournament, the Pioneers headed home to watch the NCAA Tournament selection show on May 7. DU was right on the fringe of making the 26-team pool, as their RPI was 26, but the Pioneers were unfortunately not selected.

The emergence of sophomores Lanuza (70 points), Feiss (64 points) and Elizabeth Behrins (Basking Ridge, New Jersey, 51 points) in 2017 gives DU a solid foundation to build on for the next two years.

Graduating seniors Stevenson and defender Layne Voorhees (Alexandria, Virignia) will test the depth of the defense, also giving new players a chance to make their mark on the program.

Denver finished the year with a record of 14-4 (7-2, BIG EAST), including going a perfect 8-0 at home. Their record bested their 9-9 mark from 2016, as the DU women’s lacrosse program continues to trend up.