The Denver Pioneers and Air Force Falcons are creating a history in Colorado as 2017 marks their sixth year playing each another in DU’s home opener.
The two largest D-I lacrosse programs in Colorado have battled together for eight years and hosted in Denver for six. The Pio’s are undefeated at 8-0 in their history. All-coveted Bill Tierney returns for his sixth year at the helm and Matt Brown joins John Orsen as staff assistant coaches. The past three years have been nothing short of astonishing and accomplished for these three – who were then joined by returning alumni Jeremy Noble as a volunteer.
DU also brings in a heavy hitting freshmen class as well as two notable seniors (midfield Connor Flynn and goalie Ryan Purcell) who are returning from injuries in 2016. With the talent and system the Pios have, it will be tough for Air Force to overcome.
Unfortunately, despite DU coming in hot off a 13-3 record and undefeated in conference play, the big news is they lost Brendan Bomberry and Zach Miller to [respectable] personal agendas.
Air Force always comes into Denver letting shots fly and dropped last season’s by one goal from Morano. Every year there’s a lingering sense of calling for an Air Force upset – as every year their program gets better and the match up tighter.
Air Force popped up in a few different preseason media polls, most notably No. 18 in Inside Lacrosse’s preseason rankings. Head coach Eric Semeret enters his ninth season with the Falcons and has a phenomenal lacrosse resume, having played five NLL seasons and coaching at historical programs like Stony Brook and Cornell.
The Falcons roster is representing 17 different U.S. states bringing experience from all over the country for more than just athletics or education.
Though it’s two familiar foes, this particular matchup is practically two brand new teams. Every season is a new one, and this regular season opener should present a heavy 2017 preview of what’s to come for both parties.
Game time is set for 1pm MT at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium Saturday. It will be televised locally on Altitude TV and commentated by Mike Evans and Devin Farrell.