As all DU games seem to go this season, the game yesterday against Villanova started out rocky until the Pioneers pulled together another phenomenal mid-game offensive run to beat the Wildcats 16-9.
Villanova was able to outscore Denver 5-3 in the first quarter. Jack Curran started the scoring on the day in less than four and a half minutes unassisted to take ‘Nova 1-0 over DU.
Wes Berg answered back for Denver as usual with a punisher into net off the assist from Jack Bobzien a minute after the Wildcats’ goal.
A minute and change later, with just under half of the first quarter burned out, the Johnny Gallaway scored on LaPlante to take Nova back ahead 2-1. Once again, Berg had the Pioneers’ backs with another sniper into the cage just over a minute following Gallaway’s goal. 2-2.
The Wildcats stole the game momentum temporarily after that. Galaxy scored again off an assist from Sean Cerrone, and moments later Danny Seibel snagged a goal off an assist from Eric Gartner.
Yet again, Wes Berg displayed his dominance with a hat-trick goal for Denver with just over four minutes left in the first quarter.
Villanova scored the final goal with 3:42 remaining. Nick Tortoriello got an assist from Remington Pope, and the first quarter would close with the Wildcats ahead 5-3.
DU is building a program known for late runs. The first portion of a game is feeling out the opponent, then trying some things, if they don’t work Bill Tierney works his speech magic on the team in a huddle or the locker room, and the Pioneers come storming out and ahead of the opposition.
That was exactly the case yesterday. Despite the game momentum hanging against DU, Tierney found a way to bring together the team and find a way to control the game’s tempo. The second quarter was a full on onslaught. Western lacrosse had something to prove to the east:
At 13:24 Tyler Pace finds a feed to Connor Cannizzaro for a point blanker. At 6:52, Pace feeds Erik Adamson for a lovely sniper. Adams returned the favor with an assist to Connor Cannizzaro with 4:39left in the first half. Pace fed Adamson for a goal, and to close the half Jack Bobbin assisted Colin Woolford. DU ran away with the quarter 5-0, bringing the score to 7-5 their favor.
The Pioneers came back onto the field after halftime with one mission: no mercy. They outscored Villanova 5-2 in the third quarter, making the score 12-7. DU finished the final quarter 4-2 over Nova, 16-9.
Ground balls and face offs are the highlights of today’s game. Denver’s Trevor Baptiste was a monster again the draw and won 20 of 28 face offs. Denver doubled Villanova’s ground ball efforts with 30 to their 15.
Wes Berg and the DU offense demonstrated once again that pressure is no weight to them. They took the game’s pressure and turned it into their momentum.
Denver will play Georgetown on Saturday for the BIG East title and an automatic entrance to the NCAA Final Four at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA.