Denver vs. Mount Saint Mary's
February 24, 2002
The Game Story:
Freshmen Blake Evans (New Caanan, Conn.) and Matt Brown (Burnaby, B.C.) combined for seven goals and junior netminder Jeff Nunziato (Latham, N.Y.) turned away 12 shots to lead the University of Denver men's lacrosse team to a convincing 12-4 season-opening victory over Mount St. Mary's on Sunday afternoon (Feb. 24) at the Air Force Academy. Denver opens the season 1-0, while MSM falls to 0-2.

Denver's attack began the offensive onslaught early with three goals in the first quarter. Junior Adam Stifel (Bethesda, Md.) and Evans netted back-to-back goals in the first two minutes of the game to give the Pioneers a lead they would not relinquish. The Mountaineers retaliated with their lone goal of the period to pull within one midway through the first stanza, but would get no closer. Freshman midfielder Jeff Biggs (St. Louis, Mo.) recorded two unanswered goals and Brown chipped in the first of his three goals to give Denver a comfortable 5-2 lead at halftime.

The Pioneers stormed out of the break and battered the Mountaineer defense with 13 shots in the third quarter. Freshman Erik Swanson (Glenview, Ill.) registered his first career-marker less than a minute into the period that sparked four straight Denver goals. Brown and Evans put the game safely out of reach late in the third frame with three combined markers over a span of one minute and seven seconds that put the Pioneers ahead 9-2.

Mount St. Mary's scored with less than two minutes remaining in the third quarter and appeared to turn the momentum, but an ill-advised penalty gave Denver an extra attacker for the first three minutes of the fourth quarter. The Pioneers recorded one goal and five shots during the power play. The Mountaineers added a goal two minutes later to cut the lead to 10-4. Senior Chad Wittman (Colorado Springs, Colo.) scored a coast-to-coast goal midway though the final period and Evans completed the afternoon with his fourth goal of they day to provide the final margin of victory, 12-4.

For the game freshman Scott Davidson (Guilford, Conn.) dominated the Mountaineers in the face-off circle 12-8. The Pioneers out-shot Mount St. Mary's 35-23, out-hustled groundballs 42-27 and scored one extra-man goal on three tries. Denver's man-down successfully killed both of MSM's man-advantage opportunities.

Denver will return to action this Saturday (Mar. 2) in West Point N.Y. against No. 20 Army in a non-conference match. The tilt is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. mountain time.