Denver vs. Notre Dame
March 30, 2002
The Game Story:
DENVER - The University of Denver men's lacrosse team, unable to overcome a seven goal second quarter assault by No. 19 Notre Dame, suffered its first Great Western Lacrosse League loss at the hands of the Irish, 15-8 on Saturday afternoon (Mar. 30) at Pioneer Field. The loss, Denver's second straight on home turf, drops them to 4-4 in the season, 0-1 in league play. Notre Dame snaps a three-game losing streak and improves to 2-5 overall, 1-0 in conference action.

The Pioneers battled with Notre Dame in the first quarter and out-shot the opponent 7-6, but trailed by two goals midway through the opening frame. Sophomore Jeff Biggs (St. Louis, Mo.) stepped up with a big goal late in the period, his 11th of the season, to cut the deficit in half at the first recess.

The Irish stormed out of the break and dominated play on both ends of the field in the second quarter. The Notre Dame attack reeled off six unanswered goals in the second quarter to pull away and silence Denver's hopes of an upset. The Pioneers rallied in the final minutes of the half but were only able to muster one goal in the quarter and entered the halftime break trailing by seven goals, 9-2. Denver's attack, which has averaged over six goals in the first half this season was quieted by Irish goalie Nick Antol, who recorded 11 saves on 16 shots, and held to just two goals before the break.

The Pioneers entered the second half with an energized spirit and attempted to regain the momentum in the third quarter, but an early fast-break goal by the Irish squelched the Pioneer rally and silenced the hometown crowd. Each team registered two goals in the third period to give the Irish an 11-4 advantage heading into the final quarter. Notre Dame struck quickly with two goals in the first five minutes of the stanza before Denver could muster a shot, but the Pioneers regrouped and dominated the remainder of the contest. Denver's offense answered minutes later with a two-goal rally of its own, led by freshman Darren Sasaki-Scanlon (Norwalk, Conn.) who tallied his first career goal, and then recorded two more goals in the final three minutes of play, but it was not enough to overcome the deficit.

For the game Notre Dame out-shot Denver 32-29 and won the face-off battle 15-12, but the Pioneers were victorious in the groundball war 31-29 and stopped 12 Irish clear attempts. Freshman Matt Brown (Burnaby, B.C.) tallied two goals in the second half to extend his scoring streak to eight games, but his seven-game hat trick streak was snapped when he failed to convert on two shots in the waning minutes of the contest. The Irish scored one extra-man goal on two tries and held the Pioneers scoreless on both man-advantage attempts.

The Pioneers will return to action this Friday night (Apr. 5) when they play host to GWLL opponent Fairfield in the second game of this three-game home stand. Face-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. mountain time. Notre Dame will remain in Colorado for a league tilt against Air Force on Tuesday.