Denver vs. Syracuse
March 10, 2002
The Game Story:
Denver Surprises No. 1 Syracuse But Falls Short, 13-10

Syracuse wins Pioneer Face-Off Classic, four Pioneers earn all-tournament team honors

DENVER ^ The University of Denver men^s lacrosse team, fueled by a four-goal rally in the final quarter, fell short in their upset bid of No. 1 ranked Syracuse, 13-10 in the weekend finale of the 2002 Pioneer Face-off Classic on Sunday afternoon (Mar. 10) at Pioneer Field. The loss snaps the Pioneer^ s two-game winning streak as they fall to 3-2 on the season. Syracuse wins the Pioneer Face-Off Classic and remains unbeaten with their fourth straight win. Providence (1-1) defeated Air Force (1-3) 8-7 in the morning game.

Freshman Matt Brown (Burnaby, B.C.) intercepted a pass by Syracuse goalie Jay Pfeifer and scored to tie the game 9-9 with less than eight minutes left to play, but back-to-back goals by Michael Powell and Tom Hardy within a span of 1:26 ended Denver^s 4-2 run and shifted the momentum late in the game. Sophomore Ryan Marshall (Toronto, Ontario) recorded his sixth goal of the season to pull the Pioneers within one, 10-11 at the 10:38 mark and energized the record crowd on hand, but Powell^s goal 55 seconds later iced the game for the Orangemen.

Both teams exchanged goals in the opening minutes of the contest before the Syracuse offense built a 6-3 lead, its largest advantage of the afternoon, on three unanswered tallies by Josh Coffman and Michael Springer. The Pioneers failed to score on four extra-man opportunities in the opening half and entered the recess trailing by one goal, 6-5 following consecutive goals by Brown in the final four minutes. Denver stormed out of the locker room in the third quarter and continued to pressure the Syracuse defense but was unable to convert in the offensive zone. Syracuse outscored Denver 2-1 in the third frame to take a two goal lead, 8-6 into the fourth quarter.

Syracuse increased its lead to three goals, 9-6 on Springer^s fourth goal of the game early in the final period. Junior Mike Kenlay (Wilmette, Ill.) snapped Denver^s extra-man scoring drought with a man-up goal midway through the stanza to pull Denver within one following a fast break goal by sophomore Jeff Biggs (St. Louis, Mo.). Brown netted the equalizer, his team-leading 17th goal of the season and fourth of the game, that tied the contest. Syracuse struck back with a 4-1 run in the remaining seven minutes to preserve the win. Syracuse out-shot Denver 37-31 in the game and won the ground ball battle 34-28, but the Pioneers held a slight advantage in the face-off circle 14-13. Both teams were successful once with the extra attacker, Denver had seven opportunities and Syracuse had four. Junior netminder Jeff Nunziato (Latham, N.Y.) recorded a game-high 13 saves; Pfeifer was credited with 11 on the afternoon.

Denver returns to action this Friday (Mar. 17) when they travel east to Chapel Hill, N.C. to battle the 10th ranked North Carolina Tarheels. The Pioneers will remain in North Carolina for a contest against Vermont on Wednesday (Mar. 20). Face-offs are scheduled for 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. mountain time, respectively.