Bellarmine vs. Denver
April 13, 2007
The Game Story:
April 13, 2007, LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Playing their first-ever night home game, the Bellarmine lacrosse team made things exciting against visiting Great Western Lacrosse League foe Denver tonight. In the end, though, the Pioneers, an NCAA tournament qualifier last season, avoided the upset, holding off a pesky Knight squad, 9-7. Bellarmine falls to 2-9 on the season, 0-3 in GWLL play, while Denver improves to 7-5 overall, 2-0 in conference.

Bellarmine, which was missing leading scorer Ray Finnegan (Dublin, Ohio) due to injury, got two goals apiece from Adam Gardner (Toronto, Ontario) and Derek Hopcroft (Toronto, Ontario). Gardner’s second goal, a man-up score with 7:17 left in the game, pulled Bellarmine to within two, but the Knights could only muster one more shot for the game.

The Knights got on the board quickly tonight, as Hopcroft tallied his first scored less than a minute into the game. Once again, however, Bellarmine dug itself an early deficit as Denver rattled off the game’s next four goals.

Down 4-1 and nearing the halftime break, freshman Dylan MacDougal (Oakville, Ontario) gave Bellarmine a much needed spark. With less than two minutes left in the second period, Denver goalkeeper Jeb Hollingsworth attempted what looked like a harmless clearing pass, but MacDougal spun around, snatched the ball in mid-air, and threw it right back at the keeper, registering his seventh goal of the season.

Behind the momentum of that goal, Bellarmine won the next face-off and eventually Matt Holland (Victoria, British Columbia) found a streaking Hopcroft heading down the middle of the field. The midfielder hit the back of the cage with just 20 ticks left in the half to send Bellarmine into the break down 4-3.

The Knights would even things up early in the third period, this time courtesy of Holland, who bounced one in from just in front of the crease two minutes into the third. Denver went back up one, 5-4, on Joey Murray’s goal with 10:25 left in the period, but Bellarmine again even things up, this time on Gardner’s equalizer less than a minute later.

Bellarmine could never manage to take the lead, however, and Denver unleashed a flurry of shots late in the third period. The Pioneers scored three straight, including an impressive goal by Ryan Zordani, who leapt high for a pass from Murray, and deposited it in one smooth motion at the 7:29 mark in the third to put his team up 7-5.

Junior Bryan Johnson (Burlington, Ontario) netted his first goal as a Knight early in the fourth, but Denver again had an answer, scoring a little over a minute later to go up 9-6.

Bobby Snider (Calgary, Alberta) won 14-of-20 face-offs and scooped up a team-high five ground balls. Bellarmine goalkeeper J.C. Hutchins (Westminster, Md.) had five saves.

Bellarmine has little time to prepare for their next game. They take on another GWLL opponent in the Air Force Academy on Sunday at 12:00 at Trinity High School.