Denver Defeats #20 UMBC to Win Host Tournament

Denver Defeats #20 UMBC to Win Host Tournament

Denver Defeats #20 UMBC to Win Host Tournament

Denver Defeats #20 UMBC to Win Host Tournament

Still looking to recover from last weekend's Tobacc-o-for on the road synonymous with the universities of North Carolina and Duke, unranked Denver unleashed a firestorm of goals early and never looked back as they went on to upend the No.20 UMBC Retrievers, 13-8.

Taking momentum from the thrilling double-overtime victory against Villanova on the first day of their annual Pioneer Face-Off Class, DU jumped out to an early 5-0 lead, where two of the goals came during an illegal stick penalty assessed to UMBC sophomore middie Alex Hopmann. The Retrievers finally answered on a man-up goal with 14 seconds remaining in the first quarter to go into the second down four, 5-1.

While the game got closer from there, the outcome was never really in doubt. UMBC tried desperately to claw themselves back into the game, even outscoring the Pioneers 4-1 in the third quarter to close the gap to a manageable 8-6, but they were unable to surmount the large hole they created at the beginning of the game, and never once led in the contest.

“It was a great win for us,” said Denver head coach Jamie Munro. “We really needed to get ourselves back on track and were able to do so because we played hard, smart and together.” Led in the game and on the weekend by sophomore attackman, and tournament MVP, Joey Murray, (7 goals, 4 assists in two games), Denver had a balanced offensive attack with 11 different players scoring goals and played its trademark high-pressure defense to expose the weaknesses in the UMBC game plan.

Continuing his offensive onslaught from the day before (6,1) Murray set the tempo for the Pioneers with the first goal of the game on the backside of the crease off a pass from junior Michael Goltra to beat the Retrievers goalie, sophomore Jeremy Blevins.

Goltra added another assist during a man-up later in the second quarter to go along with two goals in the second half to help close the door on a UMBC comeback. The effort, along with three assists against Villanova, helped to lock up a spot for him on the All-Tourney Team as well.

Coupled with great defensive play and senior goalie Jeb Hollingsworth making 14 saves to 8 goals against while minding the net, Denver avenged its 12-8 loss to UMBC last season. And as a side note on Denver, although they didn’t light up the scorecard and were slightly unsung heroes on the weekend, the two 5-foot-7-inch twin Dickenson brothers, Charley and John, proved that they are truly big-time. Complementing each other exceptionally on the Pioneers starting midfield line, this Texas two-step utilized incredible speed, an explosive first step and tremendous stick handling ability to help set the pace of the offense and bottom line, put the ball in the back of the net. The sheer fact that Munro has the confidence to start the tandem says enough about their pure athleticism, as well as confirms why these two freshmen were so highly recruited this last year out of Dallas, Texas.

Against Villanova, John had what could be argued as the biggest, or at least most amazing, goal in Pioneer history. With time quickly expiring in the fourth quarter, Murray launched a last ditch feed toward the crease, where, with :01 on the clock, Dickenson put a behind-the-back bounce shot past the keeper, sending the game to an eventual second overtime and a win.

John added an assist in each game to go along with the game-tying goal against Villanova, and Charley, also playing an integral role in the offense, tallied an assist versus UMBC. Look for these two to play way outside of their small frames the rest of the year, as well as their college careers.

As for UMBC, the one bright spot on the day had to be senior attackman Andy Gallagher. Aside from landing himself on the All-Tournament Team along with teammate, and fellow senior attackman Drew Westervelt, Gallagher scored five of the Retrievers eight goals to give them a fighting chance.

Some final stats on the game included the Retrievers committing almost twice the amount of turnovers as DU in the game (23-12), Denver going 100 percent (4-4) on extra-man opportunities and the Pioneers outshooting UMBC (41-35). The teams split face-offs evenly (12-24 each) and Denver collected two more groundballs than UMBC (28-26).

Denver’s record moves them to 3-2 and UMBC’s drops to 2-1 with the loss. In the early match-up of the day, Villanova overcame both the heartbreaking loss to DU the afternoon before, as well as a late Air Force Academy lead to defeat the Falcons, 9-8.

Leading scorers in the game for the Wildcats included junior midfielder Tim Atkins (3,1), senior midfielder Andy German (1,2) and freshman attackman Paul Webber (2,0).

For Air Force, senior attackman Will Meister led the way (2,3) with sophomore middie Griffin Nevitt following closely behind (3,1), but it wasn’t enough as the Falcons fell just short to go 0-2 in the tournament.

The two most telling stats of the game were Villanova’s winning 15 of 21 face-offs and their shot production compared to the Falcons, 44-30.

The win improves Villanova to 2-2, while Air Force falls to 1-2 on the young season. This was the seventh time that the Pioneer Face-Off Classic has taken place and this year’s attendance for the weekend totaled 3,295. It also marks the second consecutive year that Denver has swept the event, beating the Manhattan Jaspers and North Carolina Tar Heels in 2006.

Other notable participants in the tournament over the years have also included Maryland, Syracuse, Duke, Virginia, Vermont and Towson. The University of Denver will play host to the Stony Brook Seawolves next Saturday, March 10 and UMBC travels home and then across town to face Johns Hopkins in Baltimore this upcoming Tuesday, March 6. Meanwhile, Villanova travels back to Pennsylvania to take on Saint Joseph’s next Saturday, March 10 and the United States Air Force Academy will take on Yale at home on Sunday, March 11.

All-Tourney Team:
Joey Murray (DU)
Andy Gallagher (UMBC)
Drew Westervelt (UMBC)

Michael Goltra (DU)
Griffin Nevitt (AFA)
Eric Heidenberger (Villanova)

Dillon Roy (DU)
David Hahn (DU)
Safi Najdawi (Villanova)

Andrew DiLoreto (Villanova)

Dan Gnazzo (AFA)

MVP: Joey Murray (DU)

photos courtesy of Tim Head

Post A Comment To This Story >

(no subject)
    by (#133512) on 3/05/07 @7:06PM
Denver reprasentin!!!!!!!!!!
Reply to this

F*ck denver
    by (#134864) on 3/05/07 @9:15PM
denver will never get to to the big dance with the talent they have now, a majority of that team is from colorado, If they ever want to even contend for a national title they need to bring in east coast and midwest talent because it is far superior then colorado
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(no subject)
    by (#127613) on 3/06/07 @8:04AM
Actually, less than 1/2 the team is from Colorado and east coast talent isn't necessarily far superior, there's just way more of it.
Reply to this

no its far superior
    by (#134864) on 3/09/07 @8:35AM
I will put the best east coast team against any denver team and they would get murdered, it woudln't even be a game, the east coast is still the standard and still is the best and most likely will always be the best this comming from a guy in the midwest
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(no subject)
    by (#164747) on 4/14/07 @10:21AM
In Vail 05 Team Colorado beat the team that Maryland brought. I have nothing against the east...I grew up there. And if you're from the midwest...what do you know about eastcoast lacrosse?
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    by (#142625) on 5/13/07 @2:29PM
It dosn't matter where you are from!
Reply to this

Educate yourself
    by (#158666) on 3/06/07 @2:35PM
I normally don't reply to subliterate postings, but on the off chance you might actually like to be enlightened, here goes:

1. If by "the big dance" you mean the NCAA Tournament, you're wrong -- Denver was in the tourney last year.

2. "Majority" means more than half; while Colorado is well represented with 17 players on the team, that number is well under half the roster.

3. Denver has been recruiting and signing kids from the east, the midwest, and even Canada, for years. Ever heard of Geoff Snider? If you haven't, take a look at the clips from last summer's world games.

4. While New York and Maryland remain the hotbeds of the sport and continue to crank out a ton of good players, the game has grown enormously in the last ten years. Ask any DI coach what his priority is, and he'll say "athleticism" over "stick skills" every time. Because more and more kids with great athletecism are taking up lacrosse all over North America, look for even more players from non-traditonal areas to continue making an impact.
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    by (#134864) on 3/09/07 @8:32AM
college coaches could care less on how great of an athelete is yeah it matters but if you can't pass and catch you can't play period, end of story, name the last "athelete" that did anything without any stick skills? you can't because there are none
Reply to this

an answer
    by (#134559) on 3/10/07 @10:45PM
for starters, spell athlete correctly and secondly... a certain athlete over lax player #2 on virginia a few years back, im not gonna mention any names, but his last names a holiday, and its not halloween.
Reply to this

you moron
    by (#134864) on 3/10/07 @11:10PM
pretty sure he could pass and catch there slick
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    by (#142625) on 5/13/07 @2:28PM
First off, Go Denver. I really respect this team. Secondly, It dosn't matter where a player is from. It all depends on the players talent. I live and play in North Carolina and there are some really good players down here. We went to a Tourtement up North and beat teams from Virginia, Maryland, and New York.
Reply to this

Dickenson Bros.
    by (#155870) on 3/05/07 @9:47PM
Wow, thats cool that they're getting recognised, they really deserve it.
Reply to this

Watch Out For Denver In Future Years!
    by (#136419) on 3/06/07 @11:39AM
Absolutely! They are starting to get more talent from the East Coast, and lacrosse on the West Coast and in Colorado is getting bigger every day. That is actually an understatement in Colorado! Their pro indoor team has a huge following and their outdoor team has been leading the league in attendance.

Due to the increase in the popularity of the sport, players are probably starting to get into the game at a very young age, and you more see more and more of that as time goes on.

Even if their roster includes players from all over the country in future years, due to the reasons I just mentioned, along with the fact that Denver should not be a hard sell because it is located in a fun city and has a lot of skiing nearby.

I am not saying they will be a Top 5 team, but I truly believe they will be a regular in the Top 15 and even break the Top 10 at times in future years.
Reply to this

Don Zimmerman As A Coach!
    by (#136419) on 3/06/07 @4:20PM
There is no doubt that he has done a great job at UMBC! At Hopkins, he won 3 national titles in 7 years. Some people thought he was an awesome coach there. Other people thought that most of his success was because of the incredible amount of talent he inherited from Henry Ciccarone. Those 3 national titles came in Zimmerman's first 4 seasons at Hopkins. However, I still think they looked so well coached during most of Zimmerman's time at Hopkins. It is true that he didn't do a super job recruiting there. Maybe he is one of those coaches who is great as a game coach and as an X&O coach but is not quite as good of a recruiter. What do you all think?
Reply to this

What do we think?
    by (#12161) on 3/09/07 @6:51PM
I think that everyone is tired of your constant and repetitive posts about Zimmerman, Haus, and Tierny. It's obnoxious, stop it.
Reply to this

For those of you that it bothers
    by (#136419) on 3/09/07 @7:44PM
Okay! Maybe I will stop doing it so much. You all have a right to your opinion and so do I. It may bother you all, and I am sorry it does. However, this is a free country, and this is only a freakin' lacrosse board! I can write posts like this if I want to. Suck it up and live a little. My posts may be long, but it takes like a second to scroll down past them if you don't want to read them. If it bothers you, you can respond by saying it does. However, that will not stop me from writing posts like this sometimes.
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Some of you only comment on my posts!
    by (#136419) on 3/09/07 @7:52PM
I know my posts bother some of you, but I think it is sad how some of you don't comment on anything other than my posts. Can't you comment on the game once in awhile. I guess that some of you just like being negative and to criticize. Man, you guys and Simon from "American Idol" would make a great team!
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