NEWARK, Del. – The best season in Drexel lacrosse history came to a close on Sunday afternoon at Tubby Raymond Field in Delaware. Denver scored eight straight goals to end the first half and 10 straight overall on its way to a 15-6 win against Drexel in the NCAA Quarterfinals. It was the 13th consecutive win for Denver who improved to 16-2 on the season and advanced to its third NCAA Semfinals in the last four seasons. Drexel ended its season with a 13-5 record.
Denver controlled possession for most of the game as the Pioneers won 16 of the 23 face-offs in the contest, including seven of nine in the first period. The Pioneers had four man-up goals, including three in the first period when they started the run which gave them control of the game. Denver scored on 10 of its first 17 shots in the game and capitalized on good passing and possession to earn another trip to play on Memorial Day weekend.
Ben McIntosh and Nick Trizano each scored a pair of goals for the Dragons in what proved to be their final appearance in the Drexel gold. McIntosh's second goal was his 48th of the season and the 100th of his career, making him one of just eight Drexel players to reach that milestone. He ended his career tie for seventh on the career goals list and his 142 points are 14th all-time at the school. Trizano's second of the contest was his career-high 40th of the season. He closed his Drexel career 15th on the all-time goals list with 85. Ryan Belka had three assists to lead the team.
The Dragons opened the scoring in the opening minute and had a two-goal lead in the early going. Belka fed McIntosh, who rifled home a shot from 12 yards out making it 1-0. Two minutes later, the Dragons scored again. Jules Raucci dodged a Denver defender and drilled a shot into the upper left corner. That lead didn't last long. Denver went on the man-up and scored seconds later when Wesley Berg found Zach Miller at the crease for the Pioneers first goal. Berg set up Harrison Archer to even the score at the 8:04 mark. Drexel was able to get the lead back when Belka dodged, then fed Trizano on the left crease, who bounced a shot past Ryan LaPlante. That lead was again short-lived as the Pioneers scored two man-up goals in a span of :29. Erik Adamson had both of those goals, the first after an unneccesary roughness penalty and the second after a face-off violation. Denver dominated the face-offs in the early going and after winning its seventh straight face-off, took a 5-3 lead on a Zach Miller goal.
Denver kept the run going in the early stages of the second period. Jeremy Noble came up with a ground ball and fed a nice lead pass over the middle to Tyler Pace who raced in alone to make it a 6-3 game. Miller set up Archer at the 8:47 mark and then Colin Woolford made it 8-3 when he bounced a shot through Will Gabrielsen's legs with 7:31 left in the half. Berg and Adamson also scored before the end of the half, the latter with just ten ticks left on the clock to put the Pioneers up by seven at intermission. The Pioneers won 11 of the 15 face-offs in the first half.
Adamson scored two to start the third and give the Pioneers a 12-3 lead. Ben McIntosh finally broke the 10-goal run with a man-up goal midway through the third quarter. It broke a scoreless drought of almost 30 minutes. McIntosh then set up Nick Saputo after Drexel won the face-off as the Dragons got the lead down to 12-5. However, Noble scored an unassisted goal at 4:48 and on the play, Jordan Klunder was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Noble promptly set up Adamson for his sixth goal of the game, the fourth on the extra-man for Denver.
Each team added a goal in the fourth quarter. Trizano scored his 40th of the season five minutes into the final frame for Drexel, while Dallas Bridle put his name in the scorebook with his sixth of the season.
Adamson led the Pioneers with six goals and seven points. Archer and Miller each scored twice, while Noble had four assists and five points. Denver's precision shooting continued in the game today. The Pioneers needed just 32 shots to score 15 goals. Eight players had at least one goal and 10 players recorded a point.
LaPlante made three saves in the first half, while Jamie Faus had a big second-half, making eight saves and thwarting any comeback thoughts. Chris Hampton won 16 face-offs and had 11 ground balls.
Denver will move on to the NCAA Semifinals next weekend at M&T Stadium in Baltimore, Md. The Pioneers will face top-seeded Duke. The other semifinal will feature Maryland and Notre Dame.
|Erik Adamson||(6, 1)|
|Jeremy Noble||(1, 4)|
|Wesley Berg||(1, 2)|
|Zach Miller||(2, 1)|
|Tyler Pace||(1, 2)|
|Harrison Archer||(2, 0)|
|Max Planning||(0, 1)|
|Sean Cannizzaro||(0, 1)|
|Colin Woolford||(1, 0)|
|Dallas Bridle||(1, 0)|
|Jamie Faus||8 (0.727)|
|Ryan Laplante||3 (0.500)|