Denver Pioneers men's lacrosse

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Denver Pioneers men's lacrosse
Denver University Pioneers Logo.svg
Founded 1966, Division I since 1999
University University of Denver
Conference Big East Conference
Location Denver, Colorado
Coach Bill Tierney (since 2009)
Stadium Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium
(capacity: 2,000)
Colors Crimson and Gold
NCAA Tournament Final Fours
2011, 2013, 2014
NCAA Tournament Quarterfinals
2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
NCAA Tournament Appearances
(7) 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Conference Tournament Champions
2011, 2014
Conference Regular Season Champions
(8) 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014

The Denver Pioneers men's lacrosse team represents the University of Denver (DU) in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I college lacrosse. The DU men's lacrosse program was first introduced in 1966 as a club sport. The program alternated between varsity and club status when it was first initiated before becoming Division I in 1999. Denver plays its home games at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium, which has a capacity of 2,000 people.[1] The Pioneers currently compete in the Big East Conference as an associate member for men's lacrosse only. Before DU's move to the Big East for the 2014 season, it had been a member of the ECAC Lacrosse League from 2010 to 2013, and before that the Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) from 1998 to 2009.[2] On May 30, 2013, it was announced that the team would become an associate member of the Big East on July 1 of that year (for the 2014 season).[3]

Through 2014, Denver had a 250–198 record in both Division II and Division I. In Division I alone, they are 171–96. Denver and Colorado's Front Range is considered a growing hotbed for lacrosse thanks in large part to the success of the Pioneers.

Early Years[edit]

Denver plays Maryland in 2006

The University of Denver first began sponsoring men's lacrosse as a club sport in 1966 under coach Pete Richardson. Over the next 24 years, the team would alternate between varsity and club status in the RMLA, a member of the US Lacrosse Intercollegiate Associates (USLIA). In 1991, Denver transitioned into NCAA Division II as a member of the RMILL before making the full transition to Division I with the rest of DU sports in 1999. The Pioneers first joined the Great Western Lacrosse League (GWLL) as a charter member in 1994, although the Pioneers would not compete in the conference as a full Division I member until 1999.

In 1999, Denver hired Jamie Munro as head coach for the teams inaugural season in Division I and the GWLL. Under Munro the Pioneers would win their first conference regular season title after finishing with a 4–1 conference record (tied with Notre Dame and Ohio State). After winning the GWLL outright in 2006 with a 5–0 conference record, Denver earned a bid to their first NCAA Tournament, where they would fall 16–8 to Maryland.[2] Two years later the Pioneers again shared the GWLL regular season title with Notre Dame and Ohio State, but earned an at–large bid to the 2008 NCAA Tournament with a 10–7 overall record. Denver would lose to Maryland once again, this time 10–7.

After finishing 1–4 in conference and 7–8 overall in 2009, Jamie Munro would resign as coach. Munro completed a 91–70 record as head coach of the Pioneers, securing four GWLL Championship titles (2003, 2005, 2006, 2008) and two NCAA postseason tournament appearances (2006, 2008). He was also named GWLL Coach of the Year in 2000 and 2006.

Bill Tierney era[edit]

In 2009, Hall of Fame coach Bill Tierney was named head coach of the Pioneers. Tierney was previously the legendary coach at Princeton for 22 years earning 6 NCAA championships in 9 years, appearing in 8 championship games, 9 Final Fours and 11 Ivy League championships.

In 2010, the Pioneers tied the program–best record of 12–5 and earned the ECAC regular season title after completing a 7–0 conference record. Denver would earn just their third NCAA Tournament birth, where they would lose to Stony Brook, 9-7, in the first round.

In 2011, the Pioneers completed a 15–3 record, once again going undefeated in the ECAC at 6–0 to capture the conference regular season and tournament championships. In the 2011 NCAA Tournament the No. 6-seeded Pioneers hosted No. 11 Villanova in front of a sold-out home crowd of 2,575. In the first NCAA Tournament game to ever be held west of the Mississippi River, DU earned its first tournament win in school history, beating the Wildcats 13-10 to advance to the quarterfinals. In the quarterfinal round Denver defeated Johns Hopkins 14-9 at James M. Shuart Stadium in Hempstead, New York to earn a spot in the NCAA Final Four. At M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore the Pioneers would fall to the eventual champion Virginia by a score of 14-8.

Following a remarkable run to the school's first NCAA Final Four, the Pioneers completed a 9–7 record while going 3–3in the ECAC. Although the 9–7 regular season tally did not compare to previous season records, Denver lost six one–goal games, including four in overtime throughout the season. The Pioneers would still make the 2012 NCAA Tournament thanks to one of the toughest schedules in the country. In the first round the Pioneers defeated North Carolina 16-14 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, but would go on to lose to conference rival and eventual national champion Loyola-Maryland for the third time, by a score of 10–9 in front of 13,390 fans at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland.

In 2013, Denver would once again capture the ECAC regular season crown after earning a 6–1 conference record and an 11–3 overall record. After the 11th week of the season Denver would earn the No. 1 ranking in both the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll and the USILA Coaches Poll, the first time in program history that they have been ranked No. 1 in the country. Denver would go on to lose to Ohio State in the ECAC title game, but the Pioneers would earn an at–large bid to the 2013 NCAA Tournament. In the first round Denver would host just the second NCAA Tournament game held west of the Mississippi at a sold out Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium. A record 2,621 fans were on hand to see Denver top Albany 19–14. In the quarterfinals, Denver faced a rematch of a 2011 first round game against North Carolina, this time at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. After falling behind 6–0 early on, the Pioneers were behind 9–4 at the half but would go 8–2 in the second half, including 5–1 in the final quarter to win 12–11. Denver became the first team in Men’s Lacrosse Championship Quarterfinal history to win after trailing by five goals or more. In the Pioneer's second semifinal appearance in three years, Denver would fall to Syracuse 9–8 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Denver would end the season 14–5 and ranked No. 4 in the final polls.

Annual Record Men's Lacrosse[edit]

Year Wins Losses Percent Conference Playoffs National Rank RPI SOS Power Rating
2014 16 2 .833 1st NCAA Semifinals 2 5 12 2
2013 14 5 .733 1st NCAA Semifinals 6 3 12 9
2012 9 7 .560 4th NCAA Quarterfinals 8 10 4 5
2011 15 3 .833 1st NCAA Semifinals 3 6 17 7
2010 12 5 .717 1st NCAA 1st Round 9 14 35 21
2009 7 8 .467 5th -- 32 39 30
2008 10 7 .590 3rd NCAA 1st Round 17 18 23 21
2007 9 7 .560 3rd -- 28 36 30
2006 12 5 .710 1st NCAA 1st Round 13 13 31 15
2005 9 5 .643 2nd -- 18 21 27 14

Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium[edit]

Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium was completed for the 2005 collegiate lacrosse season in February and was formally dedicated on April 30. It is the first collegiate stadium in the nation to be designed solely for lacrosse, and will be home to DU men's and women's lacrosse.The north-facing stadium can accommodate approximately 2,000 people and features pre-cast concrete bench seating, locker rooms for men and women, public restrooms, a concession area, viewing pavilion/conference room and a two-direction press box that also serves the soccer field to the south. It also includes elevated perches for television cameras, which will help expand broadcasting opportunities.[4]

The stadium is named for the late Peter Barton, who was the former president and chief executive of cable television company Liberty Media Corp. Laura Barton, Peter Barton’s widow, donated the lead gift for the $6.32 million stadium complex. Other prominent donors were John and Anna Sie, and Myra Levy, whose family used to sell concessions at DU football games.

Rank Attendance Date Final score Visiting team
1 2,748 May 10, 2014 W 9-5* North Carolina
2 2,702 April 12, 2014 W 16-9 St. John's
3 2,621 May 11, 2013 W 19-14* Albany
4 2,575 May 15, 2011 W 13-10* Villanova
5 2,545 March 12, 2011 L 9-10 Notre Dame
6 2,544 April 26, 2014 W 17-9 Marquette
7 2,376 April 14, 2006 W 8-5 Notre Dame
8 2,100 March 26, 2011 W 14-7 Air Force
9 2,051 February 26, 2006 W 11-8 North Carolina
10 2,019 April 22, 2007 L 9-10 (OT) Ohio State

*NCAA Tournament Game


External links[edit]