The No. 18 University of Denver men’s lacrosse program opened the 2010 season, falling 15-9 to the No. 1 Syracuse Orangemen at the Carrier Dome on Friday evening in Syracuse, N.Y. Sophomore Alex Demopoulos (Canton, Conn.) led the Pioneers with four goals, while sophomore back-up goalie Zander Buteux (Madison, N.J.) finished the night with 17 saves.
Also scoring for the Pioneers was sophomore Mark Matthews (Oshawa, Ontario), junior Andrew Lay (Denver, Colo.), senior John Dickenson (Dallas, Texas), freshman Cameron Flint (Georgetown, Ontario) and junior Todd Baxter (Eden Prairie, Minn.), all adding a goal apiece.
“I thought we settled things down in the second quarter and were able to get some good scoring opportunities,” said head coach Bill Tierney. “Galloway did a great job tonight, proving why he is one of the best goalies in the nation. It’s not going to happen overnight for us, but tonight was a good barometer to see where we are at and what we still need to work on.”
The Orangemen opened the scoring in the first quarter with two quick goals as Jovan Miller and Kevin Drew both scored in the opening minute. However, less than a minute later Demopoulos put the Pioneers on the board as he scored his ninth goal of his career.
Syracuse added two more before Dickenson netted an unassisted shot past goalie John Galloway. Denver was unable to score again for the rest of the quarter while the Orangemen added four more to take an 8-2 advantage.
Entering the game for starter Peter Lowell (Freeport, Maine) with about two minutes left in the opening quarter, Buteux allowed only two goals in the second, making six saves. Baxter provided the lone score for DU in the second quarter as he converted a Charley Dickenson (Dallas, Texas) pass with 2:53 remaining before the break.
Coming out of the intermission, the Orangemen drew first blood once again as Chris Daniello netted his first of the game less than a minute into the action. Demopoulos cut the deficit to eight as he added his second of the game with 11:02 left on the clock.
Syracuse added three more goals over the next seven minutes to take a 14-4 advantage, before Matthews scored for the Pioneers, netting the 25th of his career, with 50 second remaining in the third.
The Pioneers continued to score heading into the fourth quarter as Lay sliced an unassisted shot past Syracuse back-up goalie Al Cavalieri with 12:12 on the clock. Demopoulos then added two more to cut the deficit to six after converting a Matthews’ pass with 9:57 and a Deke Jackson (Boise, Idaho) pass with 2:57 left in the game.
Flint added the final goal for the Pioneers with 1:35 left as he netted a C. Dickenson pass with the man-up advantage. The Orangemen’s Spenser Parnell added the last goal of the night with 19 seconds on the clock to seal the 15-9 win.
As a team, Denver was able to convert on its man-advantage opportunities twice, while Syracuse went 0-4 with a man-up. The Pioneers also finished the night with 19 saves, compared to the Orangemen’s 13.
The Pioneers remain on the road to face the Jacksonville University Dolphins on Sunday, Feb. 21, a program in its inaugural season of Division I lacrosse.