#12 Denver Tops USAFA to Extend Streaks to Nine Games

USAFA, Colo. Playing its final game of the season, the Air Force lacrosse team dropped a 15-7 contest to 12th-ranked Denver Saturday afternoon at Falcon Stadium. The Pioneers conclude the regular season with a 12-4 overall mark and perfect 7-0 record in the ECAC, while the Falcons end the season at 1-13 overall and 0-7 in the league.

The Falcons grabbed the first lead of the game with a score from sophomore Adam Paranka (Denver, Colo.) at the 9:22 mark in the opening period, but after a 5-0 run by the Pioneers, Air Force never led again.

Junior Vinny Sandtorv (Centereach, N.Y.) ended the Denver scoring spurt with a man-up goal in the final minute and a half of the first period to cut the margin to 5-2, but the Pioneers scored three unanswered goals in the second quarter to earn an 8-2 advantage at the half.

Scoring in the third period was even, with each team tallying two goals. The first goal of the stanza came courtesy of Air Force's only two seniors, as Ridge Flick (Plano, Texas) assisted Jimmy Curran (North Brunswick, N.J.) in the pair's final game as Falcons. Meanwhile, Sandtorv closed out the period with his second man-up score of the day.

Air Force opened up the third period with a score from Flick to cut their deficit to 10-5, but Denver rattled off three quick goals to increase the margin to eight. While junior Zack Carroll (Freehold Township, N.J.) and Paranka both scored for the Falcons in the period, the Pioneers led by as many as nine before taking the 15-7 victory.

The Falcons had a slight advantage in shots taken, ground balls, face-offs won and turnovers, but the Pioneers came up with 14 saves in the contest. Air Force was also penalized nine times in the game, with Denver capitalizing on four extra-man opportunities, while the Falcons were 2 of 3 on the EMO.

Paranka (two goals, one assist) and Carroll (one goal, two assists) led the Air Force offense with three points each. Meanwhile, sophomores Mark Matthews and Alex Demopoulos each had five points to lead the Pioneers.

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USAFA, Colo. The No. 12 University of Denver men's lacrosse team (12-4, 7-0 ECAC) closed out the regular season with a 15-7 win over the Air Force Academy (1-13, 0-7 ECAC) on Saturday afternoon at Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colo. The win extends the Pioneers winning streak to nine games and keeps them perfect in Eastern College Athletic Conference play.

"Carrying the momentum of this winning streak into the postseason was definitely a goal of ours coming into this game," said head coach Bill Tierney.

"It's hard coming off an almost perfect performance like we had last weekend and try to come out again and repeat it so I was a little frustrated with our performance today because we weren't as crisp and clean as I would have like. However, I'm incredibly proud of these guys and the effort that they've put in all season long because they really bought into what we as coaches wanted to do."

Sophomore Mark Matthews (Oshawa, Ontario) led the Pioneers with four goals and one assist for five points, while fellow sophomore Alex Demopoulos (Canton, Conn.) scored two goals and had three assists for five points. Also chipping in with two goals was junior Todd Baxter (Eden Prairie, Minn.), who added one assist to finish with three points.

The Pioneers spread out the scoring throughout the rest of the roster as Andrew Lay (Denver, Colo.), Cameron Kerr (Cherry Hills Village, Colo.), Patrick Rogers (Portland, Ore.), Colin Scott (Ridgefield, Conn.) and Cameron Flint (Georgetown, Ontario) all added a goal apiece to their season totals.

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