No. 4 Denver Opens 2014 Campaign with Win Over Air Force

USAFA, Colo. Outscored 12-2 in the second and third quarters, the Air Force lacrosse team opened the 2014 season with a 14-8 loss to fourth-ranked Denver Saturday afternoon at Falcon Stadium.

Senior Tommy McKee (Holt, Mich.) tallied a hat trick to lead the Falcons' offense, while junior Keith Dreyer (Malvern, Pa.) added a goal and two assists.

Denver was first to get on the board, finding the back of the net with a man-up goal at the 12:16 mark in the opening period. Neither team scored again until McKee tallied his first goal with just under three minutes remaining in the first quarter. Just 30 seconds later, McKee gave Air Force the lead with a man-up goal of his own, while freshman Austin Smith (Golden, Colo.) buried a feed from Dreyer at the 1:20 mark to put the Falcons up 3-1 going into the second quarter.

The Pioneers opened up the second period with a man-up score, but a goal from senior captain Erik Smith (Golden, Colo.) pushed the Falcons lead back to two goals. However, Denver went on to score six of the next seven goals to go into the locker room with an 8-5 advantage.

Air Force was shut out in the third quarter, while Denver tacked on five more goals to extend its lead to 13-8 heading into the final stanza. After one more score from the Pioneers, the Falcons added three more tallies in the final six and a half minutes, including a man-down goal from Dreyer in the last 60 seconds. However, it was too little, too late, as the Falcons fell to their former conference rival.

The Falcons held the advantage on face-offs, winning 16 of 25 for the game, while also outshooting Denver, 44-33. However, Air Force had just 19 shots on goal.

Denver was led by junior Wesley Berg with five goals, while sophomore Jack Bobzien added four goals and two assists.

Air Force is back at home next Saturday, Feb. 15, when it hosts first-year program Furman in a 12:00 p.m. contest.

* * * *

USAFA, Colo. Led by a five-goal performance from junior Wesley Berg (Coquitlam, B.C.), the No. 4 University of Denver men's lacrosse team topped the Air Force Falcons on Saturday afternoon from Falcon Stadium in USAFA, Colo., to open the 2014 season.

Sophomore transfer Jack Bobzien (Littleton, Colo.) led the Pioneers in points as he finished with four goals and two assists, while senior Jeremy Noble (Orangeville, Ontario) posted five points off one goal and four assists. Freshman Zach Miller (Steamburg, N.Y.) finished with three goals and an assist in his debut, while freshman Tyler Pace (Mission, B.C.) scored one goal and tallied two assists.

"With the opening game of the season, we knew there was going to be those opening-day jitters," said head coach Bill Tierney. "We also knew that Air Force was going to come with a lot of energy. They are always great athletes and really good lacrosse players. I think the important thing was that we fended off their charge. We got down and our guys just kept their composure."

Senior Bailey Dodds (Eden Prairie, Minn.) netted one goal, while senior Harrison Archer (Washington, D.C.) and junior Sean Cannizzaro (Cazenovia, N.Y.) both tallied an assist each.

Sophomore Chris Hampton (Bethesda, Md.) won 6 of 19 face-offs, while sophomore Christian Thomas (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) was 3 of 5 from the X.

"I'm really proud of our performance in the second-half of the second quarter and also the entire third quarter," Tierney said. "I thought Jamie was really good in goal, as well as Ryan. We still have a lot to work on, but we spread the ball around and I think our scoring was really spread out."

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