Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/23/15
From Press Release
Tewaaraton Award finalist Wesley Berg (Coquitlam, B.C.) completed his 29th career hat trick with 2:03 to play in the first overtime to send the No. 4 seed University of Denver men’s lacrosse team to an 11-10 overtime win over No. 1 seeded Notre Dame on Saturday afternoon in the first National Semifinal at Lincoln Financial Field.
Denver struck first in the national semifinal, getting goals from sophomore Tyler Pace (Coquitlam, B.C.) and an extra-man goal from junior Jack Bobzien (Littleton, Colo.). Notre Dame quickly responded with two goals of their own 3:02 apart from one another to knot the score back up at two. The two teams alternated goals in the first half of the second quarter, including a nifty two-step move from sophomore Zach Miller ( Steamburg, N.Y.) to give Denver a 3-2 lead with 9:07 to go in the second. With the score knotted at 3-3, USILA First Team All-American Connor Cannizzaro (Cazenovia, N.Y.) showed off his own dance moves, this time from behind the cage, turning his defender around to make it 4-3.
With a one goal lead after the opening 30 minutes, senior goalkeeper Ryan LaPlante (Fort Collins, Colo.) made four saves, all in the first quarter, and USILA First Team All-American Trevor Baptiste (Denville, N.J.) won 7-of-9 faceoffs.
The two teams scored a goal apiece in the first 14:59 of the third quarter before Mike Riis (Carlsbad, Calif.) caught an outlet pass from LaPlante and took it the entire way down the field, scoring his first of the season and the third of his career with 0.9 seconds left on the third quarter clock. Berg scored Denver’s first goal of the third quarter, giving Denver a 5-4 lead on a bouncer with 7:23 to play in the third.
From behind the crease, Pace fed Adamson in-front for a slam dunk to make it 7-4 with 9:49 to play in regulation. Notre Dame got a man-up strike, breaking a 19:51 goalless streak to cut the Denver lead to 7-5. Miller responded with his second beauty of the game, getting the entire defense to shift on a fake pass, before rolling towards the crease, and finishing a bullet into the corner. Pace picked up a rebound off the iron after a shot from Berg, and slammed it home to make it 9-5 Denver with 5:29 to play in the game.
Notre Dame scored five of the last six goals of regulation to make it 10-10, including Nick Ossello’s second of the game with nine seconds to play.
Berg found the winner for the Pioneers to send them to their first National Championship game.
LaPlante made double digit saves (13) for the 22nd time in his career.
Denver will take on the winner of the second semifinal between Maryland and Johns Hopkins for the National Championship on Monday at 11 a.m. MT on ESPN2.
Former Princeton coach Bill Tierney is now 354-118 all-time (31st season) and 82-25 at DU (sixth season).
Denver is 10-7 in its NCAA Tournament history.
Wes Berg increased his team-leading active-point streak to 37 games (entered tonight 9th in nation)
With three goals today, Berg now has 34 career NCAA Tournament goals, the fourth-most in NCAA history.
With three goals today, Berg also moved into 10th in NCAA history in career goals with 183.
With one goal today, Connor Cannizzaro tied the DU single-season record for goals with 56.
Zach Miller increased his point streak to 36 games (entered week 11th in the nation). Miller has tallied at least one point in every collegiate game.
Denver is now 37-9 as a top-5 team, including 7-2 as the No. 3 team.