DENVER – The No. 3 University of Denver women’s lacrosse team continues Big East Conference play on Wednesday as the Pioneers host the Butler Bulldogs at 1 p.m. MT at Peter Barton Stadium.
DU is wrapping up a two-game homestand and the contest will be the second of three in an eight-day span for the Pioneers, who play at No. 25 Connecticut on Saturday. Wednesday’s game will be broadcasted online on DenverPioneers.com.
Denver defeated Villanova 17-4 in its last contest on Saturday to begin its conference slate and improve to 11-0 on the campaign. Julia Gilbert led DU with four goals and three assists and Raegan Wilson (4g/0a) and Ellie Curry (3g/1a) also had four-point performances. Kayla DeRose (1g/2a), Lauren Black (1g/1a) and Ryan Dineen (2g/0a) also had multi-point contests for the Pioneers, who received five saves from goalkeeper Emelia Bohi.
The Pioneers are 6-0 all-time against Butler and defeated the Bulldogs 17-8 in the teams’ last meeting on April 2, 2022 in Indianapolis. Butler is playing its first game in the Mile High City since a two-game set on March 19-21, 2021, which saw DU win by 17-3 and 17-5 scores, respectively.
Butler is 5-4 on the season and won 19-12 in its Big East opener last Saturday against Xavier. It was the first-ever conference win for the Bulldogs. Leah Rubino led BU with five goals while teammate Campbell Connors scored four times and goalkeeper Caroline Smith made nine saves. Kate Kaptrosky was named the Big East Freshman of the Week after registering two goals, two ground balls, two caused turnovers and two draw controls against Xavier.
Denver is one of three undefeated teams in the country along with No. 1 Syracuse (13-0) and No. 14/13 Army (11).
LAST TIME OUT (DU 17, VU 4): The Pioneers posted their largest margin of victory of the season on Saturday afternoon with a 17-4 victory over the Villanova Wildcats at Peter Barton Stadium … DU remained unbeaten on the season at 11-0 after three Pioneers had hat trick … Senior Julia Gilbert and sophomore Raegan Wilson both tallied four goals apiece, and senior Ellie Curry recorded three markers while also adding an assist … After going 1-for-5 on free-position shots in the opening quarter, the Pioneers were tremendous at the eight-meter the rest of the way, as they tallied seven goals on 10 shots in the remaining 45 minutes … DU outshot VU 36-13 overall.
JENKINS SETS DRAW CONTROLS RECORD: Junior draw specialist Abby Jenkins set the school record for career draw controls on Saturday, April 1, with six wins to bring her career total to 227. The previous record was 225 set by Kiki Boone from 2012-2015.
‘Juice,’ as her teammates call her, set the single-season record last year when she earned 109 draw controls, besting Maddie Baum’s previous mark of 108. She had 55 draw controls as a freshman in 2021.
Jenkins recorded 15 draw controls on March 13 vs. Delaware, tying Baum (March 15, 2019 vs. Gardner-Webb) for the second-most in game in program history. Baum owns the record of 16 draw controls on March 10, 2018 vs. Niagara.
DOMINANT D: The Pioneers rank first in the country in scoring defense, allowing just 6.0 goals per game. Clemson is second at 7.31 goals against per game and North Carolina is third at 7.5.
Denver hasn’t allowed double-digit goals in a game this season. Colorado (Feb. 18) and then-No. 4 Boston College (March 19) are the two teams with the most success vs. DU this year, as they both scored eight times against the Pios in their respective games.
STREAKING: Denver is off to its best start to a season at 11-0. Overall, the 11-game winning streak is tied for the fifth-longest in program history. The team is one win away from tying the 2012 squad for the fourth-longest winning streak in the school annals.
PIONEERS IN THE POLLS: Denver moved up from No. 4 to No. 3 in both the Inside Lacrosse Women/IWLCA coaches and the Nike/USA Lacrosse Magazine polls, which were released on Monday. This is the highest the Pioneers have ever been ranked in the national polls. DU, which was No. 8 in the preseason, has been placed inside the top 11 in both rankings all season.
ATTACKER OF THE WEEK: Senior Julia Gilbert was named the Big East Conference Attacker of the Week after registering a season-high seven points with four goals and three assists against the Wildcats. Her four markers tied a season high while her three assists matched a career high (two times previously).
This is Gilbert’s second Attacker of the Week award of the season and the fifth of her career. She also earned the award earlier this season on March 6.
TEWAARATON WATCH LIST: The Pioneers have five players on the watch list for the 2023 Tewaaraton Award, given to the top collegiate player in the country. Midfielder Ellie Curry and attacker Julia Gilbert were added to the list on March 30, joining defenders Sam Thacker and Trinity McPherson and goalkeeper Emelia Bohi, who were previously named to the list earlier this season.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS: Leah Rubino leads the team in scoring with 26 goals and 29 points (26g/3a). Only four players have double-digit goals, as KK Callaghan (13), Campbell Connors (10) and Kate Kaptrosky (10) join Rubino on the list. Rubino is also first on the team with 20 ground balls, 12 caused turnovers and 32 draw controls. Kayleigh Colleary is the team’s top assist-getter with eight and is third in scoring with 13 points (5g/8a). Goalkeeper Caroline Smith has started seven of her nine games played and owns a 5-2 record, 11.08 goals-against average and .450 save percentage on the season.
BUTLER CONNECTIONS: Butler junior midfielder Ella Squibb went to Denver East High School. Sophomore attacker Hannah Dove is from Monument, Colo., and went to Palmer Ridge High School.
LAST TIME VS. BUTLER (April 2, 2023): The No. 9 Pioneers began Big East Conference play on Saturday with a 17-8 victory at Butler. Denver stretched its winning streak to five in a row and improved to 11-1 on the 2022 campaign. The win marked the 10th time this season that the Pioneers have held an opponent to 10 or fewer goals against. Graduate student Bea Behrins tied a career high with seven goals and also added an assist for DU. She also had seven markers on March 15 vs. Fairfield and now has 20 tallies in the last four games. Attacker Lauren Black produced her second-straight four-goal outing and her fifth hat trick of the season. Fellow freshman Mollie Estepp had her first career three-goal game, and senior attacker Kayla DeRose contributed five assists to set a new personal best.
- DU’s 17 goals on Saturday tied for its most in a game this season (17-5, March 9 vs. Niagara).
- Denver’s 13-goal margin of victory was its largest since defeating Vermont 16-3 in the second round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament on May 13.
- The Pioneers improved to 9-0 all-time against Villanova, with DU scoring at least 14 goals in each matchup.
- DU has won each of its last four conference openers and has won its last 22 conference games dating back to April 28 at Vanderbilt (Last loss: April 21 vs. Florida).
- Julia Gilbert is on a 11-game goal and point streak this season.
- The Pioneers have finished with 10 or more caused turnovers in all 11 games this season, tying the 2021 record of 11 straight games to start a campaign with that total.
- Emelia Bohi has 154 career save, surpassing Amelia Cole (152, 2018-2021) for ninth place all-time in program history.
- DU has had at least one player with a hat trick in each of the last six games.
TICKETS: Single-game tickets are on sale now by clicking here. Call the Denver Ticket Office at 303-871-4625 for group discounts of 10 or more people.
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