Women's Lacrosse

PREVIEW: No. 3 Denver Plays at No. 25 UConn on Saturday


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STORRS, Conn. – The No. 3 University of Denver women’s lacrosse team faces No. 25 Connecticut on Saturday at 10 a.m. MT at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium in the team’s first meeting since the Pioneers defeated the Huskies in the Big East Tournament Semifinals last season.
Denver won 16-6 in that matchup on the DU campus en route to its second consecutive conference tournament championship. UConn is hosting this year’s Big East Tournament on May 5-7.
The Pioneers are on their fourth-longest winning streak in program history at 12-0 and is 2-0 in Big East play after winning 19-4 against the Butler Bulldogs at home on Wednesday. The victory was the largest margin of victory this season by DU, which has outscored its first two Big East opponents by a total of 36-8.
UConn is 8-3 on the season and won its Big East opener on Wednesday with a 19-12 victory at Villanova. The Huskies have won their last four games and are playing their first home game since a 20-12 win at Albany on March 22.
Denver owns an undefeated 8-0 all-time record versus Connecticut in a series dating back to March 11, 2008. The teams have played every season since 2017 when the Pioneers joined the Big East. The Pioneers defeated the Huskies in the championship game of the 2021 Big East Tournament in Washington, D.C.
DU is 6-0 in true road games this season and 7-0 in contests away from campus.
LAST TIME OUT: The Pioneers defeated the Butler Bulldogs 19-4 on Wednesday afternoon in their conference game of the season. DU only allowed one goal in the second half, as the team outscored the BU 8-1 in the final 30 minutes. Denver led 8-1 after the first quarter and was up 11-3 at the game’s midpoint.
Freshman Ryan Dineen led the Pios with a career high eight points on two goals and six assists and junior Sloane Kipp recorded her first career hat trick after tallying four times and adding an assist. Senior Julia Gilbert (3g/0a) and sophomore Lauren Black (3g/1a) also had hat tricks for DU, which saw all three of its goalkeepers play in the contest. Sophomore Emelia Bohi started in net and made five saves.
HEALTHY AMOUNT OF HELPERS: Attacker Ryan Dineen registered six assists on Wednesday against
Butler to tie for the eighth most helpers in a single game in program history.  It was the 17th time that a Denver player had at least eight assists in the game and Dineen is the seven different student-athlete to record the feat.
Hannah Liddy, who recorded six or more assists five times in her career, was the last Pioneer with six helpers in a game on April 25, 2021 against Villanova. Jill Remenapp (5), Steph Coyne (2), Lexi Sanders (2), Kristie Leggio (1) and Kara Secora (1) are other DU players that have reached that mark in a contest.
STREAKING: Denver is off to its best start to a season in school history at 12-0. Overall, the 12-game winning streak is tied for the fourth-longest in program history with the 2012 squad.  The team record is 17 wins in a row in 2014.

  • Denver had 10 different players score and 11 different players record a point (Charlotte Boote, assist). Eight different players scored in the first half.
  • The Pios forced 16 turnovers and have recorded at least 10 caused turnovers in all 12 games this year, their longest streak of 10+ CTs to begin a campaign in school history.
  • Senior Sam Thacker led the squad with five while also added three ground balls and two draw controls. Graduate student Trinity McPherson forced three turnovers and had a team-high five draw controls.
  • Sam Thacker recorded her fifth career game with five or more caused turnovers.
  • Denver recorded a season-high 12 assists in the game, the team’s most since also having 12 helpers on April 30, 2022 against Marquette. The Pioneers also recorded an assist on each of their first eight, non-free-position goals of the game.
  • Denver’s 19 goals were its most in a game this season and its most since defeating San Diego State 19-5 on March 25, 2022. DU has outscored its opponents 36-8 the past two games.
  • The Pioneers’ 15-goal margin of victory was their largest since winning 20-1 against Old Dominion on March 30, 2019.
  • Denver’s 12-game winning streak is tied with the 2012 squad for the fourth-longest stretch in school history.
  • Denver is now 7-0 all-time against Butler, which was making its first visit to DU since March 19-21, 2021.
  • Pioneer players recorded 31 points in the game, their most since having 32 against Villanova on April 25, 2021.
  • DU won the ground-ball battle 21-8.
  • The Pios forced 16 turnovers and have recorded at least 10 caused turnovers in all 12 games this year, their longest streak of 10+ CTs to begin a campaign in school history.
  • Julia Gilbert has scored a goal in all 12 games this season and has posted back-to-back hat tricks.
  • Sloane Kipp is the eighth different player with a hat trick this season. DU has had at least one player with a hat trick in each of the last seven games.

DOMINANT D: The Pioneers rank first in the country in scoring defense, allowing just 5.8 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 nine or more 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.
The Pioneers are second in the country in caused turnovers per game at 12.45 and have recorded double-digit CTs in all 12 games this season, breaking the school record of 11 previously set in 2021.  DU is third in the NCAA in draw controls percentage at 62.3 percent.
Sam Thacker is tied for 10th in the country and first in the Big East in caused turnovers at 2.27 per game.  Teammate Bryn McCaughey is 16th in the country and second in the conference at 2.09 per game.
HISTORY VS. UCONN: DU is 8-0 all-time against UConn in a series that dates back to March 11, 2008.  The teams have played every season since 2017 when the Pioneers joined the Big East. The squads met twice last year, with both games taking placing in Denver.  DU won 14-13 in overtime on April 9, 2022 in the regular season before winning 16-6 on May 5 in the Big East Tournament Semifinals.  The teams have been in the conference tournament each of the last two seasons, as Denver defeated Connecticut in 2021 in the Big East Championship game in Washington, D.C.—DU’s first Big East Tournament title.  The Pioneers are making their first trip to Storrs since April 11, 2021 when they won 11-7.
SCOUTING THE HUSKIES: UConn is 8-3 on the season and won its Big East Conference opener on Wednesday with a 19-12 victory at Villanova.  The Huskies have won four games in a row and are playing their first home game since defeating Albany 20-12 on March 22.  Kate Shaffer leads the team with 32 goals and 50 points and is tied with Lia LaPrise in assists with 18. LaPrise is second on the team in scoring with 36 points (18g/18a), while Grace Coon is second in goals (27g/7a). Goalkeeper Landyn White has played in all 11 games for UConn and has a 11.45 goals-against average and .519 save percentage.
LAST TIME VS. UCONN (May 5, 2022): Denver advanced to the Big East Championship Game after defeating the Connecticut Huskies 16-6 in the conference semifinals at Peter Barton Stadium on the DU campus.  Big East Freshman of the Year Lauren Black led the Pioneers with six points on three goals and three assists, and junior Julia Gilbert and graduate student Bea Behrins also had hat tricks.  Gilbert had two assists as well, while Behrins contributed one helper.  Behrins played in her 79th career game to set a program record, surpassing the previous mark of 78 set by Kelly O’Connell (2005-08) and Danielle Provance (2005-08).
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.
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. 10 in the preseason, has been placed inside the top 11 in both rankings all season.
Denver 22-3 all-time as a top-10 team in the country. The Pioneers are 8-30 all-time against teams ranked in the top 10 in the country and is 2-0 this season with wins vs. then No. 4 Maryland and No. 5 Boston College.  This is the first season where the Pioneers have recorded two victories against top-five programs.
ATTACKER OF THE WEEK: Senior Julia Gilbert was named the Big East Conference Attacker of the Week on Monday after registering a season-high seven points with four goals and three assists against the Villanova 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.
NATIONAL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: The Pioneers have picked up two IWLCA National Player of the Week awards this season, as Julia Gilbert was named Co-Offensive Player of the Week on March 7 and Bryn McCaughey was recognized as Defensive Player of the Week on March 7.
Sam Thacker was the last player to earn national recognition when she was named Defensive Player of the Week on March 15, 2022, while Elizabeth Behrins was the previous Pioneer to earn Offensive Player accolades on April 5, 2017.  Overall, DU has won seven IWLCA weekly awards since the honor’s inception.
HOME TURF ADVANTAGE: Denver is 5-0 at home this season and is on an eight game winning streak on its own turf dating back to last year.  The Pioneers own a 33-3 record in its last 36 contests at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium (since start of 2019) and are 47-6 in home games since the start of the 2017 campaign.  Denver owns a 128-24 all-time record at Barton Stadium, which opened in 2005.
DU had a 21-game home winning streak come to an end last season with a loss vs. No. 1 Boston College on March 9, 2022.  It was the Pios’ first loss at Peter Barton Stadium since Feb. 26, 2019 (12-10 loss vs. Michigan).
CAPTAINING THE SHIP: Denver’s five captains this season include graduate student Gracie DeRose and seniors Charlotte, Boote, Ellie Curry, Julia Gilbert and Sam Thacker.
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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