Women's Lacrosse

PREVIEW: No. 3 DU Faces Georgetown on Senior Day


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DENVER – The No. 3 University of Denver women’s lacrosse team is set for its final home game of the 2023 regular season on Saturday as the Pioneers host Senior Day against the Georgetown Hoyas at 12:30 p.m. MT.  
DU will be honoring its 11 seniors and graduate students prior to the nationally-televised game on CBS Sports Network.  Denver’s 2023 class includes grads Gracie DeRose, Kayla DeRose and Trinity McPherson, and seniors Charlotte Boote, Sydney Collignon, Ellie Curry, Julia Gilbert, Lila Knott, Victoria Macres, Lauryn Repp and Sam Thacker.  In addition, the program will recognize senior managers Sarah McLean, Alea Tooley and Emmett Blaney.
The Pioneers (15-0, 4-0 Big East) remain one of two undefeated teams in the country after winning both contests last weekend.  DU won 15-8 in its last home game on Friday night against Stanford before winning 23-6 on Sunday at Xavier.
DU went on a 12-1 run, which included scoring eight straight goals, to win against Stanford before using 13 different goal scorers to pick up the win at Xavier. The 23 goals scored were the tied for the second-most in a game in the program annals.
The Pios are set to wrap up a stretch that featured three games in a matter of nine days in a rematch of the 2022 Big East Championship Game. They erased a five-goal deficit by scoring eight of the game’s final 10 tallies to defeat Georgetown 16-15 in overtime.
Denver is 7-5 all-time against Georgetown and has won each of the last four meetings.
The Hoyas are 6-9 overall and 1-3 in Big East play. They lost 13-12 to Villanova on Saturday before falling 13-9 at Connecticut on Wednesday.
The Pios have scored double-digit goals in each of the last nine games and are outscoring opponents by an average score of 15.8-6.3 in that span since March 9.  DU’s overall margin of victory this season is 6.87, the eighth-highest in the country.
LAST TIME OUT: The No. 3 Pioneers won 23-6 at the Xavier Musketeers on Sunday morning at Corcoran Field in the first-ever matchup between the programs.  DU had 13 different players score and had five record multiple markers in the contest.  Ryan Dineen led DU with four goals four assists and was joined in the hat trick category by Julia Gilbert, Sloane Kipp and Sydney Collignon.
Mollie Estepp scored twice and also added an assist for a three-point performance, while Lauren Black, Kayla DeRose, Sophia Labanca, Charlotte Boote, Annie McGuire, Addy Caulk, Caroline Colimore and Raegan Wilson also found the back of the net.  Goalkeeper Emelia Bohi started the game and made one save before senior Victoria Macres entered and played the final 40:49.  Macres had four stops, as DU outshot Xavier 45-14 overall.
HISTORIC OFFENSIVE PERFORMANCE: Denver scored 23 goals on Sunday at Xavier, which is tied for the second-most in a game in school history.  The Pioneers also tallied that many times in a 23-5 win on March 18, 2006 against Marist.  The DU record is 26 goals, which was set on April 26, 2006 vs. Colorado College.
DU’s 17-goal margin of victory was a season best and the program’s highest since winning by 19 in a 20-1 victory vs. Old Dominion on March 30, 2019.
REPEAT BIG EAST WEEKLY WINNERS: Senior Ellie Curry and attacker Ryan Dineen repeated as Big East Weekly award winners on Monday, as Curry was named the conference’s Midfielder of the Week and Dineen was chosen as Freshman of the Week.  This is Curry’s fifth time picking up the honor while Dineen has now been named the league’s top rookie three times.
Curry totaled four points (3g/1a) in Denver’s two games last week, including scoring three goals on Friday vs Stanford.  Dineen totaled 10 points (6g/4a) and scored a career-high four markers and matched a personal best with eight points (4g/4a) on Sunday at Xavier.
Junior attacker Sloane Kipp and senior defender Sam Thacker also earned accolades by being chosen on the Big East’s Weekly Honor Roll.  In the two games, Kipp registered 10 points (6g/4a) and Thacker combined for five caused turnovers, four ground balls, five draw controls and one assist.

  • Denver faced Xavier for the first time in program history last Sunday, as the Musketeers program is in their first year in Division-I.
  • DU is one of two undefeated teams in the country, along with No. 1 Syracuse (15-0, as of Wednesday).
  • Ryan Dineen scored a career-high four goals and has recorded multiple markers in six consecutive contests, featuring three hat tricks in that time span.
  • Julia Gilbert recorded her fifth straight hat trick and 10th of the season.­
  • Sloane Kipp had her fourth consecutive contest with a hat trick.
  • Addy Caulk scored her second career goal.
  • Sydney Collignon had her first career multi-goal game and tallied a hat trick.
  • Sam Thacker now has 124 draw controls, surpassing Kate Broderick (2004-05, 2007) for the eighth-most in school history.
  • Last Friday vs. Stanford, DU used an 8-0 run and held off the Cardinal for nearly 35 minutes in the middle of the game for a 15-8 win.
  • Friday’s home attendance was a season-high 1,066, with the game starting at 7 p.m. MT and the game-time temperature at 36 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Thacker’s assist on Friday was her first career point.

UP FOR THE TEWAARATON: Two Denver defenders were named nominees on Thursday for the Tewaaraton Award, given to the top collegiate player in the country.  Graduate student Trinity McPherson and senior Sam Thacker are among 25 women’s players up for the 2023 award, and DU is one of eight schools with multiple nominees.
The five women’s finalists from this group will be selected on May 11, and the award’s ceremony is announce this year’s winner is set for June 1 in Washington, D.C.
DU had three additional players chosen to the Tewaaraton Award watch list earlier this year: goalkeeper Emelia Bohi, midfielder Ellie Curry and attacker Julia Gilbert.
BALANCED SCORING: DU has eight different players with 10 or more goals this season and four with 20-plus markers.  The Pioneers’ 10 or more goal scorers are one shy of the program mark of nine players in 2021, while their players with 20 or more markers are three shy of matching the school record of seven in 2013.  Overall, 16 different players have tallied at least once this season.
The Pios have scored double-digit goals in each of the last nine games and are outscoring opponents by an average score of 15.8-6.3 in that span since March 9 (143-57 total).  DU’s overall margin of victory this season is 6.87, the eighth-highest in the country.
GILBERT AT THE 8-METER: Senior Julia Gilbert has scored 14 free-position goals this season, tied with Ali Flury (2009), Kristie Leggio (2006) and Stephanie Greenlees (2006) for the fourth-most in a single campaign in program history.  It is the most free-position goals by a Pioneer since Julia Feiss scored 15 in 2018.  The program record is 17 in 2010 by Ali Flury.
Ranking 13th overall in the country in tallies from the eight-meter, Gilbert’s .778 free-position percentage (14-for-18) is second best in the nation behind only Notre Dame’s Madison Ahern (.810).
Freshman Ryan Dineen ranks behind Gilbert in free-position percentage on the team (and in the conference) and 11th in the NCAA at 68.8 percent (11-for-16).
30-30-20 CLUB: Defender Sam Thacker is one of six players in the nation that have recorded at least 30 caused turnovers, 30 ground balls and 20 draw controls.
The Lutherville, Maryland, native has 37 caused turnovers, 34 ground balls and 24 draw controls this year and joins Rutgers’ Meghan Ball (48 CT, 42 GB, 70 DC), Maryland’s Abby Bosco (34 CT, 34 GB, 71 DC), Iona’s Kira Varada (38 CT, 40 GB, 59 DC), Niagara’s Sydney Huhtala (33 CT, 36 GB, 20 DC) and Mercer’s Emma Pizzo (32 CT, 35 GB and 40 DC) as players to reach each of those marks.
HISTORY VS. GEORGETOWN: The Pioneers are 7-5 all-time against the Hoyas, are 6-1 in the last seven meetings and have won each of the last four matchups.  DU won both games last year, winning 14-12 in Washington, D.C. on April 15 before earning a 16-15 comeback victory in overtime on May 7 in the Big East Championship Game in Denver.  DU is 3-2 all-time against GU on home turf, with the series dating back to March 3, 2008.  Georgetown’s last win in the series was in the 2019 Big East Championship Game as it picked up a 9-8 victory in double overtime in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
SCOUTING THE HOYAS: Georgetown is 6-9 on the season and owns a 1-3 conference record after playing earlier this week at No. 25 Connecticut.  The Hoyas dropped their second-straight Big East game by falling 13-9 in Storrs despite getting a four-goal performance from Erin Bakes, who leads the team with 38 markers and is second with 43 points (38g/5a).  GU lost 13-12 vs. Villanova on Saturday in its first-ever defeat from the Wildcats.  Kylie Hazen leads the team in assists (20) and points (55) and ranks second on the squad with 35 goals.  Emma Gebhardt is third on the team in scoring with 40 points on 25 tallies and 15 helpers on the season.  Nicole Massimino leads the squad in ground balls (31) and caused turnovers (24).  Georgetown has four players with 25 or more draw controls: Malev Starr (38), Kylie Hazen (34), Lily Athanas (32) and Gracie Driggs (25).  The Hoyas have split their goalkeepers, with Emily Gaven having started all 15 games and Leah Warehime seeing action in 14 contests.  Gaven owns a 5-6 record, 13.58 goals-against average and .427 save percentage while Warehime has a 1-2 mark, 10.50 GAA and a .496 save%.
LAST TIME VS. GEORGETOWN (May 7, 2022): Denver erased a five-goal, second-half deficit to win 16-15 in overtime in the 2022 Big East Conference Championship Game at Peter Barton Stadium.  It was DU’s second-consecutive conference title after winning its first Big East championship in 2021, and it is Denver’s third such conference tournament title after also winning the 2014 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championship.  Down 12-7 at halftime and then 13-8 early in the third quarter, the Pioneers tallied eight of the final 10 goals of the game.  Graduate student Bea Behrins scored the game-winning goal 3:30 into overtime after receiving a pass from Julia Gilbert.  Behrins was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament as she finished with five goals in the championship game and four points (3g/1a) in the semifinals vs. UConn.  Gilbert joined Behrins on the Big East All-Tournament Team after recording career-best eight points (5g/3a) vs. the Hoyas.
CONNECTIONS: Freshman Lindsey Wilmot and GU sophomore Mikaila Kitchen both attended Thayer Academy in Massachusetts … Jacqueline Jaskiewicz and DU sophomore Sarah Pokorny are both from Winter Park, Florida, and attended Lake Highland Prep School … Junior Anna Palmisano went to American Heritage School in Florida with Hoyas junior Kylie Hazen … Denver’s Ellie Curry and Sam Thacker and Georgetown graduate student Olivia Rubin and freshman Kendall Steer are all from Lutherville, Maryland.

KELLY SIGNS EXTENSION: University of Denver Athletics announced on April 12 that it has signed women’s lacrosse head coach Liza Kelly to a multi-year contract extension through the 2028 season.
“Over the last decade and a half, Coach Kelly and her staff developed DU lacrosse into an elite level program,” said DU Athletics Director Josh Berlo. “Liza has continued to recruit very talented players that fit her system and constructed one of the top defenses in the nation. This season, the program has reached elevated heights, and I cannot wait to see what lies ahead in its undoubtedly bright future as the program chases championships competitively, academically and socially.” 
Kelly is in her 17th season at the helm of the program after coaching five years at Boston University. Since joining the Pioneers prior to the 2007 campaign, she has led DU to six NCAA Tournaments in the last 10 years, the program’s first quarterfinal appearance in 2019, eight regular-season conference titles (5 MPSF, 3 Big East) and three conference tournament championships (1 MPSF, 2 Big East).
BIG IN THE BIG EAST: DU is 4-0 on the season in Big East play and has won 25 consecutive conference regular-season games dating back to April 28, 2018.  The Pioneers’ last loss to a conference opponent in the main campaign was an 18-13 defeat vs. Florida on April 21, 2018.
STREAKING: Denver is off to its best start to a season in school history at 15-0.  Overall, the 15-game winning streak is tied for the third-longest in program history with the 2013 squad.  The team record is 17 wins in a row in 2014 while the 2021 group won 16 consecutive contests.
DOMINANT D: The Pioneers rank first in the country in scoring defense by allowing just 6.07 goals per game, the lowest since 2016 when Southern California allowed 5.81 goals per game.  Loyola is second at 7.29 and James Madison is third at 7.33 goals against per game.
Denver hasn’t allowed double-digit goals in a game this season, as the season-high against is nine from UConn on April 8.
The Pioneers are second in the country in caused turnovers per game at 12.73 and have recorded double-digit CTs in 14-of-15 games, including in each of the first 12 outings of the season to set a school record to begin a campaign (previous: 11 in 2021).  DU is third in the NCAA in draw controls percentage at 62.9 percent.
Sam Thacker is tied for eighth in the country and first in the Big East in caused turnovers at 2.47 per game.  Teammate Bryn McCaughey is 37th in the country and third in the conference at 1.73 per game.
PIONEERS IN THE POLLS: Denver remained at 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 is 27-3 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.
HOME TURF ADVANTAGE: Denver is 6-0 at home this season and is on a nine-game winning streak on its own turf dating back to last year.  The Pioneers own a 34-3 record in their last 37 contests at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium (since start of 2019) and are 48-6 in home games since the start of the 2017 campaign.  Denver owns a 129-24 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 defeat at Peter Barton Stadium since Feb. 26, 2019 (12-10 loss vs. Michigan).
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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