Denver is the newest Division I Men's Lacrosse Champion, downing Maryland in the big game on Tuesday, 10-5. Denver led throughout the entirety of the game and was never in danger of falling behind. Wesley Berg was the star of the game, putting up five goals, including three in the first quarter.
This was Maryland's third time reaching the finals in the last five years, having lost both previous attempts. It's been a long championship drought for the Terrapins, whose last championship came in 1975. Denver, on the other hand, had never made it to the championship game before, and now has a victory in its first-ever appearance.
If there was any pressure on the Pioneers, you couldn't tell early on. Denver jumped out to an early 4-1 lead in the first quarter. Berg managed to score in the first minute of play, and Berg kept the pressure on with Denver's next two goals. Connor Cannizzaro notched the other first-quarter goal for Denver, while Colin Heacock put up the only score for Maryland.
Maryland picked things up with a couple of goals in the second, but heading into the half Denver was up by a score of 5-3. Denver got off to a good start in the third, and eventually built its lead to 8-4 while Berg added his fourth goal of the game.
Given that the Pioneers blew a four-goal lead in the semifinals against Notre Dame, they likely weren't very comfortable heading into the final frame. Denver narrowly won that Notre Dame game in overtime to make it to this championship.
Fortunately for the Pioneers, they made it through the fourth and final quarter without incident, and even padded their lead with a couple of goals in the final two minutes of play.