Previewing Denver's 2022 men's lacrosse schedule
The Denver Pioneers are the eighth team in our 2022 men’s college lacrosse schedule preview series and the first team from the Big East. Denver finished 12-5 overall in 2021 and 9-1 in Big East play. The Pioneers fell to Georgetown in the Big East championship, followed by a heartbreaking first round loss to Loyola in the NCAA Tournament.
Here's their entire 2022 spring schedule:
Jacksonville Dolphins (2/26)
Canisius Golden Griffins (2/27)
Yale Bulldogs (3/13)
Ohio State Buckeyes (3/19)
Towson Tigers (3/26)
NA (they're just playing the rest of the Big East just once this year)
For the second straight year, Denver is not playing Notre Dame. They had played every year from 1999-2020 before not facing each other last year.
CIRCLE THESE DATES
2/19 at Duke: Lacrosse is a game of runs, and so is the history of this matchup. Duke has won the last four meetings dating back to 2018. Denver took the previous three which preceded Duke winning both meetings in 2014 and Denver winning the previous three. Back to the present: Denver led entering the fourth quarter in three of the last four games against the Blue Devils.
3/5 at North Carolina: Another trip to the state of North Carolina two weeks later. The Pioneers will play Jacksonville and Canisius in back-to-back days the previous weekend before going back east. Last year's 11-goal loss came two days after playing Duke and probably wasn't a good gauge to evaluate Denver at the time. Both teams will be a month into their seasons and should be close to clicking at 100%. Expect a much closer game this time around.
3/13 vs. Yale: I'll assume this game "replaces" Notre Dame on the schedule and it's a really good opponent to face. The Bulldogs haven't played since the 2020 season and should be a month into the regular season by the time they face Denver. Who knows how they look. These two teams met back in 2005, where the Bulldogs won in overtime in New Haven. By the way, Denver and Yale were TD Ierlan's last two schools he played for.
3/19 at Ohio State: No Notre Dame on the schedule, but Ohio State does come back on the slate. This will be the first meeting since 2018. The Big Ten played a conference-only schedule last year, the 2020 season was cut short, and Denver couldn't travel east in 2019 due to the bomb cyclone that hit the Rocky Mountains. These two mets had met every year from 1999 until 2018, with each team winning 12 games.
4/2 vs. Georgetown: Georgetown and Denver should once again be the favorites to compete for a Big East title. The Hoyas have been gaining momentum in the past few years, beating the Pios in the Big East championship every year it's been held since 2018. Kevin Warne's group also defeated Denver in overtime in Washington, D.C. but the regular season meetings have been dominated by the Pioneers. Georgetown loses Jake Carraway on offense, but in comes a few transfers highlighted by defenseman Will Bowen.