Matthews breaks all-time points mark
Denver stays unbeaten as junior scores four to take record
DENVER - No. 5 Denver junior Mark Matthews scored four goals and had an assist to become DU's all-time Division I point-getter and help guide the Pioneers to an 11-5 victory against Fairfield to close out regular-season ECAC play Saturday at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium.
"Fairfield gave us a scare, but we were able to rally and finish strong," head coach Bill Tierney said. "I'm really proud of what our guys have done this season. The new season starts next week, but I want this team to have some time to think about how rare this is."
Denver (11-2, 6-0) faces Ohio State Thursday at 7 p.m. MT in the first round of the first ECAC Tournament at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium. Fairfield (7-7, 3-3) plays Loyola on Thursday in the first game of the tournament at 4 p.m.
The Pioneers are now 13-0 in the ECAC regular season during the last two seasons under coach Tierney.
Senior Todd Baxter had three goals and an assist and sophomore Cameron Flint added two goals and two assists for Denver. Sophomore Chase Carraro won 16-of-19 face-offs for Denver while adding a goal and an assist.
Matthews caused two turnovers for Denver and freshman Jamie Faus made 10 saves. The Pioneers held Fairfield to 12 second-half shots on goal and outshot the Stags 49-33 in the win.
Denver took a 2-0 lead to begin the game with early goals coming from Cararro and Matthews. After a Fairfield goal, the Pioneers tallied scores from senior Andrew Lay and Matthews and led 4-1 after one quarter. Lay joined for his first game back since April 26 against Air Force after suffering a broken jaw.
The Pioneers were unable to score in the second quarter as Fairfield held DU to two shots on goal while scoring twice. Denver was outshot 21-13 in the half, but led 4-3 at intermission.
Denver continued to struggle in the third quarter, giving up two Fairfield goals and trailing 5-4 before Baxter sparked a Pioneer rally with back-to-back goals. Denver scored again moments later when Matthews netted a goal, taking a 7-5 lead going into the final period.
Flint scored twice, Baxter added another goal and Matthews buried his fourth goal of the game as Denver dominated the fourth quarter. The Pioneers scored seven unanswered goals between the last two periods and held Fairfield scoreless in the last 15 minutes.
Matthews now owns DU's all-time Division I points record with 139 points. Matthews, a junior, surpassed Pioneer assistant coach Matt Brown with his second goal of the first quarter.
Jordan Greenfield scored twice for Fairfield. Brendan McTague caused two turnovers and Charlie Cipriano made nine saves in the loss.
Denver won the groundball battle 33-15 and was a perfect 9-of-9 on clears. Fairfield was 14-of-17 in clearing chances. The Pioneers were 2-of-5 with a man-advantage compared to Fairfield who was 0-of-2.