Yesterday the Denver Pioneers Tweeted out that they were going to announce their 2017 schedule over Twitter.
Shout out to Denver for embracing the 21st century. Any school can Tweet out a link with a list of teams and dates, but Tweeting out each game individually is a unique and fun way to promote the team. I hope other teams follow their lead and do something similar.
Additionally, shout out to BOSS Tierney for feeding the streets before fall ball even starts. Some teams (*Cough* JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY & SYRACUSE *Cough*) usually don’t put out their full schedule for another 2-4 months. On behalf of all lacrosse
bloggers NATIONAL JOURNALISTS, I’d like to say thank you for the fresh content.
Let’s take a look at the 2017 Pioneers schedule and breakdown the upcoming match-ups.
(Scrimmage) January 28th, 2017 - Johns Hopkins University (Away).
The Pioneers are coming back to Baltimore! Denver last visited the Jays in 2015, which was also a scrimmage. The 2015 scrimmage is a bittersweet memory for many Hop fans as it was two days before the tragic death of freshman lacrosse player Jeremy Huber. Both teams lost in the first round of the Big BBQ last season, so this will be an interesting match-up for two teams who were in the Final Four as recently as 2015.
Though Air Force lost to Denver in a close one last season (10-9), it was something of a coming out party for the Falcons, as Air Force didn’t lose another game for over two months and made it all the way to the first round of the Big BBQ. I expect the 2017 edition of the Battle for Colorado to be another thriller as Air Force is definitely a team on the rise.
Duke vs. Denver has been one of the best rivalries in D1 the last 5-6 years. While Denver’s won 5 out of the last 6 regular season games against the Blue Devils, Duke has the big postseason win over the Pios in 2014. 2017 might be a rebuilding year for Duke, but there’s no way Denver will overlook the Blue Devils.
February 25, 2017 - Cleveland St (Home).
The Vikings will have their hands full on February 25th as they travel to Denver for the 2017 Faceoff Classic. This is a homecoming for BOSS Sheridan; he was an assistant coach at Denver for four years, helping the Pioneers to Final Four appearances in 2011, 2013 and 2014.
The Pioneers wrap-up the Faceoff classic with a match-up against the Canisius Golden Griffins. Denver has played Canisius three times since 2010 (2010, 2013, & 2014) and has won all three games by a combined score of 35-12.
The last two NCAA champions will meet up on March 4th for what should be an epic game. Denver won last season’s match-up at North Carolina in OT despite a furious comeback by the Tar Heels. I expect this to be another tense game as both programs have some of the best talent in all of Division 1.
The 20th match-up between Denver and Notre Dame will probably be another classic. Both programs bring out the best in each other. If the Tweet above is any indication, viewers will probably get some free lacrosse when the two link up on March 11th.
Denver & OSU have beef going back over 2 decades to when the two teams were conference foes in the Great Western Lacrosse League (1999-2009) AND the ECAC (2010-2013). Despite the fact Denver’s won 7 out of the last 10 match-ups, the series is presently tied at 11 wins a piece. Hopefully OSU does better than they did last season when Denver blitzed the Buckeyes 15-6.
BOSS Tierney and his lads will make a return trip to Baltimore in late March to take on the Tigers in a rematch of last season’s NCAA thriller between the two. As we all remember Towson stunned the Pioneers in Denver to short-circuit Denver’s quest for back-to-back titles. I have a feeling the Pios still remember that L.
Denver’s first conference game will be at home against the Hoyas. Georgetown hasn’t really made much noise in the Big East the last handful of years and the Hoyas have had no answer for the Pios since Denver joined the conference three seasons ago. In 2014, 2015, & 2016, Denver’s beaten Georgetown 17-9, 19-7, & 17-4, respectively.
Denver’s yet to lose to Villanova since they’ve joined the Big East. The Pioneers have 3 regular season wins & two Big East tournament wins over the Wildcats. Villanova has made it interesting a couple times though; Denver barely won last season’s regular season match-up (12-11) & the Pios needed OT to beat ‘Nova in their 2014 regular season match-up (9-8). However, those two close games were in Philly. The last time ‘Nova traveled to Denver (2015) they were blown out 15-4.
April 15, 2017 - St. John’s (Away).
Denver’s first road Big East game is at St. John’s. The Red Storm hasn’t really been competitive against the Pioneers; Denver’s won the last three games by a combined score of 51-24.
April 22, 2016 - Providence (Home).
Providence was actually quite frisky last season. The Friars barely lost to Bryant, stunned Hofstra, lost to Marquette by 1, & made it to the Big East tournament. While Providence finished last season 7-9, 2016 was their best year since going 8-8 in 2013. Denver should win this game, but Providence may be a team on the rise and Denver fans shouldn’t overlook this late season match-up.
April 29, 2017 - Marquette (Away).
This is a game to circle on your calendar. While Denver holds a 4-1 series lead over the Golden Eagles, Marquette got their first win in style last season, snatching the Big East tournament crown from the Pioneers in Denver. This game might decide the top-seed for the 2017 Big East tournament, so look for both teams to be in top form.
There’s no location set yet, and Denver’s gotta earn their way in, but odds are Denver will make the Big East tournament.
So that’s Denver’s 2017 regular season schedule.
13 grueling games, including seven against teams that made the Big BBQ last season. Denver does have the advantage of playing 9 of their 13 games in Denver, but hosting teams like Duke, North Carolina, & Notre Dame won’t be a picnic. It should be an exciting year for Pios fans and I wouldn’t be surprised if Denver is near the top of the polls by the time they start conference play.