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Previewing Denver’s 2018 Schedule

Can the Pioneers win their second national title in school history?

NCAA Lacrosse: Men's Championship Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Pioneers are the 22nd team in our 2018 schedule preview series and the third team from the Big East. The Pioneers made it all the way to another Championship Weekend appearance, where they lost to Maryland by a goal. Connor Donahue’s goal was denied after he dove towards the crease, and reignited the debate about the crease dive.

Here’s the entire 2018 schedule:

Denver’s 2018 Schedule

Date Road Team Home Team Special Notes Last Year's Meeting(s)
Date Road Team Home Team Special Notes Last Year's Meeting(s)
2/3 Delaware Denver Scrimmage
2/10 Denver Air Force 14-6 W, 17-10 W
2/17 Denver Duke 14-9 W
2/25 Cleveland State Denver 19-6 W
3/3 Denver Furman First meeting since 2015 (10-5 W)
3/5 Denver North Carolina 13-9 L
3/10 Denver Notre Dame 11-10 W, 16-4 W
3/17 Ohio State Denver 16-7 L
3/24 Towson Denver 12-11 W
3/31 Denver Georgetown Big East 20-11 W
4/7 Denver Villanova Big East 16-11 W
4/14 St. John's Denver Big East 18-12 W
4/21 Denver Providence Big East 12-2 W
4/28 Marquette Denver Big East 16-8 W, 11-8 L

Only one switch in the schedule, as Furman replaces Canisius. And for the first time in over a decade, there is no Face-Off Classic at Peter Barton Stadium.

Let’s check out some notable games on this schedule:

Best Nonconference Game: @ Duke

This could be a potential preview of a national semifinal game. I expect both of these teams in the top five to start the season, maybe even top three. Duke has been known to start the season slow, but will it be different this time around?

Best Conference Game: @ Villanova

The Pios usually breeze by Big East play in the regular season, before Marquette crashes the party for some reason. Marquette should make it to the Big East Tournament again, but the Wildcats are the biggest threat to Denver. Villanova only lost by five last year.

Under The Radar Game: vs. Marquette

And speaking of Marquette, here it is! I would not count Marquette out of beating Denver this year, and maybe it happens in the regular season? Marquette needs help on offense, but Cole Blazer and Zachary Melillo can help the Golden Eagles make it an interesting game.

Possible Upset: vs. Towson

The Tigers were one goal short of beating the Pioneers for a second straight season. When they first beat them two years ago in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, it was in Denver. This year’s meeting is back in Denver. Towson might be losing most of their offense, but if players step up early on, it could make for an interesting game.