These next few months, University of Denver students have a lot to look forward to in terms of Pioneer sports and school spirit. As I sit at home browsing the web with the excess of free time I seem to have, I decided to check up on two of University of Denver's most celebrated teams: our hockey and men's lacrosse team.
Ranking 11th nationally, the Denver Pioneers just finished a series with North Dakota (the current number one team in college hockey) and split the series winning 4-1 on Friday and losing 3-1 on Saturday. Prior to that game, Denver had beaten such well-reputed teams such as Boston College, Minnesota-Duluth, Wisconsin, and Cornell. The Pios also shellacked Air Force 7-0, and completely obliterated our Gold-Pan rivals, Colorado College, in the first of four games this season by an 8-1 score.
With a month long break before the second half of the season, our Pioneers will look to tune-up and square off against Ivy League opponents Dartmouth and Brown after New Year's. The second half is always crucial as every game proves to be decisive in whether or not Denver will play in the NCAA Tournament, which is a definite expectation every year.
The Men's Lacrosse is the other team on DU's campus that those in-the-know believe it has a chance to win a national championship. In three of the past four years, the Pioneer Lacrosse team has played its way to the final four and this year, hopes for a national championship are as high as they will have ever been. Denver comes into this season ranked first nationally, returning a vast majority of its key scorers, defenders, and veteran leadership, all while recruiting promising first-year players from both coasts, within Colorado, and across Canada. The University of Denver was the first team west of the Mississippi to make a final four and continues to stake its claim as one of the nation's best year after year.
Aside from the Skiing team, these two teams make up two of the most successful programs in their respective sport. They are also a huge reason why University of Denver has been the best FCS/DI-AAA school by winning the Director's Cup (award for most successful athletics program) six of the past seven years, and ranked 43rd nationally among all colleges last year.
Pioneer sports fans with season tickets cannot wait to return from Winter Break, and if you love sports, Denver is a great school built to succeed athletically.