Nationally Ranked Denver Pulls Away in Second Half

Nationally Ranked Denver Pulls Away in Second Half

Boxscore (PDF)


  • Denver led just 4-3 at the half but pulled away in the final two quarters to claim a 16-8 win
  • Sophomore Tristan Hanna had three goals, his third straight hat trick
  • Sophomore Michael Wilson had a season-high five points, tying his career high with four assists
  • Wilson now has points in each of his 18 collegiate starts
  • Junior Danny Tesler won 18-of-25 faceoffs and collected nine ground balls
  • Tesler's 18 faceoff wins are the most ever by a Viking against a Division I foe
  • Sophomore Jake Higgins scored his first goal of the season while classmate Michael Harris scored the first of his career
  • Denver had slight advantages in shots on goal (26-20) and ground balls (42-38)


The Cleveland State University lacrosse team trailed Denver by just a single goal at halftime, but the nationally ranked Pioneers pulled away in the second half to claim a 16-8 victory in the final game of the Faceoff Classic Sunday afternoon at a sunny Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium.

Cleveland State had managed to quiet Denver's offense in the opening half, including shutting them out for the final nine minutes of the second quarter, and entered intermission trailing 4-3. The Vikings still trailed by only three goals, 8-5, with a couple minutes remaining in the third quarter, but the Pioneers proved too lethal down the stretch.

Junior Danny Tesler rebounded strongly Sunday, winning 18-of-25 faceoffs and collecting nine ground balls. His 18 wins were a career high and the most by any Viking against a Division I foe.

Sophomores Tristan Hanna and Michael Wilson led the Viking offense. The former netted his third straight hat trick while the latter posted one goal and four assists.

Denver opened the scoring about four minutes in following a CSU turnover. The Vikings would respond under a minute later as Hanna scored unassisted after Tesler won possession for the guests.

A Pioneer goal about halfway through the quarter following a Cleveland State failed clear would be the final tally of the period.

Denver scored twice within 43 seconds early in the second quarter, but Hanna answered the second of those tallies to pull one back for the Vikings.

Following a save from redshirt sophomore Caleb Espinoza, the Vikings cleared before sophomore Jake Higgins found the net for the first time this season. Higgins' goal set the halftime margin at 4-3.

Denver would gain a little breathing room by scoring twice within the opening minute of the second half, the first from the faceoff win and the second courtesy of a man-up opportunity.

Wilson scored unassisted about two minutes later, but Denver would score two more near the midpoint of the quarter to widen its lead. Sophomore Jason Sullivan pulled the Vikings back within three as the third quarter wore down.

The Pioneers then scored four straight goals, and the Vikings were unable to recover.

Junior Nick Wendel and sophomore Michael Harris scored in the fourth quarter for the Vikings while Hanna also completed his hat trick in the frame.

Harris added a trio of ground balls and two caused turnovers in addition to his goal.

Hanna now has a half dozen multi-goal games in his career. Wilson, who has assists in all five games this season, registered his fourth multi-point outing of the season and the 14th of his career.

Freshman Liam Bogedain posted four ground balls and a pair of caused turnovers. Espinoza saved six of 10 shots on goal in 30 minutes of action.

Cleveland State will continue its six-game road trip next weekend with a visit to Mercer.