When the seedings were announced for the 2011 NCAA Lacrosse Tournament on Sunday the hometown Denver Pioneers and legendary head coach Bill Tierney learned that they had received a six-seed (out of eight seeded teams, sixteen total) and the first round home game that comes with it. Next Saturday's game against the unseeded Villanova Wildcats will be the first ever Tournament game to be held in the state of Colorado (or west of the Mississippi River for that matter) and the Pioneers hope that the home field advantage can propel them to the program's first tourney win.
DU, 0-3 in this Tournament in their previous attempts, is trying to extend a 10-game winning streak that ended the regular season. If they can defeat the Wildcats, they will head east to Hempstead, NY to take on either Johns Hopkins or Hofstra. Even though the Pioneers are the home team, taking down the experienced Wildcats won't be an easy task without one of their top attackers.
DU might be without senior attack Todd Baxter this weekend and beyond. The Pioneers' third-leading scorer suffered injuries to his right ankle and knee in Saturday's 11-9 victory over Fairfield (Conn.) in the ECAC Tournament championship game.
Baxter had an MRI on Monday, but if he is unable to play Eric Law will take over for the attacker.
Denver takes on Villanova on Sunday at 3:15 p.m. MT at Peter Barton Stadium. Tickets can be purchased at Denverpioneers.com, and ESPNU will have the broadcast.