DU’s Eric Law pioneering through playoffs
The Denver Post
Two years ago at the NCAA Final Four, Eric Law produced a career-high five points in an otherwise tough day for the University of Denver men’s lacrosse team. The Pioneers lost to Virginia, the eventual national champion, 14-8 in the semifinals at Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium.
Law, a sophomore midfielder at the time, was the best player on a team that was making history by being there. The Pioneers became the first team west of the Mississippi River to advance to the Final Four.
DU is back in the Final Four and expecting big things from Law, who has moved to attack. The senior from Arapahoe High School leads the Pioneers with 75 points, including a team-high 35 assists.
“Incredible leader. He’s the quarterback of our offense and he drives everything that we do,” senior midfielder Cameron Flint said of Law. “In practice, he gets guys going. He’s one of the best attackman in the country. I don’t think we could be where we are without him.”
Law is entering his third Final Four. As a freshman in 2010, Law played in the Division III championship game for Salisbury (Md.), which lost 9-6 to Tufts in Baltimore. He transferred to DU that summer.
The Division I, II and III championships again will be played at the same venue over Memorial Day weekend, this year at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field.The Pioneers traveled Wednesday.
“We’ve been there before. We know what it takes to win these big-stage games,” said Law, DU’s most experienced player. “We were very unfamiliar (in 2011), a little bit shocked and ‘oohed and aahed,’ but now we’re thinking it’s all business. It’s not our goal to get to the Final Four. It’s to get to the championship game and win the whole thing.”
DU (14-4) plays Syracuse (15-3) on Saturday, with the winner advancing to Monday’s championship game against Cornell (14-3) or Duke (14-5).
“The Syracuse kids that are on that team are going into their first Final Four,” said DU coach Bill Tierney. “The Denver kids, the older guys, are going into their second. And in one case, Eric Law’s case, he’s going into his third. Third opportunity on the big show, and that should really help us.”
Tierney said Law was his greatest gift at the outset of the coach’s career in Denver, when Law chose to transfer to DU after his freshman season — Tierney’s first with the Pioneers.
“Since the day he walked onto our campus he’s made a lot of people happy,” Tierney said of his offensive captain. “He’s got such passion, is a smart student and works hard at everything he does. He helps run our team. He’s certainly a gift.”
Law gift-wrapped DU’s second trip to the Final Four, scoring the winning goal with 13 seconds left in Sunday’s 12-11 victory over No. 1-ranked North Carolina at the quarterfinals in Indianapolis. Law capitalized on a rebound from Eric Adamson’s shot from the opposite post to complete the Pioneers’ dramatic comeback.
DU trailed 6-0 early and 9-4 at halftime.
“It was such an unbelievable feeling to be able to run down the field with all my teammates and celebrate together, because it really was a team win — everyone coming together to be able to do that,” Law said.
Law might be Colorado’s most accomplished lacrosse player, at least at the amateur level. An NCAA championship would solidify that.
“That’s the picture-perfect ending, but we have a big game against Syracuse to worry about, so we’ll get that one first, then worry about the next one,” Law said. “In a couple years, hopefully, I’ll look back and still have the smile on my face like I do now.
“It’s so exciting and fun to be a part of this.”
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