Denver's Tierney: Don't believe the hype

Pioneers coach not buying cliche that it's improbable for one team to beat another three times in single season

May 16, 2012|By Edward Lee

Ever since No. 1 seed Loyola easily dispatched of Canisius and Denver bounced No. 8 seed North Carolina from the NCAA tournament last Saturday to set up this Saturday’s quarterfinal, the sentiment within the lacrosse community appears to have settled on the improbability of the Greyhounds being able to beat their Eastern College Athletic Conference rival for the third time this year.

Color Pioneers coach Bill Tierney unimpressed.

“Don’t buy it,” he said Tuesday. “Don’t buy that stock. That’s for people who flip coins, not play games. Loyola took it to us twice already, and I don’t think there’s any lack of confidence on their part nor should there be. They have every good chance of getting us the third time.”

History would seem to bear out Tierney. Patrick Stevens of The Washington Times researched instances when teams have tangled with each other three times in a single season and in the three occasions when one side has won the first two meetings, that squad also proved victorious in the NCAA tournament.

Saturday’s contest at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis will be the third time in five weeks the Greyhounds and Denver will tangle on the field. Neither side will have to alter their scouting reports, but that doesn’t provide Tierney with much solace.

“I don’t think either one of us is likely to abandon what’s gotten us here and start all over again,” he said. “It’s going to really come down to execution. Certainly, it saves a lot of wear and tear on the typing fingers. But clearly, they are – and I’ve said this from the first time I saw them and I’ll say this until after the game on Saturday – the most complete team in the country. What that means is yeah, we can make adjustments to what we did last time, but if they’re as complete as I know they are, they just take advantage of every mistake that you make. If you think you’ve got something solved, they’ll find a way to create more havoc for you.”

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