Kenary’s hat trick not enough in loss to No. 18 Denver
Sophomore TJ Kenary registered his first hat trick of the season but it wasn’t enough as the JU men’s lacrosse team fell, 20-8, to No. 18 Denver on Saturday afternoon at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium.

Sophomore midfielder Donovan Lange added a goal and an assist on a game-high nine shots but JU still dropped to 1-2. Denver’s Alex Demopoulos scored five goals and an assist to lift the Pioneers to 2-1.

JU was looking for its second win in two years over a nationally ranked Denver squad after beating the Pioneers for the program’s first-ever win in 2010. But Denver went on a 13-4 second-half run to win the rematch in the Face-Off Classic in Colorado. Andrew Lay and Mark Matthews also recorded hat tricks for Denver.

Kenary scored two goals in a 59-second span in the first half to keep JU competitive. The second-year attacker needed just three shots to score three goals and capitalized on crisp passes from Cameron Mann and Mark Matthews to cut Denver’s lead to 5-4 with 5:16 left in the second quarter.

Senior Bobby Stockton, who scored six goals through the first two contests, extended his goal-scoring streak to three games when he found the net off Max Gurowski’s pass to make it 7-5 just 2:59 into the third quarter.

Denver closed the game on a 13-3 run from that point. Lay scored man-up and then added an even strength goal to extend Denver’s edge to 9-5. Demopoulos scored his last three goals in the final 25 minutes for the insurance markers.

JU was playing its second nationally ranked team in three games. The Dolphins faced No. 15 Georgetown in the season-opening Sunshine Classic before facing a Pioneers squad looking to move up in the top-20.

Mann continued his impressive start, compiling a goal and an assist. Mann and Kenary are tied for the JU lead with nine points. Despite the contributions from the first-unit, Denver still controlled play by winning 20-of-31 faceoffs. The Pioneers also went 18-for-18 on clear attempts.

JU will have a chance to get back on the field on Sunday when it faces Air Force in the second leg of the Face-Off Classic. Game time is set for 1 p.m. Eastern.

- By Brian Bohl