In college lacrosse, the No. 1 ranking seems to be cursed in 2013. For the third week in a row, the top team in the nation fell from glory, and this time it was the Denver Pioneers. Denver fell to the Fairfield Stags for the second year in a row, and just like last year, it was an overtime thriller.
Interestingly enough, it was also the same goal scorer, Fairfield's Sam Snow, who scored the decisive point in overtime.
Denver, now 10-3, had a chance to wrap up the ECAC regular-season title but will have to wait to ensure the crown is theirs.
Although Snow was the hero in the end, Fairfield was led in scoring by Eric Warden, who recorded an impressive four-goal performance. Warden scored the Stags' final three goals in regulation to extend the game to overtime.
Denver has had its fair share of close games in 2013. Nine of its 13 games thus far have been decided by three goals or fewer, with the Pioneers closing most of those games out in winning fashion. This time, however, inconsistent goalie play and questionable pressure defense had Denver searching for answers. Despite good distribution on offense featuring eight different point scorers, Denver did not have enough in the final quarter to hold off a furious Fairfield run.
Denver desperately wanted to hold onto the No. 1 ranking for the remainder of the season and hopefully take the top spot in the tournament bracket as well. In a year as unpredictable as this one, the top spot will surely be coveted but certainly does not guarantee a Final Four run.
Notre Dame will most likely take over at No. 1 in the polls this week, as it was able to narrowly escape with a victory over a talented Villanova squad Saturday afternoon in South Bend.
Keep it locked to Bleacher Report, as we review the new rankings tomorrow morning!
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