The Denver Pioneers entered last season’s NCAA tournament ranked as the No. 2 overall team. In their first game, they met a disappointing end to their year with a loss to the Towson Tigers. Now, the Pioneers are ranked third overall, with their first game against the 17th ranked Air Force Academy Falcons coming on Saturday.

The Falcons are coming off of a win over a Duke team that is ranked 10th, where they went on a five-goal run to take the lead for good halfway through the third quarter. With already beating a ranked opponent, Air Force will try to carry this momentum into their match against DU.

Yet, the Falcons will have their hands full with the amount of experience returning to the Pioneers roster. DU will be returning their goalie, sophomore Alex Ready, who started all 16 games his freshman year, going 13-3. Also returning are junior faceoff stud Trevor Baptiste, and Tewaarton Award finalist senior Connor Cannizzaro.

The game between these two elite western teams is set to face off on Saturday, Feb. 11 at 1 p.m. MT at DU’s Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium.