DENVER (CBS4) - The University of Denver Pioneers continued to celebrate their first-ever national championship in men's lacrosse with a big party on campus Tuesday evening.
It was the first lacrosse champion west of the Appalachian Mountains.
The team was supposed to hold a rally at Peter Barton Lacrosse Stadium, but the clouds chased everybody inside to Hamilton Gymnasium.
Judging from the turnout, it's quite obvious Colorado has fallen in love with lacrosse, and DU head coach Bill Tierney is a big reason why. The legendary coach won six national titles at Princeton. He's then shocked the lacrosse world when he moved out west in 2009. Since then he's built a lacrosse powerhouse at DU.
"We knew the sport was growing out here, but we wanted to be the one that said, 'We are the lacrosse capital of the West.' And we are one that other people model after if they want to have a great program out West," Tierney said.
Even though the Pioneers will lose eight seniors, the team is still loaded with talent as Tierney has built the program for the long haul. But one senior who will be missed for sure is Wesley Berg, who scored five goals in the championship game against Maryland and is proud to bring the championship to the West.
"It's really special for us, especially to represent the West and the growth of the game," Berg said. "It's just awesome for our program and for DU and for our team."
Now fans can look forward to seeing more of sophomore Connor Cannizzaro who has found a home in Denver after ironically transferring from Maryland.
"We didn't really think much about Denver … it was mostly East Coast growing up, but now that we're here … lacrosse is amazing, the atmosphere out here is awesome," Cannizzaro said. "It's probably one of the best places to play in the country. So we love it.
"(The seniors) were amazing this year, we really followed them, we went as they went. They're going to be hard to replace, but we have a lot of young guys and a lot of young talent coming in and just developing throughout. So we're excited."
Tierney told CBS4's Vic Lombardi that he has no plans of leaving DU anytime soon.
"I'm hoping that we're about to sign another long-term contract pretty soon," Tierney said. "This is my home now and we did something for 22 years to the great University of Princeton -- I feel like we're just getting started."
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