When Denver Pioneer midfielder Jeremy Noble and his senior teammates called a players-only meeting more than a month ago, he said he wanted things to change going forward in the Pioneers' season. With an overtime goal on Friday night, Noble changed Denver's season again, this time giving the Pioneers a 9-8 victory over Villanova and first-place in the Big East.
"It was a tough game," Noble told DenvePioneers.com after the game. "I don't think we played our best, but somehow we squeaked a win out there. We had a disjointed week with some of the things going on with our team, but (we) don't make any excuses. We got to be better, and it starts on Monday."
After Villanova tied the game with under two minutes remaining in regulation, Denver controlled possession in the overtime period. With forty-eight seconds left in OT, Noble got the ball and headed towards the goal, shaking his defender with a nice dodge to his left and scoring with thirty-eight seconds remaining.
Junior Wes Berg led all Pioneers with 4 points ( 2 goals, 2 assists), while junior Erik Adamson and freshman Tyler Pace each finished with a hat trick.
"Sometimes you have to win games ugly and tonight was that night," said head coach Bill Tierney. "With the weather conditions and playing on a short week of practice, I can't say enough, how proud I am of this team to grit out a win like we did tonight. In years past, we haven't been so fortunate in overtime and one-goal games so I'm happy with our effort and that we were able to get valuable experience from this win."
The Pioneers move to 3-0 in Big East play, with a record of 9-2 on the season. Denver will return home to Peter Barton Stadium to host St. John's on Saturday, April 12th, at 2:30pm MT.