No. 6 seed Denver isn't sure whether senior attackman Todd Baxter will be able to suit up for Saturday's NCAA tournament quarterfinal against No. 3 seed Johns Hopkins at James M. Shuart Stadium in Hempstead, N.Y.
Baxter, who has been an everyday starter alongside junior Mark Matthews and junior Alex Demopoulos, is dealing with a high right ankle sprain and partially torn knee ligament that sidelined him for the Pioneers' 13-10 victory over Villanova in the first round this past Sunday.
"Todd, as he tells me, he gets better every day," Denver coach Bill Tierney said during his weekly press conference with area media. "I know less than he knows and he knows a lot less than what the doctors know. So we'll see."
Without Baxter – who has registered 28 goals and 18 assists this season – the team turned to sophomore Eric Law, a transfer from Salisbury. Law contributed a goal and an assist against the Wildcats.
Tierney said despite not being able to play, Baxter hasn't let his injuries prevent him from trying to assist the team.
"Todd's been an inspiration," Tierney said. "The first thing that Todd did Monday [last week] when he got out there on his crutches was to go to Eric Law and reassure Eric that he would be there for him. and he was all week. Eric's a pretty talented kid anyway. We're different without Todd. We lose a little bit of that – as [offensive coordinator Matt] Brown calls them – 'energy goals,' riding goals, those kinds of things. Whether Todd will be back or not, he probably wouldn't be 100 percent. He'll be an inspiration more than anything, and we're hoping for good things to happen later in the week."