Photo: Denver took to the Saint Louis University field for Tuesday night’s showdown
Denver (5-4-0) men’s soccer waited nine long days before playing Saint Louis (2-4-1) at Hermann Stadium. It must have seemed like an eternity for a coach and team looking for answers. For the visiting Pioneers, this match was all about building confidence before conference play starts in 10 days.
Denver had the momentum and the advantage the first 25 minutes of the contest.
DU’s midfielder Ryan Barlow scored on an assist from forward Andre Shinyashiki at 19:42 of the first half. Then, at 22:30 the duo struck again, Shinyashiki to Barlow, for their second hook-up of the evening to go up 2-0. Denver was in complete control and led in shots 5-2.
Saint Louis University picked up the pace over the next 20 minutes. The Billiken’s German midfielder, Lennart Hein, answered with a penalty kick goal on a DU hand ball in the box at 25:38 to draw within one goal of the Pioneers. The half ended 2-1, Denver, with Denver leading on shots 8-6 and even with 3 shots-on-goal.
To start the second half, the Billikens took the play to Denver the opening 25 minutes, taking the advantage in shots (11-8), shots-on-goal (4-3) and a 6-1 advantage on corners – but Nick Gardner and DU’s back line held strong.
Then, at 82:40, the Pioneer’s Alex Underwood iced the game with a free kick from 20 yards that curled inside the left post to make it 3-1, Denver. The bruising match ended with 21 fouls and 4 yellow cards – the type of fighting football that the Pioneers needed to play to win on the road against a desperate home side.
Denver finishes with Gonzaga on the road Saturday before starting Summit League play 7:00 PM on Saturday, October 7th against Eastern Illinois.