Denver Men’s Soccer (2-9-2, 0-2-1 Summit League) find themselves in an unusual position following a Saturday 1-0 OT loss to Oral Roberts on the road. They may miss their own hosted Summit League tournament unless they win their next two games against Omaha and Fort Wayne. Currently, Denver is mired near the bottom of the standings with Eastern Illinois (0-1-2) and Purdue Fort Wayne (0-3-0). DU must pass both teams in the next two games to finish in fourth place and qualify for the conference tournament in Denver from November 14th-16th. By any measure, this would be a shocking result.
Jamie Franks’ frustration boiled over following a 4-3 loss to Western Illinois October 12th. “I’m very disappointed with my group,” head coach Jamie Franks said. “The mentality of the group was wrong. We just got outworked today. The success of the program has always been built on three things that you can control: your positioning, your work rate, and your mentality. This season, this team’s work rate and their mentality have been poor. They have not been open to criticism. There has not been ownership every day to try to bring their best and get better. For that, we haven’t gotten results.”
But it didn’t get better, as another conference loss followed to Oral Roberts in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
— Denver MSoccer (@DU_MSoccer) October 20, 2019
Despite the disappointing results, Franks is not only a taskmaster with his players but he is equally tough on himself and a proponent of self-improvement. Everything is still possible, a conference tournament win and NCAA appearance, but the turnaround must begin this week against Omaha which is a must-win game. Denver must shore up their midfield play, control pace of play and set-up opportunities for their struggling offense.
Things are going significantly better with head coach Jeff Hooker’s Denver women’s soccer team, sitting at 7-4-3 and 3-0-1 in the Summit League. They are trailing South Dakota State 5-0-0 but face the Jackrabbits October 31st, the next to last game of the regular season with a chance to win the regular-season title. Wins against Omaha (2-0) and South Dakota (1-0) this past week leave them with a trip to North Dakota and three games in Denver before the Summit League Tournament in Brookings, South Dakota.
DU women’s volleyball sits at 13-6, 5-2 Summit League. With wins at Omaha this week (3-2) and a sweep of Western Illinois (3-0) at Hamilton Gym, Denver is getting more consistent play, especially on offense. They have nine matches left as they cycle through the Summit League teams for a second time. This gives the Denver players and staff an opportunity to evaluate their relative progress against the rest of the conference. DU trails Fort Wayne (6-2) by half a game but South Dakota 8-0 appears to have a clear path to the regular-season title if they don’t stumble. The key for coach Tom Hogan with such a new team is consistency and offensive improvement so his team peaks for the Summit League Tournament to be held in Denver November 22nd-24th. Overall, they are exactly where they thought they would be at the start of the season with South Dakota being their biggest threat for Summit League supremacy with a 19-1 overall record for the Coyotes.
And top-ranked Denver Hockey? Well they’re pretty good, too.