The Summit League men’s soccer schedule is heading into the last, hectic, winner-take-all weeks. Unlike prior seasons, there will not be an end-of-season Summit League men’s tournament and the regular season conference winner will be awarded an NCAA Tournament bid.
Each team in the Summit will have played ten games by the end of the season, as shown above. But due to COVID-19 postponements, though, DU will play four games between April 9th and 18th, a span of nine days. Cellar-dwelling Eastern Illinois has three games left, two against DU. Omaha has two games left, both against Denver. ORU, UMKC, and Western Illinois each have just one game left.
Denver is still in good shape for a potential title run.
ORU has a tough final match against Kansas City on April 10th and both teams will have to wait to see their fate as this will be their 10th and final match. If Denver can defeat last-place Eastern Illinois April 10th and 12th on the road, that will set up a showdown between Denver and Omaha for a 2-game home and home series to likely determine the conference champion and NCAA representative. But there is very little wiggle room for Denver.
Assuming all 10 games are played, a tie-breaker will depend on head-to-head competition. Denver dropped two matches to ORU at home so a tie with ORU would go to the Golden Eagles. A Denver split with Omaha with ORU in third place would damage DU because Omaha has a tie and a win against ORU – the Summit League tiebreaker uses the record against the top seed. A tie with Kansas City would favor Denver because Denver won both games against the Kangaroos while Omaha was swept by the Kangaroos. If Omaha and Denver end in a tie for first and UMKC is third, Denver would win because they had the better record against the Kangaroos.
Yes, it’s all very complicated but if Denver wins their remaining four games, they will win the Summit League and earn a trip to the NCAA Tournament. A tie or loss during the four-game stretch will likely set up a number of tiebreakers that may or may not fall in Denver’s favor.
Top photo courtesy of Denver Athletics