#1 Denver Scrapes by #4 Kansas City in PKs to Advance to Summit League Final

#1 seed Denver men’s soccer (10-3-3, 5-1-1) took to the field in Macomb, Illinois against the #4 UMKC Kangaroos (3-8-4, 2-3-2) Thursday morning in the Summit League semifinals, a mere five days after tieing the Roos 1-1 in Kansas City. The teams were tied after regulation and two overtime periods but Denver won in penalty kicks, 4-3. While the win takes Denver to their 8th straight Summit League Final, a win in PKs against a sub-.500 team is a warning signal for a Denver team that has openly stated its national aspirations. Today’s narrow win is more worthy of a sigh of relief than an unbridled celebration. 

Denver could only score three goals in regulation in their last five matches. Not the long-term formula necessary to play winning ‘knockout football’. In today’s match, the Pioneers could only muster 5 shots on goal in 110 minutes. Yes, DU did outshoot UMKC 17-6 and 5-1 on shots-on-goal in regulation and overtime but the Pioneers continue to show a troubling inability to score goals to put matches away.

The match probably shouldn’t have gone to PKs, though, as the video below pretty clearly shows. Denver should have clearly been awarded a penalty shot but apparently, the referees were too busy checking their phones to pay attention to the match at hand.

The Summit League also switched the match to ESPN+ rather than stream it on the Summit League website or on team streaming platforms. As a result, a number of interested soccer fans could not follow a video feed of the semifinal match. This was a poor decision when fans follow their teams all season long and then must purchase other formats to watch.

Denver’s PK goals were scored by Eli Mereness,  Sam Bassett, Aiden O’Toole and Lucas Russo. DU’s Kobey Grey was inserted in goal for the shootout and made key stops for Denver.

Denver plays the winner of the Omaha vs Oral Roberts winner on Saturday at 12 pm MT in Macomb, Illinois.


Top photo of John Mackenzie Alumni Field in Macomb, IL courtesy of  WIU Athletics

2 thoughts on “#1 Denver Scrapes by #4 Kansas City in PKs to Advance to Summit League Final”

  1. Muted applause. Certainly a survive-and-advance scenario that I am glad Denver won. Yes, the conditions were windy, but DU was not playing Liverpool today – just a below .500 Summit League #4 seed in UMKC, who pushed DU to PKs.

    Now it’s on to the Summit final against ORU.

    Time to score some goals and get out of the offensive funk that they have been in for weeks now.

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