Denver Earns NCAA Berth and Makes History During Wild Week

Denver men’s soccer (9-3-5, 4-1-1) had to play 220 minutes of soccer and win two nail-biting shootouts to emerge as conference Summit League Tournament champions in Macomb, Illinois. The Pioneers defeated UMKC (1-1, 4-3 PKs) and Oral Roberts (1-1, 3-2 PKs) in a hard-fought semifinal and final. The unlikely hero was back-up keeper Kobe Gray who head coach Jamie Franks inserted in both matches to defend penalties. Gray made key stops in both shootout sessions for the tournament win. Gray was named the tournament MVP in what is certainly a great trivia answer to the question: Name an NCAA conference tournament MVP who never played a minute in his team’s tournament regulation or overtime?

The game winning stop against ORU (below).

The NCAA selection show for men’s soccer is Monday at 11:00 am and Denver will find out their first-round opponent then.

DU women’s Triathlon competed in their first NCAA Championships at Tempe Town Lake, AZ. Denver earned an impressive 4th place finish. The future looks very, very bright going forward. Congratulations to head coach Barbara Perkins and her team on the outstanding season.

We told you about Denver Men’s Basketball’s (1-1, 0-0) first win under Jeff Wulbrun against Regis University. That was followed by a Friday night home loss to Ottawa (NAIA), Az. There is plenty to be encouraged about with this team. Fans need to remember that this is a new staff, new system and new players – they may as well be an expansion team. They appear to have four solid scorers, good coaching and the effort is strong. Positive results will follow but as the LetsGoDU season preview highlighted, it will take time and patience. Women’s hoops split with Air Force and Missouri S&T.

Denver volleyball (22-4, 12-2) split on the road. In the first match, despite the Pioneers going up two games to none against South Dakota, the Coyotes rallied for a 3-2 match win. Denver played on  the Sanford Coyote Sport court with nearly 1,000 fans cheering against the Pioneers. It will serve as great experience for DU to face this hostile environment before they return in two weeks to the same spot when it counts for an NCAA bid. In the second match, Denver swept South Dakota State (3-0) before returning home this week for two matches against Kansas City and Oral Roberts to conclude the regular season.

As usual, you can read up on DU hockey (6-4-0) on LetsGoDU as the Pioneers swept Western Michigan 5-3 on Friday night and 5-2 Saturday night.


2 thoughts on “Denver Earns NCAA Berth and Makes History During Wild Week”

  1. With Hockey and Soccer getting it done on the weekend, it’s easy to overlook DU hoops losing to an NAIA team, which is very, very rare at the D-I level.

    While that result carries some rightful humiliation with it, DU did at least fight back hard to push that game into the final seconds, so while not incredibly talented, they clearly do care.

    As far as I concerned, their season begins today by playing a D-I team for the first time – IUPUI in San Antonio.

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