All posts by Puck Swami

Longtime University of Denver fan and alumnus.

“Go Denver Pioneers” Spirit Fund’s First Signage to Debut Tonight

Those of you who contributed to the “Go Denver Pioneers Spirit Fund” over the last 12 months will see the first fruits of your donations tonight at the Denver vs. Boston College Hockey Game!

The spirit fund has purchased over 100 re-usable DU fan signs and banners (see examples in the photo accompanying this story) designed to enhance the game-day experience in multiple different sections around Magness Arena.  This new signage will be available for use during games by season ticket holders and students, and the DU athletic department is handling game-day distribution and end-of-game retention.

This first signage investment represents less than 1/6th of the current fund so stay tuned for more purchases to debut later this season!

To make your contribution to the Go Denver Pioneers Spirit Fund, click this link,

Homecoming Weekend Student Tickets Sell Out in Record Time as Hockey Excitement Builds

The DU student ticket allotment for Homecoming weekend hockey tickets sold out in what a DU official said “has to be a record” amount of time this Wednesday morning shortly after going on sale to students.

DU hockey being the top-ranked team in the country this week and facing the sixth-ranked Boston College Eagles on Homecoming Weekend in the 2019-2020 home opener is certainly driving increased ticket demand.

A very limited supply of regular tickets is available here at this link.

2019 DU Grad Andre Shinyashiki Wins MLS Rookie-of-the-Year with Colorado Rapids

Andre Shinyashiki had the last laugh.

Snubbed for the NCAA’s Hermann Trophy last season despite scoring the most goals (28) in an NCAA season in more than 20 years, Andre didn’t pout. He just graduated from the University of Denver and took his talents across town to Major League Soccer’s Colorado Rapids, where he went out and won the 2019 MLS Rookie of the Year Award. Continue reading 2019 DU Grad Andre Shinyashiki Wins MLS Rookie-of-the-Year with Colorado Rapids

Denver Sinks Lakers 3-1 in Series Opener


The #2 Denver Pioneers topped the Lake Superior State Lakers in the opening game of the weekend’s two game series in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Denver had to overcome a first period 1-0 deficit with goals from Ian Mitchell (2nd of the year), Emilio Pettersen (1st), and Jaakko Heikkinen (1st). Magnus Chrona notched his third straight solid performance with 23 saves on 24 total shots and the penalty kill remained perfect on the year.

There will be more on this game come Sunday morning in our road weekend recap. What are your thoughts on this game?

DU Men Escape With Lucky 2-1 Victory Over University of the Pacific Tigers


Denver’s Bailey Heller (#4 at left) scored his first college goal with 10 minutes left in the game — the game-winner against Pacific, and earned a joyous celebration from his DU teammates. Photo: Jason Evans for LetsGoDU

Sometimes, the Soccer Gods can be cruel to our opponents, too.

In a very ugly defensive game that Denver frankly didn’t deserve to win, the Pioneers were able to do just enough on a pair of set pieces to sneak away with a 2-1 victory over the gutty and spirited University of the Pacific Tigers, before just over 500 fans at DU Soccer Stadium on this sunny October 6th afternoon.

DU redshirt Sophomore Bailey Heller’s half-volley game-winning goal in the 80th minute provided the thin margin of victory and the DU win was only the third in this brutal season to date. The Pioneers (3-6-2) were badly outplayed for much of the game by Pacific (3-7-1) from the West Coast Conference, who controlled the possession all afternoon, and outshot DU, 13-7 in the first-ever soccer game between the two schools. Continue reading DU Men Escape With Lucky 2-1 Victory Over University of the Pacific Tigers

Former DU coach Todd Rinehart rises to top of college admissions field

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Former DU assistant basketball coach Todd Rinehart, now DU’s Vice-Chancellor for Enrollment, was recently elected President of the National Association for College Admissions Counseling. Photo: NACAC

Todd Rinehart, a former DU basketball assistant coach and currently DU’s Vice Chancellor for Enrollment, has just been elected by his national peers to become the new President of the 15,000+ member National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC). Continue reading Former DU coach Todd Rinehart rises to top of college admissions field

Denver Shoots, But Can’t Score in 0-0 Draw with Eastern Illinois

DU’s Preston Judd (#9 in white) battles with Eastern Illinois’ Edgar Mesa Perez (#2 in blue) during the 0-0 draw at Denver Soccer Stadium Sept. 28.  Judd had seven of DU’s 27 shots on the day. Photo: Jason Evans for LetsGoDU.

As DU has found out this season, the Soccer Gods can be cruel.

There were 632 fans watching at DU soccer stadium on this sunny Saturday afternoon, but most of them went home disappointed as the Pioneers could not manage to score a goal on a depleted Eastern Illinois team, as DU tied the Panthers, 0-0 in the Summit League opener for both teams.

DU dominated the game, taking 27 shots, with eight of them on goal and earning 64% ball possession, with EIU only managing 3 shots and none of them on goal. But alas, with only a total of four Denver goals scored in the eight DU games played so far this season, the Pioneers’ offensive inability to finish killed DU’s chances for a victory once again.

“We need more urgency from this group,” said DU head coach Jamie Franks of his team after the game to Pioneer Vision. “Only 38 more days of this season is guaranteed…We need our leaders to step-up, and we need everyone to step-up…We need to score goals.”

With the draw, DU fell to 1-5-2 on the season, while EIU fell to 3-3-1.

Some of the Pioneers’ best chances came late as DU pushed extra hard for a game-winner in overtime, as DU took all 10 shots in the extra sessions, including a header from junior Josh Drack that hit the EIU crossbar.

Denver’s Stefan DeLeone had a pair of shots in the 0-0 Draw. Photo: Jason Evans for LetsGoDU.

The Panthers, who played most of the latter 50 minutes of game time with 10 men and also had a second player red-carded in the 86th minute to play with nine men for the final 24 minutes, hung-on gamely to achieve the draw with the more talented Pioneers. The Panthers were led by eight saves from redshirt Sophomore goalie Jonathan Burke.

DU now faces another travel stretch, with five of its next six games coming on the road as the Pioneers try put themselves into position to finish in the top four in the Summit League in order  to play in the League tournament here in Denver in November.

DU will jump on a plane to face a different Panther team next, as the Pioneers travel to the University of Pittsburgh (ACC) for a Monday night game.



Pioneer Soccer Upset Bid Falters Late in 2-1 Loss to #8 SMU Mustangs in Overtime

Josh Drack
DU’s Josh Drack (left) scored this go-ahead goal in the 83rd minute, but the Pioneers fell 2-1 to the Eighth-Ranked SMU Mustangs in OT.  Photo: University of Denver

This loss will be one the University of Denver Pioneer Men’s Soccer team will remember for a long time as eighth-ranked Southern Methodist University foiled DU’s late upset bid, ripping out the Pioneers’ heart with a game-tying goal in the final 2 minutes, then flat-out eating the Pioneers’ heart with a game-winner in overtime, 2-1 on Sept. 21 in Denver. The SMU win exacted revenge on the Pioneers for last year’s 1-0 Denver win over the Mustangs in Dallas.

Things were looking really good for DU as the second half clock ticked down in a tight game. DU’s Josh Drack had just scored a pretty go-ahead goal for the Pioneers with less than seven minutes remaining in regulation time, against the run of play in the second half, and the Pioneers were suddenly leading #8th ranked SMU, delighting a large crowd of over 1500 fans at DU soccer stadium on “Bark-in-the-Park” night home opener.

But with the big upset seemingly just within the Pioneers’ grasp, the DU wheels came off in the final two minutes of regulation, as SMU’s Garrett McLaughlin poked-home a game-tying goal with just 1:25 left in regulation in a goal-mouth scrum, forcing overtime at 1-1.

And once again, DU found a way to lose on overtime this season, letting SMU’s leader Eddie Munjoma dance free for a rocketing shot that beat DU goalie Will Palmquist to win the game for the Mustangs in the third minute of overtime.

SMU had dominated the second half of the contest, out shooting DU 12-3 after DU was better in the first half, as DU missed some strong chances to score early in the contest.

SMU improved to 7-0-0 on the season, and the Pioneers fell to 1-5-1.


Denver Pioneer Sarah Thomas becomes first to swim four English Channel laps

DU Alumnus Sarah Thomas during her record English Channel Swim/Photos: London Independent

DU Pioneer alumni women simply dominate the world in long-distance feats of human sporting endurance, with performances that leave the most capable far behind. Continue reading Denver Pioneer Sarah Thomas becomes first to swim four English Channel laps

DU falls to #97 in US News Rankings; Continues 8-Year rankings backslide

In some disappointing news, the University Denver has fallen an additional slot from #96 to #97 in yesterday’s (Sept. 9) release of the annual US News and World Report Ranking of National Universities, the most well-known US university ranking system. The fall marks yet another downward notch in a near-continuous DU backslide since 2012 when DU ranked #82, and brings DU another step closer to falling out of the top 100 altogether. Continue reading DU falls to #97 in US News Rankings; Continues 8-Year rankings backslide