Category Archives: Men’s Soccer

Pioneer Men’s Soccer picked to excel

You probably saw the United Soccer Coaches’ Preseason Poll last week which has the University of Denver men’s soccer team at #3 in the country. Shortly the College Soccer News poll will be released and that will give us another opinion on the upcoming season.

Sure, preseason polls will become meaningless in a few weeks, but the Pioneers being ranked this high is simply incredible, especially after losing two stars to the MLS following last season – Kortne Ford and Sam Hamilton. Add a relative weak RPI conference, The Summit League, into the mix and the Pioneers will face pressure all season long to win games and extend their national profile under head coach Jamie Franks. The Pios last regular season or conference tournament loss was October 31st, 2014 at IUPUI (1-0). Continue reading Pioneer Men’s Soccer picked to excel

Pioneers reach unprecedented heights, finish in top 5 of Capital One Cup standings

After a year that saw the University of Denver athletic department experience a few exciting firsts…and an astounding, much-needed eighth, the Pioneers, DU’s men’s sports specifically, were properly recognized for a strong showing over the course of the year. As Florida topped LSU in the Men’s College World Series earlier this week, the 2016-17 NCAA Division I calendar came to an end. After the dust settled and the points were tallied, the DU men finished in the top five, number four to be exact, of the men’s Capital One Cup standings for the first time ever. Continue reading Pioneers reach unprecedented heights, finish in top 5 of Capital One Cup standings

Crimson & Gold touch propels Denver to national powerhouse status

Photo Courtesy University of Denver Magazine

LetsGoDU friend CD Dunks reminds us that there is no need to use the term ‘mid-major’. And the same goes for ‘secondary sport’ – i.e. any sport that is not called football or Power-Five conference basketball. The big question is: Has Peg Bradley-Doppes simply built one of the finest athletic department in the land?  Continue reading Crimson & Gold touch propels Denver to national powerhouse status

Former Pioneer star still needs our help

Photo: The Ford family and friends with Kortne Ford (mother right) on the Colorado Rapids’ visit to play Sporting KC earlier this season 

Having a sick parent is tough. But for DU alum and current Colorado Rapid Kortne Ford, only 21 years of age, he faces a mountain of challenges his first year away from DU.

Ford played soccer for three seasons for the University of Denver and was an outstanding student. After signing in January with the Rapids, he figured to be a backup this season. However, starting center back Axel Sjoberg is out for six to eight weeks because of an injury. So Ford has been getting starts for the Rapids. His head coach Pablo Mastroeni loves Ford’s attitude and effort. Continue reading Former Pioneer star still needs our help

Puck Swami: Denver Pioneer History Being Made Before Our Very Eyes

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At this very moment on Feb. 20, 2017, for the first time in history, our two flagship sports, ice hockey and men’s lacrosse, are both ranked #1 in the country in all the major polls of those two sports.

For our small private school in the Rockies with 5,500 undergrads and a budget 1/10th the size of some of the large D-I football powers, with our opponents spread out all over the country and requiring jet planes to get to 85% of DU away games, this is an astonishing, epic achievement.

Additionally, our men’s soccer team finished #3 in the country this fall. And our women’s gymnastics team is currently ranked #8 in the country, the highest the program has ever been ranked.  And DU women’s lacrosse is undefeated this year and ranked #14/15 in the country. And our nationally ranked swim teams (#20 men’s and #26 women’s) just swept the podium in EVERY EVENT at the Summit League Championships last week.

I say all this because we need to take a moment to realize just how frickin’ good our athletics program is right now.  No program in the country gets better performance for the buck than DU does.  And now is the time to tell your friends from bigger schools that the Pioneers are on top of the country in two sports.  Let’s hope both can end their seasons with a National Championship.

For those of us oldsters who remember the days when DU played hockey in a decrepit old WWII surplus naval drill hall and DU lacrosse played mostly clubs and small colleges on muddy fields in front of 50 people, we can only say how proud we are to see just how far DU has come as a national sports power.

Go Pios!

 

 

Kortne Ford authors textbook early exit

Sure, the University of Denver has been jolted before by star athletes that leave early. But most of these departures have been managed pretty well. It’s been a few weeks since it was announced that junior Kortne Ford had signed with the Colorado Rapids. While circumstances vary widely on why student athletes depart college programs early, Ford’s exit was engineered to the benefit everyone. Continue reading Kortne Ford authors textbook early exit

Dunk and Hamilton are latest (rare) members of DU first round draft club

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For the first time in Denver Pioneer soccer history, an MLS team selected a graduating  Denver soccer senior in the first round of the MLS SuperDraft, not once, but twice. Right back Reagan Dunk, a two-time all-American and the most decorated player in Denver history, was selected 13th overall by Real Salt Lake, and two picks later at #15, Denver midfielder Sam Hamilton, an native of Evergreen, Colo., was selected by the hometown Colorado Rapids.

These draft picks mark a high water mark in player development for the Denver soccer program. The Pioneers had six players selected in previous MLS drafts, but none of them were first round selections.  A first round pick is validation that players produced at DU were not only good enough to be selected in the top 15 of all college seniors this year, but also shows prospective recruits that Denver is a now a truly elite place to develop as a player. This should really help DU in recruiting top players with professional aspirations.

First round draft picks from the five major professional sports at DU are quite rare. Dunk and Hamilton are the latest members in a very elite club of only six DU athletes in all of major American professional sports to be first round draft selections.

DU Hockey has 112 players drafted by the NHL over the years, but has had only four first round NHL draft picks in its 65+ year history. Craig Redmond was first at #6 in 1984, Joe Colborne next at #16 in 2008, Beau Bennett was selected at #20 in 2010 and current Pioneer Henrik Borgström, was selected 23rd in the 2016 NHL Draft.

DU has never had a first round pick in the NBA draft, although some 15 DU players have been selected over the years, the highest of whom was Byron Beck, a second round draft pick in the 1967 draft who had his number retired after a long and productive career with the Denver Nuggets in the ABA and NBA.

DU has also never had a first rounder in the NFL Draft, either, although seven Pioneers were drafted by NFL teams prior to DU dropping the sport in 1961. The highest DU football draft pick was Greg Browning, who was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 6th round of the 1945 NFL draft.

Pioneer baseball, which ceased at the varsity level in 1998, also has 16 overall players drafted by Major League Baseball teams back in the day, but no first round selections. The highest regular-drafted player in DU history was Dan Schatzeder, a third round pick in 1976, who went on to a 15-year Major League pitching career, whose career highlight was being the winning pitcher in Game 6 of the 1987 World Series with the Minnesota Twins.

Welcome to the club, Reagan and Sam.

Go Pios.

Leftovers & Loose Ends: Denver Holiday Break Update

  • How do you replace gymnast superstar Nina McGee? Just sign-up one of the best Freshman in the country. DU’s  Maddie Karr posted the highest score at the Crimson & Gold meet in three events – 9.850 on vault, a 9.900 on the floor and a 9.950 on the beam.

Continue reading Leftovers & Loose Ends: Denver Holiday Break Update