Sports scheduling for the Denver Pioneers, in all sports, is often an elusive and frustrating exercise.
Being located in Denver is the largest problem, as playing here requires plane rides and hotel stays for all but a handful of DU’s D-I opponents, which is tough for non-revenue sports. We don’t have the exact figures, but it’s probably a safe bet that about 85% of DU’s opponents must fly here to play us, and likewise, DU needs to fly its own mostly non-revenue sports teams to 85% of its opponents — a dynamic that puts a lot of pressure on athletic budgets and eliminates many opponents for cost reasons.
Then there is the mile-high altitude here, a factor that still scares a number of opposing coaches from flatter places. For example, in 2004, the University of Virginia men’s lacrosse team, ranked #1 nationally at the time, came out here to play both DU and Air Force, and lost both games. The Cavaliers’ coach publicly blamed the altitude for their stumbles, and the Cavaliers have not appeared on the DU home schedule since then. Who knows how many other opposing coaches privately loathe our altitude? Continue reading Puck Swami: DU and the Elusive Art of Sports Scheduling in Denver
Last mother’s day, we told you about former DU soccer star Kortne Ford’s mother, Laurie, who was battling aggressive terminal cancer. While she was given 3-6 months to live, her treatments have bought her valuable time and quality of life. Now, the cancer has returned and Ms. Ford will be undergoing a second round of aggressive treatment. These additional treatments are going to be expensive and Kortne has asked for our help on GoFundMe as well as our prayers.
Continue reading Former Denver Soccer star Kortne Ford needs our help
The hiring of University of Maine Athletic Director Karlton Creech as DU’s new Vice Chancellor for Athletics and Recreation looks to be a ‘safe’ hire for the University of Denver, likely to build incrementally on the legacy of the retiring Peg Bradley-Doppes, who spent the last 13 years in the position. Creech begins at DU on May 1, 2018.
DU wanted to hire a “sitting” AD and did just that. Creech will inherit a DU athletic program that is flying high as the best non-football athletic department in the country, but still faces many challenges going forward. Continue reading Puck Swami’s Rapid Reaction: DU’s Choice of Maine AD Karlton Creech is a “Safe Hire”
Denver faced a sky high Omaha team with an NCAA birth on the line at Caniglia Field Saturday afternoon. It was a physical, tense game as the two teams traded punches in a highly physical match.
DU had the best of the first few minutes but the best chance came early at 10:49 on a direct kick from UNO’s Xavier Gomez from above the box. His shot went directly into DU’s defensive wall. At 23:29, the game got chippy when Xavier Gomex picked up a yellow for stepping on DU’s Ryan Barlow after a foul. Then, at 25:42, the Pioneers Scott DeVoss took advantage of some disorganization in the box and slipped the ball past all-conference goalie Joseph Ghitis, DU 1-0. But UNO countered quickly with a breakout that led to a penalty kick on a tripping foul by DU’s Tosh Samkange in the box. After a long approach and stutter step, Xavier Gomez tucked the ball into the left corner of the frame to knot the match, 1-1. Several minutes later, at 32:10, DU’s Kenny Akamatsu got the ball in the box and made a dangerous turn and shot opportunity from 10 yards out – but the shot went high over the crossbar. The teams spent the rest of the half battling at midfield with no serious threats. The half ended 1-1. Denver led in shots 5-4 but Omaha had the advantage on shots on goal 3-2. Continue reading Denver Falls to Omaha in 2 OT’s and 11 Round Shootout 1-1 (9/8)
10. Omaha spends more on K-Cups than recruiting
9. The Pioneers have ended more Mavs seasons than referees’ whistle
8. Denver owns Omaha. The Pioneers are leasing Caniglia Field back to the Mavs for the playoffs
7. Omaha is so used to second place that they leave the top step empty for team photos Continue reading Top 10 Reasons to favor DU vs Omaha
#1 seed Denver men’s soccer (10-6-1 overall, 5-0-0 Summit) defeated #4 Eastern Illinois (4-8-6 overall, 2-2-1 Summit) on Thursday afternoon Summit League semifinal action.
It was far from ‘the beautiful game’ as Eastern Illinois came out playing a defensive style while Denver took possession and attacked, especially in the first half..
Denver dominated the first half with six shots on goal to one and dominated time-of-possession. The Panthers played a defensive game but Denver created a number of good chances. The Panthers started with a 4-3-3 defense and put the game in the hands of their Summit League goalkeeper of the year Mike Novotny. Blake Elder, Andre Shinyashiki and Jacob Stensson took turns firing at goal while Eastern was content to pull back in the defensive half. The most spectacular chance in the half occurred at 35:08 when a Blake Elder scissor kick in the box was on-frame but stopped by Novotny. But shortly thereafter, at 38:15, DU took command with a quick restart to catch the Panthers off guard as Blake Elder put his second chance past Novotny, DU 1-0. Continue reading Denver Men’s Soccer Plays the Patient Game in 1-0 Semifinal Win
Article Reprint from Omaha.com
“Sometimes I just sit here and stare,” said Jason Mims, Head Coach of the Omaha Mavericks. “It’s made such a difference to our program.”
Mims is talking about the Dodge Street pedestrian overpass, a ribbon of concrete and steel that winds its way over Dodge Street near the UNO campus and connects Elmwood and Memorial Parks.
Photo: The American Institute of Steel Construction named it “Most Beautiful Bridge” in the U.S. in 1969. Continue reading Coach uses bridge to build UNO Roster
Photo courtesy Denver Athletics
The University of Denver Pioneers women’s soccer program is going back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2013 thanks to the 85th minute heroics of senior forward Angelica Pacheco. Her goal gave the Pioneers a 2-1 lead after North Dakota State had tied it at 1 just minutes before on a penalty kick. The Pioneers bled out the rest of the clock to clinch the 2017 Summit League title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Continue reading Denver men’s and women’s soccer both punch postseason tickets
Photo credit Teddy Choi, University of Denver
In a sport where players utilize every inch of the field to work their way as unit with one common goal at stake; to put the soccer ball in the back of the net. Conversely, it takes an alternative mind to defend shots aimed at the 8-yard by 8-feet goal posts securing the net to the ground. Nick Gardner has that defensive mind. Continue reading Goals drive Denver goalie Nick Gardner to success in net
Photo: Denver plays host to the UNO at CIBER Field Saturday night
The dust had hardly settled on their first conference win this past weekend when Omaha Mavericks (8-4-2, 1-0-2 Summit) head coach Jason Mims told omaha.com, “Guys are always excited when we go to Denver. Denver (8-6-1 overall, 3-0-0 Summit) is always a good team. It’s always a hard place to play at, but I think our guys are always ready for that challenge. They know it’ll be a battle.”
Omaha is defending their regular season Summit League title from last season when they earned the title on a tiebreaker (conference goal differential) against DU.
Continue reading Denver Looks to Reclaim Summit League Regular Season Title