Category Archives: Men’s Soccer

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

Penalty kicks to determine championships? Nah

In double overtime, DU came within about eight minutes of a penalty kick shootout against Wake Forest at the NCAA College Cup in Houston. Stanford then had a crazy 10-round shootout against North Carolina. Then, in the final on Sunday, Stanford won again, this time over Wake Forest, in a 5-4 shootout. To top it off, the Seattle Sounders won the 2016 Major League Soccer championship on Saturday, beating Toronto FC in the MLS Cup final on penalty kicks after 120 minutes failed to yield a single goal.

There has to be a better way. Continue reading Penalty kicks to determine championships? Nah

Denver drops 2-1 in devastating NCAA Semifinal thriller

Houston – Collapsing immediately in devastation as the ball hit the back of the net, the University of Denver Pioneers (20-1-3, 5-0-1 Summit) lost 2-1 in after battling the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (18-2-3, 5-1-2 ACC) on Friday, Dec. 9 in the semifinal of the College Cup.

The teams held a storied past as current DU head coach Jamie Franks played for Wake Forest from 2005-08 before becoming an assistant coach at Denver in 2011 and taking the helm last year. Current Wake Forest head coach Bobby Muuss was a mentor to Franks when he was the head coach of the Pioneers from 2007-14. Continue reading Denver drops 2-1 in devastating NCAA Semifinal thriller

Denver-Wake Forest is a reunion of sorts

You don’t need to look too far to find connections and similarities between the University of Denver and Wake Forest University. By now, it’s a pretty well-known fact that current DU head coach Jamie Franks went to Wake Forest and won the 2007 College Cup with the Deamon Deacons. Who was his predecessor at Denver, though? None other than current Wake Forest head coach Bobby Muuss. Continue reading Denver-Wake Forest is a reunion of sorts

LetsGoDU Joins Boone on the Road for Critical Texas Swing

LetsGoDU will be traveling to the DU vs. Texas A&M hoops game on Wednesday, December 7th in College Station and then down to Houston for the soccer Division I College Cup from December 9th-11th. Boone is going to be making the trip as well in the Boone Tour of Texas – follow his exploits here. Continue reading LetsGoDU Joins Boone on the Road for Critical Texas Swing

Puck Swami: Is the men’s soccer team making the 2016 College Cup DU’s greatest sporting achievement?

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When Denver centerback  Kortne Ford (above/Photo by David Grooms) carved open the Clemson backline to convert Alex Underwood’s cross to score the game-winning goal in Dec.2’s NCAA Soccer Quarterfinal with a minute left in the game to book a first-ever DU berth in the College Cup, it set off a big celebration for every Pioneer fan.

I would argue that it may have been one of DU’s greatest collegiate sporting achievements of all time.  Here’s why: Continue reading Puck Swami: Is the men’s soccer team making the 2016 College Cup DU’s greatest sporting achievement?