Category Archives: Men’s Soccer

Denver Resurrects Season, Earns NCAA Bid

Photos: Courtesy Jason Evans. Pioneers celebrate Judd’s game winning goal (above).

The low point came a month ago (10/19) with a loss to Summit League member Western Illinois. Said head coach Jamie franks, “I’m very disappointed with my group. The mentality of the group was wrong. We just got out worked today. The success of the program has always been built on three things that you can control: your positioning, your work rate and your mentality. This season, this team’s work rate and their mentality have been poor. They have not been open to criticism. There has not been ownership every day to try to bring their best and get better. For that, we haven’t gotten results.”  The team fell to 2-7-2 overall, 0-1-1 Summit League. Continue reading Denver Resurrects Season, Earns NCAA Bid

DU Men’s Soccer Wins Do-or-Die Game, 3-1 over Purdue Ft. Wayne Mastodons

EI-gIcMX0AARDuVThe assignment for Denver Pioneers men’s soccer was a very simple one – either win or tie at Purdue Fort Wayne in the final Summit League regular season game and DU would advance to the Summit League Tournament in Denver next weekend.  But if DU lost, the Denver season would be over and DU would be humiliated with a 5th place league finish (and four other Summit teams above them would play on their field in Denver next weekend). 

Fortunately for the Pioneers, they passed the test, whipping the Mastodons, 3-1, outshooting Purdue Fort Wayne 34-9, including 20-5 on goal.  The Denver victory also secured the Pioneers a three seed in the Summit Tournament next weekend.  Should Denver win the next two league tourney games on its home field, it can win the Summit League title and the accompanyng NCAA tourney autobid.

Denver was led by Junior Preston Judd (Henderson, Nev.) who scored twice inside the opening 21 minutes, and the Pioneers never looked back.

Judd’s multi-goal match was the fourth of his collegiate career and his first as a Pioneer, while sophomore centerback Callum Stretch (Los Angeles, Calif.) scored his first collegiate goal to help secure the vital twin for the Pioneers.

With the win, Crimson and Gold now will play in the 4 p.m. MT semifinal against either Western Illinois or Oral Roberts next Thursday.

The Pioneers were control for basically the entire 90 minutes, taking eight of the 10 corner kicks in the 90 minutes.

Denver opened the scoring in the ninth minute on a strike from over 30 yards from Judd, knocking the ball into an open net after getting the first touch to the ball in a battle with Purdue Fort Wayne’s centerback. After touching the ball by his defender, Judd looked up and saw the goalkeeper well out of his net before accurately passing the ball inside the far post to give Denver the lead.

Purdue Fort Wayne equalized in the 15th minute from the penalty spot as Nemanja Gvozdic put his spot kick into the back of the net to level the score at 1-1.

Stretch quickly put the Pioneers back in-front in the 20th minute, blasting a right-footed strike from outside of 30 yards into the upper-90 to restore Denver’s one-goal advantage — a goal that would be the game-winner.

Judd’s second doubled Denver’s advantage at 3-1 in the 21st minute, a curled effort from outside the box that was assisted by freshman Aidan O’Toole (The Hills, Texas) and sophomore winger Stefan DeLeone (Fort Collins, Colo.). O’Toole’s assist marked the first point of his collegiate career, while DeLeone earned his first helper of the campaign and the fourth of his two-year Pioneer career.

Denver’s second and third goal came just 1:42 apart, the 15th fastest consecutive goals in Denver’s Division I history. The WAC’s leader in goals a year ago, Judd, now has six goals in the 2019 campaign and 28 for his career.

The Pioneers will host the 2019 Summit League Men’s Soccer Championship next weekend. Third-seeded Denver will play in the second semifinal, scheduled to kickoff at 4 p.m. MT, against either Oral Roberts or Western Illinois. 


Denver Gets New Life in 2-0 Victory Over Omaha

Denver (4-9-3, 2-2-1 Summit League) waited this season until it meant the most before rising up for a signature win against the Omaha Mavericks (3-8-3, 2-2-1 Summit League), 2-0, Saturday night in a must-win match.

Earlier in the day, Western Illinois 3-1 (Summit League) defeated Eastern Illinois (0-2-2). Combined with Denver’s win over Omaha tonight, the Pioneers moved into a playoff spot for the 4-team Summit League Playoffs to be held in Denver November 14th-16th. Denver can cement their playoff spot with a win at Fort Wayne (3-12, 0-3 Summit League) Saturday, November 9th. Continue reading Denver Gets New Life in 2-0 Victory Over Omaha

Final Fall Stretch Features Optimism and Desperation

Denver Men’s Soccer (2-9-2, 0-2-1 Summit League) find themselves in an unusual position following a Saturday 1-0 OT loss to Oral Roberts on the road. They may miss their own hosted Summit League tournament unless they win their next two games against Omaha and Fort Wayne. Currently, Denver is mired near the bottom of the standings with Eastern Illinois (0-1-2) and Purdue Fort Wayne (0-3-0). DU must pass both teams in the next two games to finish in fourth place and qualify for the conference tournament in Denver from November 14th-16th. By any measure, this would be a shocking result. Continue reading Final Fall Stretch Features Optimism and Desperation

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

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

Weekend featured scoring drought, solid nonconference finale, and road split

The greatest surprise of the fall season has been DU men’s soccer (1-5-2) scoring just four goals in nine matches. At this pace, at the end of the regular season, they will be sitting with 9 goals, well below their 10-year 30.7 goals per season average. The two lowest-scoring seasons in the last ten years have been 2009 and 2017 when the Pioneers found net 25 times. And, last season behind Andre Shinyashiki’s 28 goals, Denver had their highest goal output. Saturday’s 0-0 draw against conference foe Eastern Illinois leaves the Pioneers 0-0-1 in Summit League regular season play. Continue reading Weekend featured scoring drought, solid nonconference finale, and road split

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.