Category Archives: Men’s Sports

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.

 

DU Men’s Lacrosse Schedule: Duke & North Carolina to make trek to Denver

Photo courtesy of DU Athletics

On Thursday, the University of Denver Men’s Lacrosse program was the first Division I lacrosse program to release its 2020 schedule. Just a few months removed from missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time since Bill Tierney took over the program in 2009, the Pioneers revealed another tough, exciting schedule, especially at home. The Pios’ 2020 schedule features two perennial powers – Duke & North Carolina – returning to Denver for the first time since 2017. Continue reading DU Men’s Lacrosse Schedule: Duke & North Carolina to make trek to Denver

Denver Athletics Update

  • DU’s men’s soccer team is a surprising 0-3-1 after the first four games of a brutal six-game road stretch.  LetsGoDU will be covering Denver soccer live in Palo Alto and Berkeley, California as Denver finishes up their long road trip against Stanford and Cal this weekend before returning home. Goal scoring has been this team’s Achilles heal. They could use the graduated Andre Shinyashiki, just named MLS Player of the Week. DU is the Summit league coaches pre-season favorite to win the conference with second place Omaha (0-3-1) currently holding the same record as the Pioneers.

Continue reading Denver Athletics Update

Pioneer Athletics officially off the air

Looking forward to watching DU soccer, volleyball, hockey on TV this fall? Well, unfortunately, DU athletics are now off the air along with the rest of Altitude TV’s programming in its 10 state region if you have Comcast/Xfinity, DISHTV or Direct TV. And, Altitude TV claims that streaming content is not a feasible, economic option to do an ‘end run’ around the Big Three.

Altitude is also the home network for the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, NBA’s Denver Nuggets, MLS’ Colorado Rapids and NLL’s Colorado Mammoth. Should it last that long, the dispute ratchets up on October 3rd when the Colorado Avalanche are scheduled to return to Altitude’s lineup with their regular season opener and October 5th when DU hockey hits the ice.

Altitude’s coverage-area includes Colorado, Utah, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota, and Wyoming. DirectTV and Dish Network also provide nationwide coverage for Pioneer Nation so this will impact all Pioneer fans. Continue reading Pioneer Athletics officially off the air

WAC wobbles as Chicago State circles the drain

The University of Denver’s former and short-lived conference, the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), recently added Cal-Baptist to stabilize the ‘conference of last resort.’ Then, Cal State Bakersfield announced its intention to go to the Big West and UMKC recently announced its plans to flee back to the Summit League. The WAC again returns to eight members with the future addition of Dixie State (Utah) to add stability but not necessarily respectability.

Now, another WAC member is on the ropes. According to an August article in the Chicago Crusader, “Student-athletes and coaches are concerned about the University’s commitment to Division I athletics”. With an interim athletic director, no sports information director, only one trainer for the entire department and no compliance manager, it is now only a matter of time until the Cougars fold their tent. Continue reading WAC wobbles as Chicago State circles the drain

Pioneer Athletics caught in the middle of TV network distribution war

It seems like every year, this financial war dance seems to happen between cable content providers and their associated distribution networks. And, barring an eleventh hour miracle agreement, we will have another one begin to directly and adversely affect viewers starting Saturday night at midnight.

And cable continues to be the only consumer product that is purchased and 80-90% thrown away by the consumer.

Altitude TV is the major television partner and provider for DU athletics, covering men’s and women’s soccer, basketball, lacrosse, hockey, women’s gymnastics, and volleyball. Altitude is also the home network for the NHL Colorado Avalanche, NBA Denver Nuggets, MLS Colorado Rapids and NLL Colorado Mammoth and is currently in negotiations with Comcast/Xfinity, DISH Network and DIRECTV to keep its sports programming channel on those three major cable and satellite distribution platforms.

According to Colorado Hockey Now, “The “carriage” contracts between Altitude TV and Denver and surrounding’s big three cable providers – DISH Network, Comcast/Xfinity and DirecTV – are expiring and the two sides are…not anywhere close to an agreement to re-up with each other.

In the case of DISH, the contract has already expired and Altitude is NO LONGER AVAILABLE right now. At midnight Saturday (tonight), Altitude will vanish from both Comcast and DirecTV if there is no new agreement. Continue reading Pioneer Athletics caught in the middle of TV network distribution war

Puck Swami’s Rapid Reaction: Creech Reorganizes DU Athletics Division

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DU Vice Chancellor for Athletics Karlton Creech/Photo Credit: DU

DU’s Vice Chancellor for Athletics and Recreation Karlton Creech has reorganized the athletic department’s structure after 17 months of observing DU’s high-performing athletic division. The changes come following the long-planned retirement of Ron Grahame, Creech’s principal deputy, who is retiring this week after decades of service to DU. 

Joining DU will be three new faces — former Maine Senior Associate Director of Athletics Lynn Coutts; former Miami (Fla.) Senior Associate Athletic Director for Administration Josh Boone; and former Miami (Fla.) Assistant Athletic Director for Annual Giving Emily Boone. Two of these three new faces (Coutts and Josh Boone) will be on Creech’s senior team, along with several promoted DU veteran leaders taking on greater roles under Creech, specifically Deputy Athletic Director and Chief Revenue Officer Brandon Macneill, Deputy AD and Chief Operating Officer Stu Halsall and Deputy AD for Community and Diversity Bob Willis. Continue reading Puck Swami’s Rapid Reaction: Creech Reorganizes DU Athletics Division

Ron Grahame officially sets September 1 retirement date, DU announces

Photo: Courtesy of The Denver Post

As expected, Vice Chancellor for Athletics, Recreation and Ritchie Center Operations Karlton Creech spent his first year observing department operations while making few operational or personnel changes. One of his key lieutenants during this period was Ron Grahame, who acted as Interim Athletic Director following Peg Bradley-Doppes’ departure and currently holds the title of Associate Vice Chancellor & Department Athletic Director. During his long career, Ron provided an experienced and steady hand, especially when it came to DU hockey operations, Denver’s premier sport.

During the 2018-2019 academic year, DU Athletics finished yet another year of incredible success with their 11th Director’s Cup in 12 years.

Now, according to Denver Athletics, Ron Grahame will retire in about two weeks, on September 1st, followed by a handful of other changes within DU’s athletic department. We will have more on Ron Grahame’s storied career and contributions to the University in an upcoming feature but anyone who knows Grahame knows that he put DU athletes first in all of his decisions. A native of Victoria, British Columbia, Grahame was one of the greatest goaltenders in DU Hockey history. He played in the NHL and spent most of his professional career supporting and guiding Denver athletics. He will be truly missed by all at DU. Continue reading Ron Grahame officially sets September 1 retirement date, DU announces

Cozy Summit League relationships cast dark shadow over Augustana

Photo: Courtesy of Argus Leader. The new Summit League’s office in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on the Sanford Health Campus is now nearing completion. 

Conference coaches jokingly refer to the Summit League as the ‘Sanford League’. But let’s hope the Dakota-centric league rethinks their reliance on North and South Dakota for new members. With only 880,000 people in South Dakota and 760,000 people in North Dakota, a fifth DI member from one of the two states, Augustana University, may be too many – even for die-hard locals.

Can a small state like South Dakota support a third Division I program? Will Augustana cannibalize other South Dakota member fan bases? Will the addition of yet one more member persuade non-Dakota members to either depart or deter new member schools from other states from joining? Continue reading Cozy Summit League relationships cast dark shadow over Augustana