Category Archives: Skiing

DU Men’s Soccer Selected to Host NCAA Tourney Pod, will face Air Force or Central Arkansas this Sunday

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Andre Shinyashiki (#9), who leads the nation in goals with 28, will lead DU into the 2018 NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament.

The University of Denver Men’s Soccer team has been not only selected for the NCAA tournament, but rewarded with a #15 seed, a bye in the first round, and will host the winner of Air Force and Central Arkansas at DU on Sunday, Nov. 18 at 3 pm MT. 

If the Pioneers should win that home game, they will face the winner of #2 seed Indiana University’s pod of Indiana, University of Connecticut or the University of Rhode Island in the third round.   The full NCAA bracket is here: http://www.ncaa.com/brackets/soccer-men/d1/2018

There was certainly some concern last night that DU might not get to host an NCAA tourney game this season, as its RPI had fallen to #17 on the evening of tournament selection (only 16 teams are seeded, the other 32 at-large teams play each other for the right to advance to one of the 16 seeded home sites), but fortunately for DU, the NCAA tournament committee did not use straight RPI to seed the tournament.

In looking ahead, Air Force, with an at large bid, is the far better of the two teams (RPI#26) when compared with Central Arkansas (#67). However, Air Force is not playing well right now, having lost its last two games to Grand Canyon (#53 RPI).  That said, Air Force being only an hour from the DU campus would likely bring more fans to DU for the game than Central Arkansas, the Champion of the Missouri Valley Conference.

For the Pioneers, it is likely that Sunday’s game will be the last home field opportunity to watch Senior Andre Shinyashiki play for DU.  Shinyashiki’s 28 goals this season leads the nation by wide margin, and he may be enjoying the finest season ever for a DU athlete in any sport.  He is one of the favorites for the Hermann Trophy, college soccer’s national equivalent of the Heisman Trophy in football or the Hobey Baker award in college hockey.  Should Andre win that award, he could be considered DU’s finest athlete in the modern era, given that there are only 60 teams playing D-I hockey, where DU has two Hobey Baker Winners, Matt Carle in 2006 and Will Butcher in 2017, the only two DU team sports athletes to win a national MVP trophy. Since there are 206 teams playing D-I soccer, Shinyshiki’s achievement would be arguably greater than Carle or Butcher.  DU has also had individual NCAA D-I champions in gymnastics (Nina McGee in 2016), swimming (Jack Kelso in 1962) and many in skiing over the years, but it could be argued that individual national MVP awards in team sports are greater achievements, since there are opponents directly trying to physically stop an athlete from achieving them, versus individual sports where the clock or judges’ scoring determines win or loss status.

While Shinyashiki’s achievements are spectacular this year, detractors argue that most of his goals have come against lower level opponents, and that against top-25 teams, Andre’s goal scoring is much rarer. Let’s hope Andre and DU score more goals in the coming weeks, and that DU can advance deep into the tournament.

In any event, all DU fans should come to the soccer game this Sunday to cheer on Andre and the Pioneers in the NCAA tournament.

New Mexico Lobos facing drastic cuts

As soon as next season, Denver will likely not be facing New Mexico in either men’s soccer or skiing due to sweeping program cuts.

With mounting losses projected well into the future and after extensive study, University President Garnett S. Stokes and athletic director Eddie Nunez presented their recommendations to the University of New Mexico Board of Regents to drop athletic programs at the Albuquerque institution. While football remains relatively unscathed, elimination was proposed for skiing, men’s soccer, women’s beach volleyball, and diving. Other programs such as cross country are likely to face budget cuts and scholarship reductions. Continue reading New Mexico Lobos facing drastic cuts

With 2017 collapse in rearview mirror, Pioneers rally to claim 24th National Title

One year removed from collapsing on the final day of the 2017 NCAA Skiing National Championships, the University of Denver Pioneers ski team completed their season of redemption to claim their 24th National Championship, the most all-time. Rather than dominating from start-to-finish as the Pioneers have so many times, National Title No. 24 didn’t come as easily. Continue reading With 2017 collapse in rearview mirror, Pioneers rally to claim 24th National Title

2018 NCAA Skiing Championships Preview

Tim Healy is a special contributor to LetsGoDU with expertise and access to the DU Ski Team. Be sure to follow him on Twitter (@609Healy) as the NCAA Skiing Championships get underway.

It’s that time of year again. The second weekend of March brings us the annual NCAA Skiing National Championships and DU’s best chances to add to their already gigantic collection of national titles. This year’s championships are being held in the Pioneers’ backyard in Steamboat Springs, Colo. Continue reading 2018 NCAA Skiing Championships Preview

Five Denver Pioneers to compete in 2018 Olympic Winter Games in South Korea

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Troy Terry (DU’19) is one of  only four NCAA players to make the US Olympic Ice Hockey Team (Photo: University of Denver)

Your University of Denver Pioneers will be very well-represented when the Olympic Winter Games begin in Pyongchang, South Korea later this February 9th-25th, with five Crimson and Gold athletes set to compete, representing four different countries and two different sports. Continue reading Five Denver Pioneers to compete in 2018 Olympic Winter Games in South Korea

Puck Swami: DU Athletic leadership change offers new Vice Chancellor possibilities

Screen Shot 2017-08-27 at 11.01.04 PM(Photo Credits: University of Denver (Grahame, Peck), Swarthmore College (Akotaobi), Tulane University (Macneill), St. Cloud St. University (Weems), Blacktop Colorado (Willis)

We’ve now had a few days to process the major change in athletic leadership coming our way as DU fans: DU Vice Chancellor for Athletics and Recreation Peg Bradley-Doppes announced her retirement at the end of the 2017/18 school year.  While longtime DU Deputy Athletic Director Ron Grahame is taking over the athletic director’s day-to-day responsibilities immediately, DU also announced that a nationwide search would take place this year to ultimately fill the vice-chancellor’s position that Peg has filled so well for the last nearly 15 years. Continue reading Puck Swami: DU Athletic leadership change offers new Vice Chancellor possibilities

NCAA Skiing on thin ice?

The Division I Competition Oversight Committee plans to take a closer look this fall at NCAA Championship sports that have 50 or fewer sponsoring schools which includes one of Denver’s signature sports: skiing.

The NCAA emphasized that the purpose of the review is to “enhance sustainability”  and “not to undermine or eliminate a championship or implement policies and procedures that could negatively impact the student-athlete experience.”

Still, given the NCAA’s reputation, one has to wonder if the landscape of many of the NCAA supported non-revenue producing sports may change.  Continue reading NCAA Skiing on thin ice?

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

Denver spoiled by individual riches

Take in a University of Denver athletic event and you are likely to see some of the finest collegiate athletes in the country.

Exaggeration, you say? Hardly.

Denver fans love to boast about having the best teams in the land – but only one program can “win it all” in any given sport in any given year. An equally tough accomplishment is coaching and playing at a consistently high level. Continue reading Denver spoiled by individual riches