It was another solid weekend for Denver athletics along with some disappointment, too. Continue reading Hockey Wins Highlight DU Athletics Weekend Results
DU Men’s soccer (7-2-5, 2-0-2) played to a frustrating 1-1 draw against Kansas City Saturday night. Three straight draws and less than one goal scored per game over their last eight games have shown yet another season where DU struggles to score goals. Denver appears to still have a solid back line, giving up occasional dangerous runs, and consistently controls the midfield. Unfortunately, the front-line players lack the creativity to finish and take the pressure off their back line. DU has two road trips (Eastern Illinois 10/29 and Lindenwood (11/2) and a finale against Western Illinois (11/5) at Pioneer Field to find some scoring magic. Denver is in a tight regular season race with Omaha, Kansas City, and Oral Roberts separated by a game or less. Continue reading Mixed Results For Denver Athletes Heading into Homecoming Week
Registration is still open for this year’s Denver Athletics Hall of Fame awards dinner to be held Friday, October 15th, 6-9 pm MT ahead of the Hall of Fame hockey game against Air Force on Saturday at Magness Arena. Originally scheduled for last year, but postponed due to COVID-19, this year’s induction class is one of the most impressive groups of athletic alumni ever assembled at DU. Continue reading DU Athletic Hall of Fame Inductions Slated for October 15th
Former Denver Pioneer swimmers Bailey Andison and Adriel Sanes have been chosen by Canada and the U.S. Virgin Islands, respectively, to swim for their countries at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, starting later this month in Tokyo, a year later than planned, of course, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and DU will also have gymnastics alum Simona Castro appearing in her third Olympics for Chile, her home country. Continue reading Two Former Pioneer Swimmers, One Former Gymnast Selected for Tokyo Olympics
It is #1Day4DU again and time to consider an annual gift to the University of Denver and, especially, any number of our successful women’s athletic programs. Head volleyball coach Tom Hogan sums it up best: “Our entire athletic department is still recovering from the financial losses we incurred during the COVID year, and every team has been impacted in one way or another through reduced budgets. It’s critical to our long-term competitiveness that we get back our financial footing, so that we can compete with top tier division one programs, and provide an amazing experience for our student-athletes.” Continue reading #1Day4DU – Spotlight on Women’s Athletics
Over this past weekend, DU earned two NCAA Tournament soccer berths, one by the old-fashioned way and the other via a COVID shortened season. Also, Denver women’s swimming won the Summit League in Fargo, North Dakota. First place women’s and men’s lacrosse teams experienced overtime highs and lows on road trips but both remain in first place in the BIG EAST. Continue reading Conference Championships Highlight DU’s Weekend
DU has formally announced its 2020 Athletic Hall of Fame inductees.
The ceremony will feature a return to campus by hockey head coach George Gwozdecky, one of Denver’s greatest coaches, who led DU to a pair of national championships, multiple NCAA appearances and an imposing 443-267-64 record in 19 years with the Pioneers between 1994 and 2013. The evening is sure to be a special one as ‘Coach Gwoz’ finally gets some of the eternal recognition that he so richly deserves as a legend in the Pioneer family. Continue reading Coach George Gwozdecky Headlines DU’s 2020 Hall of Fame Class Induction Event
DU Pioneer alumni women simply dominate the world in long-distance feats of human sporting endurance, with performances that leave the most capable far behind. Continue reading Denver Pioneer Sarah Thomas becomes first to swim four English Channel laps
While men’s hockey and lacrosse take up the lion’s share of fan interest for most Pioneer fans, it’s important to recognize some other DU athletic teams who continue to climb higher into national prominence and greater conference impact:
- The 13th-ranked DU women’s lacrosse team beat its very first top five opponent since coach Liza Kelly took the helm in 2006, upsetting (#6/#4) Stony Brook (N.Y.) University, 11-7, behind Bea Behrins’ three-goal hat trick. This was a statement win for the program. The Pios have been a top-20 program for a while now, but have had trouble beating the very top echelon teams. Sunday’s win over SBU kept DU undefeated at 4-0 and may see the Pioneers knocking on the door of a top-10 ranking. The Michigan Wolverines come to town this Tuesday to face the surging Pioneers for a 12 noon start.
- The sixth-ranked DU women’s gymnastics team scored its second highest all-time score (and the highest score of this season) with a 197.725 on Sunday afternoon before over 4,000 fans at Magness Arena, to win the meet over Iowa State and Boise State. This kind of scoring should keep DU in the hunt for a top-five national ranking as the season moves into the stretch run.
- The DU men’s (#24th nationally) and (#47) women’s swim teams once again won the Summit League title for the sixth year in a row. DU was so dominant at the Summit League Championships that the DU women set an all-time league record for points, and DU mens and women swimmers won 37 of 38 of the swimming events overall. That’s an incredible achievement – perhaps the swimming equivalent of winning the Summit League basketball title game by 30 points, and repeating the winning margin for six straight years.
- DU women’s basketball (15-12, 8-6 Summit league) continued its rise into a winning program with a dramatic road win at North Dakota. Often-injured senior Pioneer Haley Simental hit the long-range three point shot-of-her-college-career to send the game into overtime at the buzzer, in a game that the Pios would later win, 92-91. With the OT win, the Pios’ have earned at least a top-five seed at the Summit League tournament next month.
- The DU women’s tennis team, ranked #40 nationally, are 7-2 this year in a sport where 317 teams compete nationally. DU has already defeated brand name schools such as Oregon, Wisconsin, BYU and Colorado this season.
All of these teams deserve our support, and we look forward to seeing how they compete in the coming months.
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.