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Pioneers hold off Falcons’ late rally in frigid whiteout

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The University of Pioneers halted a late comeback attempt by the Air Force Falcons at Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colo. amid whiteout conditions.

The Saturday matinee game was the season opener for the No. 4-ranked Pioneers (1-0, 0-0 BIG EAST). The No. 17 Falcons (0-2, 0-0 Southern) entered the game coming off of an 18-4 loss to Duke University.

Denver took the field fired up to embark on the 2018 season. The Pioneers scored immediately after the opening faceoff. Denver’s extraordinary faceoff specialist Trevor Baptiste won possession. Starting defender Dylan Gaines joined the attack where the long-pole scored his first-career goal on the run.. The momentum continued throughout the first half as six different goal-scorers provided Denver with a 7-0 lead heading into the locker room.

The Falcons returned energized and scored back-to-back goals to cut the Pioneers lead down to five. While the Pioneers countered with three-goals, Air Force would diminish Denver’s lead incrementally, with a hat trick from junior midfielder Jack Flynn, as the Falcons offense rode the momentum.

Despite Air Force’s relentless pressure, the Pioneers held onto their lead. Junior attackman Austin French, scored his second-career hat trick in the second half to cushion the 11-5 final.

Due to the frigid and excessive snowfall an orange lacrosse ball was used for visibility. The conditions didn’t appear to hinder DU’s goalie Alex Ready, as the junior made 9 saves in the victory. 

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Pioneers warm-up in blizzard-like conditions at Falcon Stadium – photo by Sasha Kandrach

Only three penalties were administered as a result of the blizzard-like conditions. Air Force was on the receiving end of the first penalty which was called in the third minute of the second quarter. DU’s freshman attackman Riley Curtis converted on the man-up to record his first-career goal.


Baptiste went 9-for-18 at the, “X.” Air Force’s Trent Harper battled Baptiste’s power and finesse to earn nine faceoff wins.

Denver travels to Durham, North Carolina to face Duke University on Friday, Feb. 16 at 3 p.m. MT. The Pioneers will host Cleveland State on Sunday, Feb. 25 for their home-opener at 11 a.m.

Denver Comes Up Big Late, Beats Western Illinois 70-58

The Denver PIoneers picked up a nice 12 point win over Western Illinois at Magness Arena on Thursday night. Despite a strong start from Denver, Western Illinois would make things close and the game was as tight as a 1 point Denver lead with 6:30 to go, but the Pios would get a layup 12 seconds later to extend the lead and they never looked back from there. It was a promising return to Magness after a good road trip that was almost great and has Denver sitting at 3-4 in the Summit League, only a half game out of a third place tie.

Continue reading Denver Comes Up Big Late, Beats Western Illinois 70-58

The five culture traits DU must correct to earn back our trust

The past weeks have been excruciating ones for the University of Denver community, as the behavior of DU administrators created a deep gash in the University’s relationship with many of its alumni and fans. The senior DU administrators’ dishonest mascot policy and its arrogant implementation banning Boone, the insidious plan to drop the Pioneer name and replace it with “Trailblazers”, and the maddeningly slow, often tone-deaf reaction of university officials once exposed, were all damaging. Just as damaging in the long term, however, is the University’s failure to present us with any kind of problem recognition, contrition or roadmap for improvement. Continue reading The five culture traits DU must correct to earn back our trust

Jaillet, Staub, and Terry lead Pioneers in clinching weekend sweep over UNO

photo courtesy of Patrick Green

Back-to-back shutouts and reaching the 100-game milestone is an accomplishment in and of its own. Tanner Jaillet was perfect in leading the No. 5-ranked University of Denver Pioneers to a 4-0 victory over the No.15-University of Omaha (UNO) Mavericks while Troy Terry and Colin Staub each scored in their 100th contest on Saturday, Jan. 20.  Continue reading Jaillet, Staub, and Terry lead Pioneers in clinching weekend sweep over UNO

Mitchell boasts career game in Massacre of the Mavericks

photo courtesy of Shannon Valerio

Ian Mitchell is hitting has stride as the University of Denver Pioneers look to turn the corner. From the moment Mitchell stepped on campus he assumed an integral role in the  No. 5 -ranked Denver’s lineup. Having graduated core depth within DU’s defensive unit, Mitchell quickly filled an essential role. Continue reading Mitchell boasts career game in Massacre of the Mavericks

Puck Swami: A Great Victory for Pioneer Fans, but Big Challenges Still Remain


We at LetsGoDU were delighted with yesterday’s news that the DU Chairman of the Board of Trustees had sent an email to at least one alumnus announcing that the Pioneer nickname was staying, and inviting the alumnus to share the news. DU also came out with a new internet home page, which reads “We are University of Denver. We are Denver Pioneers”. While these are certainly significant, it is notable that home pages are (obviously) easily changed, and an email to one alumnus is not the same as a public statement. We continue to encourage the Chancellor and Board of Trustees to make a more declarative public statement that can be pointed to in the future. Indeed, with all the communications tools and administrative staff in DU’s arsenal, it is clear they should not have to rely on an alumnus to share their statement.

Still, we are delighted with DU’s preliminary steps.

Our sources tell us that the threat to the Pioneer name was not only quite real, but very imminent. LetsGoDU had to move very quickly to find its voice and to tell this story, be dogged and determined throughout, and had to work very hard to help our readership to respond in an effective way. Thank you to the team of experienced communicators who got this story out, and to all of you readers for responding and letting the administration become aware of the power of Pioneer alumni and fans.

We don’t know how long the name will stay Pioneers, but this will serve as a powerful reminder that any future change to our nickname will be met with overwhelming opposition.

It also will serve as a different kind of reminder to DU – that in the age of social media and nearly instant two-way communications, it is unwise for DU administrators to attempt these kinds of major identity changes without alumni involvement. It’s no secret that many of the DU senior leadership team avoided interacting with us. Either they underestimated the level of passion that we alumni and DU sports fan have about our school identity, or they didn’t want to hear it. Hopefully, this episode has helped them learn that they need to reach out to us the right way, instead of excluding us.

And LetsGoDU and its readers have reminded them that we’re all watching what they do and how they do it, and when they mess up this badly, they will get called out.

But frankly, this is no time to gloat. We still have many issues with the DU administration that need to be addressed going forward. To know that members of the Chancellor’s senior leadership team were actively undermining our Pioneer identity is still deeply concerning to us. We don’t think that should be in anyone’s DU job description.

We hope that there will now be some accountability for the arrogant overreach we have all witnessed. Inclusive Excellence has merit, but it needs to be practiced in an inclusive way that includes all of the DU community, not just for those who claim oppression. We hope DU will redirect those IE people who reductively sought to damage our traditions toward more productive concerns, such as outreach, scholarships, mentorships and opportunities. Senior administrators should never have a carte blanche to simply attack everything they don’t like, or to enlist students to work against the interests of the DU larger community. They should practice unity and not division.

Secondly, the additional allegations of DU senior leadership team malfeasance regarding the anti-Boone “mask” policy has left that policy exposed and without any moral credibility. Accordingly, we hope that the Board of Trustees will revisit the policy during their meetings this week. In light of the disingenuousness LetsGoDU exposed, and the shady back story of how it was created for reasons other than safety, as well as the surge of alumni goodwill that can be anticipated if the policy is revoked, we hope the Board will rescind this debunked policy. The sooner the Board throws it out, or at least makes an exception for a vetted Boone, the more credibility they will gain with their largest audience.

Finally, the appearance of administrative deceit, honor code violations by high level DU administrators and staff, and the ignoring of alumni and fans in this process are hugely concerning to all of us. We hope DU will use what it has learned to clean up its house so that we can trust our university again.

It should be known and remembered that we didn’t choose this fight. We became forced to fight for our 93-year-old Pioneer identity when we were betrayed by our leadership. DU is a much better place today as than it was a few weeks ago, and while we hated revealing some of the things we were forced to reveal, we know that we were right to do it. University employees who lived in fear of the University’s Inclusive Excellence shadow have reached out to us to let us know how thankful they are to us, as they lived in fear of retribution if they spoke out. Indeed, this would be a very good time to look at IE in a much more critical way. For all the good things that it can create, there is a dark side to it that stunts free speech, kills diversity of thought and, apparently, can turn capable administrators into seditious community-dividers.

We look forward to the healing that must take place, but we also remind everyone that we should never have to experience dishonesty, malfeasance and deception from our own leaders.

We hope that DU will work hard to restore our confidence following the betrayals we have experienced as this episode has unfolded.

We also hope that the Board of Trustees will address the contents of this column in their meetings, and will take the actions it needs to take.

DU needs to be better, and we all play a part in that.

Puck Swami is the Internet moniker of a long-time DU fan and alumnus. Her shares his views periodically here at LetsGoDU.



BREAKING: DU Board Chair Doug Scrivner confirms that DU will keep Pioneer Nickname

DU Board Chair Doug Scrivner

Our Crimson and Gold-tinted nightmare appears to have made a major breakthrough: There will be no nickname change. According to University of Denver Board chair Doug Scrivner, ‘Pioneers’ is here to stay.

In an email reply to a concerned alumnus that Scrivner gave permission to share with everyone, and which we’ve quoted below, Scrivner explained that despite the recent controversy, the nickname will remain.

The University has also changed its web site:Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 5.44.05 PM

We now consider the Pioneer name officially “safe” for now.

Read Scrivner’s email below: Continue reading BREAKING: DU Board Chair Doug Scrivner confirms that DU will keep Pioneer Nickname