Category Archives: University of Denver

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. 


Lanzi Leads Denver Men to Upset Win Over Utah Valley, 74-62 in Home Opener

Joseph Lanzi’s (#10 in white) career-high 20 point performance led DU to victory. Photo: Jason Evans

DENVER –  Last year in Provo, Utah, the Utah Valley Wolverines smashed the Denver Pioneers by 23 points on the way to a blistering 25-10 season. This year, though, the return game was in Denver and the Pioneers were ready for the Wolverines, as DU rode sophomore Joseph Lanzi’s 20-point career-high performance to a 74-62 home opening victory at Magness Arena in a game that wasn’t as close as the 12-point margin of victory.

The Pioneers used platoons of players to stay fresh and won the bench point battle, 32-14, outscored UVU 43-34 in the paint, and went 7-for-10 in clutch three-point shooting (all in the second half) to pull away for a big home opening win at Magness Arena.

“I liked our ability to stay connected,” said DU coach Rodney Billups  after the game. “Our bench was energetic for the entire 40 minutes and that’s what we need to be good.”

DU improved to 1-1 on the young season while Utah Valley fell to 1-1.

Lanzi went 8-for-9 from the field, keying the Pioneer win, particularly in the second half, when DU needed some separation from the more experienced Wolverines. The Alabama native was a perfect 4-for-4 from beyond the 3 point arc, scoring three consecutive treys in the second half to break open a close game and fuel DU’s biggest rally of the day, an 11-point run in the second half that sealed the victory. Sophomore Jase Townsend chipped in 18 points and five rebounds and senior, Ade Murkey led the Pioneers on the glass with six rebounds to go along with three assists and nine points.

Ade Murkey’s (#0) senior leadership helped the Pioneers to victory. Photo: Jason Evans

“When we ran our sets, we got open looks,” said Lanzi of DU’s 48% shooting performance. “My teammates were able to find me in transition. We also made some defensive stops, and when we put those [two] together, it helped us win.”

The Wolverines were led by Brandon Averette who had a team-high 17 points.

Utah Valley came out strong and was able to hold the lead through the opening 10 minutes of play. Denver took over with 10:32 remaining in the half following a layup from David Nzekwesi. With two deadlocked scores at 22 and 26, the Pioneers used a 6-0 run to take a 32-26 lead. Consecutive layups from DU and a free throw as time expired, sent Denver into halftime holding a 39-30 advantage.

Utah Valley used six points early in the second half to cut the deficit to 41-37 and continued the momentum into a 5-0 run to tie things at 43. A Taelyr Gatlin three pointer and a jumper form Murkey helped re-establish the Pios lead at 51-50. Back-to-back triples from Lanzi propelled Denver to a seven point lead at 57-50 before the Crimson and Gold exploded for a 12-4 run to take a 69-55 lead with 2:44 remaining, driving them to a 74-62 victory.

The Pios will return to action in Logan, Utah on Tuesday to face their biggest test of the season so far against no. 19 Utah State (7 PM MT).

Thanks to Jason Evans for the photos and quotes in this story

Pioneer Women’s Soccer Loses Summit Title Game on Penalty Kicks, Season Over.

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South Dakota State upset top-seeded DU for the Summit Title and and the NCAA bid on penalty kicks, ending DU’s season in gut-wrenching fashion. Photo: Summit League

The Denver Pioneers Women’s Soccer season came to a grinding, gut-wrenching halt on the frozen prairie of Brookings, South Dakota, as the Pioneers blew a 1-0 halftime lead to the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. It was SDSU who equalized in the second half and then beat the Pioneers 4-2 in a penalty kick shootout to decide the Summit League Championship and the NCAA Tournament autobid that went to the winner.

Denver’s season is now over. The top-seeded (and favored) Pioneers’ (12-4-4, 7-0-1), season had started so promisingly with a 3-0 shutout of the 11th-ranked University of Texas Longhorns. And DU looked to be steamrolling down the stretch, undefeated in Summit League play and moving toward another Summit Title and NCAA berth this weekend.  Instead, they will likely take this defeat to their graves, as they watched the happy Jackrabbits celebrate their upset victory against the run of play at Fishback Soccer Park, their home field.

“I thought we just let that one get away a little bit in the second half,” DU head coach Jeff Hooker said in a massive understatement. “We dropped off a bit too much for my liking, but we were still fine. SDSU is good enough though, and if you make one mistake, they’ll make you pay. The (South Dakota State) goal was against the run of play, but [I] have to credit their ability to finish their chance.” Indeed, South Dakota State found that equalizer in the 58th minute through speedy and crafty Leah Manuleleua’s 11th goal of the season, South Dakota State’s best player.

DU Senior Hannah Adler (19) watches her shot into the South Dakota net for DU’s only goal of the game in the first half.  It was her last college goal, and the last goal of the Pioneers’ season. Photo: Summit League.

DU Senior Hannah Adler (Oak Park, Calif.) had scored the final goal of the DU season, in her last Pioneers game, in the first half, on a Sami Feller  36th-minute breakthrough. Feller played the ball into junior forward Macee Barlow (Las Vegas, Nev.) who had just entered the game, at the top of the 18. Barlow turned and slipped in Adler, who took a touch further to her right and cut her strike back across the goal and inside the near post. Barlow’s assist was her second of the season and the third of her career. The goal for Adler was her fifth of the season and the 25th and last of her Pioneer career.

Denver controlled most of the play following the Jackrabbits equalizer. Senior outside back Mary DeWalt (West Bend, Wis.) had a similar chance in the 90th minute to her game-winner on Senior Sunday six days ago at the University of Denver Soccer Stadium, but a rough bounce off a poor surface came up the outside back’s foot and sailed over the bar. The Pioneers controlled play in the overtime session as well, but weren’t able to find the winner, sending the match to penalty kicks.

Denver’s two penalty kick takers from the regular season both converted in Natalie Beckman (Denver, Colo.) and freshman midfielder Kaitlyn Glover (Englewood, Colo.), but SDSU converted on four of its five attempts to send the home side to the 2019 NCAA Tournament.

DU had five seniors play their final college game – Adler, goalie Brittany Wilson, defender  Cheyenne Shorts, defender Heather Turcios, and defender Mary DeWalt.

70 Years of DU Hockey History Part II: A Temporary Decline – 1970-1994

Our own Puck Swami has authored a three-part historical retrospective for the 70th anniversary of the DU Hockey program. This is Part II. Part One can be found here, and the final part III will follow in the coming weeks. While these stories will run far longer than our usual stories, remember that 70 years is a lot to cover. Enjoy!

Given DU hockey’s successes in the program’s first 20 years, there was no reason to believe that the Pioneer hockey program was about to enter a 35-year period with no NCAA titles. After all, there was plenty of talent in the pipeline. In the early 1970s, DU leveraged its 1960s dominance to attract a number of star players who would move on the NHL — George Morrison, Peter McNab, Bruce Affleck, Rob Palmer, Mike Busniuk, Rich Preston, Mike Christie, Mike Lampman, Vic Venasky and Ron Grahame would all wear the Crimson and Gold in the early-to-mid 70s before moving on to the highest level. Continue reading 70 Years of DU Hockey History Part II: A Temporary Decline – 1970-1994

Puck Swami: Amazing 70th Anniversary Celebration Brings DU Community Together in Epic Style

On November 2 at Magness Arena, you could feel something powerful.

It was tradition — the glue that binds us all together as part of a special DU community.

Carson and Buddy BlOM
DU Goalie Michael Corson (center) who would go on to shut out Niagara in his first DU start —  perhaps the biggest night of his sports career to date — gets between-period encouragement from Buddy Blom, a goaltender who played for DU in the mid-1960s. The admiring look on Corson’s face encapsulated the feeling of the entire 70th Anniversary Weekend. Photo: University of Denver

Continue reading Puck Swami: Amazing 70th Anniversary Celebration Brings DU Community Together in Epic Style

How Safe is the University of Denver Neighborhood this Year?

A construction boom, sky high home prices ($600k/avg.) and a relatively low unemployment rate (3.0%) mask many of the crimes that many of us never hear about unless we keep a keen eye on the news. Based on Spirling’s Best Places to Live, Denver proper is still the most dangerous major city in Colorado – yes, more than Aurora. On a scale of 1 (low) to 100 (High), Denver’s violent crimes are rated at 30.7 vs. a national average of 22.7 and property crimes are 50.8 in Denver – 15 points higher than the US average. Essentially, Denver is a large metropolitan area with all the associated big city problems.

What are we to think, especially residents of the University and University Park neighborhoods? Continue reading How Safe is the University of Denver Neighborhood this Year?

“Go Denver Pioneers” Spirit Fund’s First Signage to Debut Tonight

Those of you who contributed to the “Go Denver Pioneers Spirit Fund” over the last 12 months will see the first fruits of your donations tonight at the Denver vs. Boston College Hockey Game!

The spirit fund has purchased over 100 re-usable DU fan signs and banners (see examples in the photo accompanying this story) designed to enhance the game-day experience in multiple different sections around Magness Arena.  This new signage will be available for use during games by season ticket holders and students, and the DU athletic department is handling game-day distribution and end-of-game retention.

This first signage investment represents less than 1/6th of the current fund so stay tuned for more purchases to debut later this season!

To make your contribution to the Go Denver Pioneers Spirit Fund, click this link,

DU Administration’s Pioneers ‘Double Game’ leaves DU student-athletes caught in the middle

As we near Homecoming Weekend, hockey will take center stage but it’s easy to forget that student-athletes have been caught in the middle of the ‘friendly crossfire’ of the Pioneers ‘debate.’

While the DU Administration tries to manage a homegrown crisis, divided between tolerance and intolerance of its own Pioneer nickname, DU’s athletes are caught in the middle. Competing as Pioneers, they give their blood, sweat, and tears for DU, but remain in a direct line of internal fire, as a handful of DU’s senior administrators and a handful of student pawns take shots at the Pioneer name. Continue reading DU Administration’s Pioneers ‘Double Game’ leaves DU student-athletes caught in the middle