In an announcement today, “The Summit League’s Presidents Council agreed to delay the start of fall sports for member institutions until Sept. 23 based upon the recommendation from the League’s Joint Council due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” The statement went on to state that the Council would continue to be “flexible in an ever-changing environment”.
Earlier this week, the NCAA gave clearance for schools to bring football and basketball players back to practice on campus on June 1st. In the wake of the NCAA’s announcement, the Joint Council of the Summit League, which is made up of school athletic directors and senior woman administrators, recently agreed to keep the current conference schedules, tournament qualifier criteria, and tournament structure in place for the upcoming school year despite the crippling financial implications of COVID-19 across the country. That means that eight teams will continue to qualify for the Sioux Falls basketball tournament which determines the Summit League representative for the NCAA tournament. Continue reading Summit League Announces 2020-2021 Plans→
A new proposal discussed at recent NCAA meetings would reduce the college soccer regular-season schedule – for both the men and women – from 25 to 23 total matches but would expand the campaign across the entire school year. The first half would consist of 13 games in the fall and end around Thanksgiving before picking back up in the spring with nine more matches. In DU’s case, non-conference games would likely be held in the fall and conference matches and championships would be held in the spring. The College Cup would fall between lacrosse’s Championship Weekend which coincides with Memorial Day and baseball’s College World Series. Three exhibitions would be spread around the year, as opposed to the current setup of five meaningless exhibition games all set in the spring offseason. Continue reading Pioneers Support Vote to Extend College Soccer Season→
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→
An old college paradigm has college soccer teams playing multiple games a week in a packed fall schedule resulting in injuries and decreased playing quality as top players flee the collegiate soccer model for the pros.
Unlike the rest of the soccer world, which plays once a week nearly year-round, college soccer funnels all of its games into a tight, four-month span between September and December, with many teams playing three games a week. The result is more player injuries, additional fatigue, extensive weekly travel, and academic hardship on student-athletes. The short season also forces the best part of the season (and postseason) into freezing weather in many parts of the country, which reduces spectator interest. Continue reading Collegiate Soccer is at a Scheduling Crossroads→
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 (Oak Park, Calif.) had scored the final goal of the DU season, in her last Pioneers game, in the first half, on a Sami Feller36th-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.