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.
Photos & Interview:Courtesy of Jason Evans. DU’s Sami Feller fights through SDSU defenders.
DU rewarded head coach Jeff Hooker on his 600th game with a 2-1 victory over South Dakota State University (14-4-1, 6-1-1 Summit League) at Diane Wendt Field Thursday night. The win leaves Denver at 9-4-3 overall and 6-0-1 in the Summit League with the tiebreaker advantage against South Dakota State for the regular season conference title. The win also rewarded Denver with a number one seed for next week’s conference tournament in Brookings, S.D. as well as hosting honors for next season’s conference tournament. Continue reading DU Wins Title in 2-1 Victory over South Dakota State University→
DU women’s soccer (4-0-1 Summit League) out-shot (39-1) an over-matched Fort Wayne squad in a lopsided 4-0 victory at chilly CIBER Field. Head coach Jeff Hooker was glad his team kept the focus on the field of play and not the weather, “The elements were a factor today. We did a really good job of putting that aside”. Continue reading Women’s Soccer Win Earns Thursday Showdown, Volleyball Sweeps→
Denver Men’s Soccer (2-9-2, 0-2-1 Summit League) find themselves in an unusual position following a Saturday 1-0 OT loss to Oral Roberts on the road. They may miss their own hosted Summit League tournament unless they win their next two games against Omaha and Fort Wayne. Currently, Denver is mired near the bottom of the standings with Eastern Illinois (0-1-2) and Purdue Fort Wayne (0-3-0). DU must pass both teams in the next two games to finish in fourth place and qualify for the conference tournament in Denver from November 14th-16th. By any measure, this would be a shocking result. Continue reading Final Fall Stretch Features Optimism and Desperation→
A fast moving winter storm dumped 4-5 inches of snow in Denver Thursday so the women’s Denver (5-4-3, 1-0-1) versus Western Illinois (6-6-1, 2-1-0 Summit League) soccer match was moved to the Diane Wendt complex’s artificial turf. The match was played in 20 degree temperatures but the Pioneers heated up with two goals in the first half, en route to a 3-0 victory. The Pioneers dominated the frosty evening with 9 shots-on-goal to the Leathernecks 0. Continue reading Denver Ices Western Illinois, 3-0→
The greatest surprise of the fall season has been DU men’s soccer (1-5-2) scoring just four goals in nine matches. At this pace, at the end of the regular season, they will be sitting with 9 goals, well below their 10-year 30.7 goals per season average. The two lowest-scoring seasons in the last ten years have been 2009 and 2017 when the Pioneers found net 25 times. And, last season behind Andre Shinyashiki’s 28 goals, Denver had their highest goal output. Saturday’s 0-0 draw against conference foe Eastern Illinois leaves the Pioneers 0-0-1 in Summit League regular season play. Continue reading Weekend featured scoring drought, solid nonconference finale, and road split→