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.

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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.

Denver Volleyball Sweeps North Dakota, 3-0, for eighth win in last nine matches

Tina Boe (13) was part of a six block team effort to help lead the Pioneers over North Dakota in three straight sets on Friday night. Photo: Jason Evans

DENVER – The University of Denver women’s volleyball team swept the pesky North Dakota Fighting Hawks in a Summit League Volleyball match, 25-17, 27-25, and 25-15 on Friday night Nov. 8 before 254 fans at Hamilton Gym. The Pioneers have now won eight of their last nine matches, as the regular season heads toward the final three matches.

“I’m feeling really good,” said DU coach Tom Hogan postgame, about his DU team as the season moves toward completion. “We’re in a really good place…We have most of the last couple weeks [of the season playing] at home. It’s about us taking care of ourselves physically and mentally so we can go [toward the conference tournament] with fresh bodies and fresh minds.”

DU executed a .264 attack percentage as a key to victory over UND. Lydia Bartalo had a team=high 10 kills with a .476 hitting percentage to lead the Pios. Denver also had six blocks, led by Bartalo and Tina Boe.

“This year we’re getting better toward the end of season,” said DU junior setter Ellie Anderson. “In past years, we were better in the beginning of the season, so this year, I think it’s really good for us [to be peaking].”

The DU victory was the Pioneers’ 10th sweep in 2019,  improving them to 18-7 overall and 10-3 in Summit League play. UND fell to 11-16 overall and 3-10 in Summit League play.

DU next plays on Sunday vs North Dakota State (1 PM MT).

Our thanks to Jason Evans for the quotes and photo.

Pioneers blow two-goal lead, hold on for win in shootout at Minnesota Duluth

Photo courtesy Duluth News Tribune

The top-ranked Denver Pioneers looked every bit of their consensus #1 ranking for the better part of three periods on the road against the #7 Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs, but for a defensive breakdown over the last 10 minutes of regulation. But thanks to Magnus Chrona’s magnificence in goal and Brett Stapley’s creativity in the shootout, Denver overcame their third period blown lead to earn the extra point for NCHC purposes. Denver is now 8-0-1. Continue reading Pioneers blow two-goal lead, hold on for win in shootout at Minnesota Duluth

Denver Hockey Series Preview: Minnesota Duluth

Last weekend’s celebration of the 70th Anniversary of Denver Hockey was quite the spectacle.  Having generations of players on the ice together celebrating the program was something really special to witness.  If you missed it, make sure you check out Puck Swami’s recap of the celebration.  The Pioneers improved to 8-0 after the sweep of Niagara and now begin their conference slate starting with the back-to-back national champion Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs.

Continue reading Denver Hockey Series Preview: Minnesota Duluth

Campy Concept Next Step for Former Campus Lounge

Another restaurant group is going to try to make a go of it with the star crossed Campus Lounge. According to Westword and The Denver Post, the tavern will lose its old name based on legal requirements placed by the prior owners but the iconic neon sign may stay or be altered to accommodate the new bar/restaurant. Two failed attempts have been made to  resurrect the Campus Lounge since Jim Wiste retired in 2017. After a long closure and remodeling, restaurateur Dan Landis tried a hip metro bistro concept and it failed in 6 months. Next up, the Nickless family, with ties to the hospitality business, the local area and the University of Denver, tried to restore the old sports bar – family diner feel. That place was shuttered in less than a year. Continue reading Campy Concept Next Step for Former Campus Lounge

Data and Graphs and Charts, Oh My: NCHC in the USCHO Poll through the Years

If you weren’t around on Twitter yesterday, you likely missed a long thread that we tweeted from our account that offered a visual representation of how all eight NCHC teams have fared in the weekly USCHO poll since the conference’s inaugural season in 2013. It’s no secret that the NCHC has dominated college hockey in recent years in both nonconference and postseason play. The Colorado Springs-based conference has had at least one participant in every Frozen Four since that first season and between North Dakota, Denver, and Minnesota Duluth, it has won each of the last four national titles. To say that the NCHC has been good or even great might somehow be the understatement of the decade. Continue reading Data and Graphs and Charts, Oh My: NCHC in the USCHO Poll through the Years

Summit League University Presidents Converge on Sioux Falls Amidst Division I Debate

As we previously reported, Summit League university presidents will converge on Sioux Falls this week. Initially, it was thought that the meeting would center on Summit League conference affairs, a tour of the new offices (on the Sanford Health Campus) and a tour of future conference member Augustana University’s campus. Continue reading Summit League University Presidents Converge on Sioux Falls Amidst Division I Debate

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.

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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

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