[9/8] Denver Heads to New Mexico for Weekend Invitational
Pioneers take on UC Irvine Friday at 4 p.m. MT
Sept. 6, 2017
THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE
Denver bounced back with a 2-0 win over Drake on Sunday night at the University of Denver Soccer Stadium thanks to goals from Ryan Barlow and Graham Smith. Nick Gardner turned in his second cleansheet of the campaign.
The Pioneers will hit the road for the first time in 2017, taking part in the New Mexico `s annual tournament for the second time in three years. Denver will take on UC Irvine on Friday at 4 p.m. MT, before battling CSUN on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. MT.
DU returns home next weekend when the Pioneers welcome UC Davis (Sept. 15/7p.m.) and Saint Mary's (Sept. 17/7 p.m. MT) to the University of Denver Soccer Stadium to close out a stretch of six of eight at home to start the year.
FIVE-STRAIGHT 10-WIN SEASONS
The Pioneers have recorded double-digit wins in each of the five seasons since Franks' arrival as an assistant, averaging 14 a season from 2012-16. The Pioneers reached double digits in 2016 with their win Oct. 7 at IUPUI.
Denver last recorded 5+-consecutive double digit win seasons from 1986-1990, producing a five-season record of 78-15-8 in that span. From 2012-17, Denver has gone 70-19-14.
A NEW ROAD FORM
Denver played 11 games away from home in 2016, including the season-opening four-match road swing. Denver took 24 points away from those matches in 2016.
The Pioneers earned 20 points from their eight matches away from DU Soccer Stadium in the 2015 campaign, including seven points against three opponents that were in the NSCAA poll at the time.
Denver earned just one point away from home in the 2014 campaign (0-7-1) to go along with its 11-0-0 home record.
DU will play away from home nine times in the regular season in 2017.
DENVER'S UNBEATEN STRETCHES
Furman knocked off fourth-ranked Denver on Sept. 1 to snap Denver's 37-match regular season unbeaten streak that dated back to Halloween Night, 2014.
The setback was the first in the regular season in the head coaching career of Jamie Franks.
In 2015-2016, DU became the first program to go unbeaten in consecutive regular seasons since Clemson did so in 1977-78.
The Pioneers went unbeaten through the first 18 matches in 2015 for the first time since 1989 when the Pioneers started 20 matches unbeaten (19-0-1)...2015 marked the first time the Pioneers finished a Division I regular season unbeaten.
DU was 20-0-3 before falling to No. 2 Wake Forest in the 2016 National Semifinals.
Following Maryland's loss in the 2016 NCAA Second Round, the Pioneers were the last unbeaten team in the NCAA for the second-consecutive season.
Denver has played 47 matches (including the postseason) since last losing in regulation (2014 NCAA First Round at Oregon State).
The Pioneers haven't lost at home in regulation in their last 47 matches at the University of Denver Soccer Stadium, last losing in regulation to No. 21 Charlotte in the 2013 season opener.
UNIVERSITY OF DENVER SOCCER STADIUM
The University of Denver Soccer Stadium opened in 2009.
The 2,000 seat stadium hosts both the men's and women's soccer programs, and sits above the 10,000 square-foot Pat Bowlen Strength and Conditioning Complex.
The stadium has hosted the 2009 MPSF Men's Tournament, 2014 Summit League Men's and Women's Championships and 2015 and 2016 Summit League Men's Championship.
DU Soccer Stadium has also hosted the 2012 NCAA Women's Soccer First Round, the 2015 and 2016 NCAA Men's Soccer Second Round and the 2016 NCAA Round of 16.
Denver's men's program is 50-4-4 at home since Jamie Franks joined the staff as an assistant in 2012 and 60-15-10 since the stadium opened.
The Pioneers are 43-2-2 in their last 47 matches at home.
HEAD COACH Jamie Franks
Former DU assistant and Wake Forest alum Jamie Franks took over the reins, officially inking his name as Denver's 10th head coach, on Aug. 29, 2015.
Franks is 38-3-6 as a head coach in 2+ seasons with the Pioneers.
The Pioneers are 73-20-14 since Franks' arrival as an assistant coach prior to the start of the 2012 season.
Combined as a college player and coach, Franks is 172-47-31, reaching now five College Cups and winning a National Championship with the Deacs in 2007.
According to information submitted to the NCAA in 2015, Franks was the youngest DI head coach (29) two seasons ago and was the second youngest in 2016.
GET ON THE BOARD FIRST
The Pioneers were 11-1-1 in 2014, 14-0-1 in 2015 and 18-0-0 in 2016 when scoring the first goal.
Since Franks' arrival in 2012, the Pioneers are 67-2-6 when scoring the first goal.
PIONEERS FROM ALL OVER
DU's 2017 roster has student-athletes from nine different states, Brazil, Japan and Sweden.
Two of Denver's three international players are entering their junior seasons in 2017 (Akamatsu and Shinyashiki), while Jacob Stensson arrives to the Mile High City from Sweden for his freshman season.
The Pioneers have 13 players on the roster from Colorado and three from the state of Texas.
GOAL SCORING FORM
Junior striker Andre Shinyashiki has bagged 10 goals in his last 14 competitive matches, including five game-winners and two golden goals in that span. Shinyashiki was named to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week twice in the final three weeks of the 2016 regular season.
Redshirt-junior Blake Elder scored in four-straight games in Denver's first homestand in 2016, his first four goals with the Crimson and Gold after transferring from Air Force after the 2014 season...Elder is the only Denver player to score in four-consecutive matches in its Division I history...Elder scored the game-winner in Denver's 2017 opener.
DENVER'S DEFENSIVE SURGE
Denver kept 14 cleansheets in 24 matches, including 13 of the last 19 in 2016.
The Pioneers did not allow a shot in their 2-0 win over [-/RV] Saint Louis on Sept. 15, 2016, the first time the Pioneers had kept that defensive record in their Division I history.
Denver did not allow a shot on goal in five matches in 2016 (IUPUI, Eastern Illinois, North Florida, Saint Louis and Oral Roberts), including a 267 minute and 27 second stint...DU gave up just one shot at Eastern Illinois on Oct. 2, 2016.
Denver allowed three shots on goal in its entire four-game homestand in September, 2016, including zero shots on goal in the final two games.
The Pioneers allowed just four shots on goal in the first two matches of 2017. DU also kept two cleansheets in the first four matches of the 2017 campaign.
GET IT EARLY OR LEAVE IT LATE
Graham Smith's 89th minute equalizer at Monmouth (8/26/16) was Denver's latest equalizer/game-winner in regulation since Alex Tarnoczi scored a 90th minute leveler (89:33) in Denver's 5-4 extra time win at UNLV on Oct. 16, 2011.
Blake Elder scored an 87th minute winner on Sept. 17, 2016 vs. North Florida to break a nil-nil deadlock and send Denver to its seventh-straight win.
Alex Underwood 's breakthrough (1:38) at No. 25 Rutgers (8/28/16) was Denver's second-fastest goal since 2004, behind a Scott DeVoss opener against Western Illinois in the 2015 Summit League Semifinals (1:20)...On Sept. 3, 2017, holding mid Ryan Barlow scored 1:40 into proceedings in Denver's 2-0 win over Drake.
Andre Shinyashiki's goal with eight seconds in the second period of extra time against New Mexico (10/19/16) is Denver's latest goal on record in its Division I history. The DU striker also scored in extra time in Denver's 2-1 win over Portland a year ago.
Shinyashiki scored the game-winner in the Summit League Final with 41 seconds left in regulation on Nov. 12, Denver's third goal in the 85th minute or later in regulation in 2016.
DENVER ATHLETICS SUCCESS
Denver Athletics has claimed the I-AAA Directors' Cup in nine of the last 10 seasons, for the top finish in the Directors' Cup standings amongst schools without football.
The Pioneers have claimed 32 National Championships in their history (Skiing 23, Hockey 8, Men's Lacrosse 1).
Men's soccer's College Cup berth in 2016 is one of the athletic department's 21 National Semifinal appearances, including eight since 2011.
Denver's 35th place overall Directors' Cup finish in 2016-17 is the department's best in its history. DU's men's programs finished fifth in the Capital One Cup for the second time in three years.
Entering 2017-18, the Pioneers are one of eight athletic departments in the country to take home an NCAA title in each of the last four years.
FRANKS AND STAFF EARN NSCAA NATIONAL COACH OF THE YEAR HONORS
After being named the Summit League Coach of the Year for the second-straight year, head coach Jamie Franks and his staff earned NSCAA National Coach of the Year honors in 2016.
The three coaches (Franks, Ryan Hopkins and Levi Rossi) have led the Pioneers to a 37-2-6 record since Franks took over as the head coach, becoming the first program to go unbeaten in consecutive regular seasons Clemson did so in 1977-78. Hopkins and Franks have coached together at DU since the start of the 2013 campaign, seeing the program go 61-13-11 in the last five years, the third-best mark in the country during that span.
Hopkins was named the 2015 NSCAA Regional Assistant Coach of the Year after helping lead the Pioneers to an unbeaten regular season and a 15-1-3 record in his first season as the program's first assistant.
WORK IN THE CLASSROOM
The Denver men's soccer program topped the grade point average rankings in 2015-16 according to information submitted to the NCAA, combining for a 3.49 team grade point average.
Last November, two-time captain Sam Hamilton became the athletic department's 52nd CoSIDA Academic All-American, including the fifth in the men's soccer program's history.
Following the 2016-17 season, Hamilton was named the Summit League Male Scholar Athlete of the Year.
OH CAPTAIN MY CAPTAIN
Denver is co-captained by Alex Underwood and Graham Smith in 2017
Underwood has 65 CAPS in his now four-year Pioneer career with 30 pts (8G-14A).
Smith has 28 CAPS with the Pioneers after transferring from Oregon State ahead of the 2016 season, scoring five goals and adding three assists.
BREAKING DOWN DENVER'S 2017 SCHEDULE
Denver will host eight regular season matches in 2017, including hosting six of its first eight non-league matches at the University of Denver Soccer Stadium.
Denver will take on nine opponents that finished in the top-100 of the RPI a year ago, including three in the top-36.
Five of the Pioneers 2017 opponents booked a trip to the NCAA Tournament a year ago.
"To beat anybody, in any condition, in any circumstance, on any given day is our mission," Jamie Franks said. "To be able to play some of these big opponents at home to start the season is great for us. DU Soccer Stadium is a wonderful venue for a college soccer game. Overall, from top to bottom, this schedule will present different adversities and challenges that will force us to learn and mature. I think it'll really test our group as we prepare for our league schedule, and ultimately getting back to where we were last year, playing knock-out style games in late November and December."
DENVER CONTINUES PARTNERSHIP WITH ALTITUDE SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
The Pioneers will have 15 fall sports games on Altitude in 2017, including five men's soccer matches.
Denver's partnership with Altitude began in 2013-14 with men's and women's lacrosse, before Denver's fall sports were added to the coverage slate in 2014-15, including both 2014 Summit League Soccer Championships.
DU's first four men's soccer home matches were featured on Altitude or Altitude 2.
Bill Rogan and Conor McGahey will share the play-by-play duties for the men's program, while Chris Bianchi will serve as the program's primary analyst for the third-straight season. Denver alum Colin Jones filled in for Bianchi in the 2017 opener.
THREE 2016 PIONEERS MAKE MLS DEBUTS IN 2017
Three players - Kortne Ford (Colorado Rapids Homegrown), Sam Hamilton (Colorado Rapids 1st Round MLS Super Draft Pick #15) and Reagan Dunk (Real Salt Lake 1st Round MLS Super Draft Pick #13) - and leaders from Denver's 2016 College Cup team have made appearances with Major League Soccer sides in 2017.
Ford became the first Rapids Homegrown player to earn a spot in the Starting XI on their professional debut...Scored his first MLS goal in a 1-0 home win over Sporting KC on May 27, earning Man-of-the-Match and MLS Team of the Week honors...Scored the equalizer in the MLS Homegrown All-Star match, taking home MVP honors...Has earned 10 CAPS in his rookie season, making nine starts.
Hamilton made his MLS debut on May 17 at the Chicago Fire, coming on as a sub for the final 27 minutes....Made his first MLS start at Philadelphia on May 20, playing 81 minutes...Saw 90 minutes of action in both Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup matches against Oklahoma City (June 13) and at FC Dallas (June 27)...Hamilton was loaned to Phoenix (USL) in August.
Dunk has earned three MLS CAPS in his rookie season with Salt Lake.
SUMMIT LEAGUE PRESEASON POLL
Denver was picked as the preseason favorite to once again take home the Summit League title in a vote of the league's six head coaches in August...The Pioneers received all five of the possible first place votes (coaches were not allowed to vote for their own program).
Strikers Blake Elder and Andre Shinyashiki were named to the 2017 Summit League Men's Soccer Players to Watch list released by the league office.
Jamie Franks COMPLETES 2017 STAFF
Jamie Franks brought former Georgia Southern captain Clayton Zelin on board as the program's Director of Men's Soccer Operations in early August.
Former Pioneer Dan Jackson will stay on the staff for the second year, this time into a new video specialist role for Denver.
Volunteer assistant coach Mac Hemmi continues his work with the Pioneers staff for the second-consecutive campaign.
Ryan Hopkins and Levi Rossi will take part in their fifth and third seasons, respectively, on the Denver men's soccer staff.