Pio's Put Leathernecks on Ice
On a chilly winter-like evening following Denver's first significant snowfall, the men's soccer team dispatched the Leathernecks of Western Illinois in the Summit League soccer semifinals.
Like a football team, Western Illinois came out with short sleeves to show their toughness. Their symbolic display was nixed 80 seconds later when freshman Scott Devoss hammered a corner kick past their goalie into the back post. It got worse for the visitors from there. The most spectacular goal of the match came at the 25 minute mark with a Pio break down the left side of the pitch. Karsten Hanlin sent a low pass across the goal mouth and a charging Chandler Crosswait pounded it home to make it 2-0.
Western Illinois caught their only energy of the match during the last 12 minutes of the first half but could not put the ball in the net. Dan Jackson made some sweet saves on several shots and a direct kick to keep a clean sheet (which now extends over 612 minute).
The second half was all Pioneers with a goal in the 53rd minute by Cole Stevenson and a final goal by Kenny Akamatsu to make it 4-0.
This match was a huge win because of how DU won. The Pioneer offense came untracked and took advantage of opportunities with some beautiful strikes. Also, the Pioneers showed a disciplined, ball control style that ground down Western Illinois and displayed DU's ability to control the pace of the game.
UNO lost to Oral Roberts on CIBER Field 2-1 in OT in the other semifinal Summit League tilt. UNO and Head Coach Jason Mims, who came to Denver earlier in the year to 'rest' and play the 'untested' Pioneers, caved to the lower seeded Oral Roberts. They'll get plenty of rest now.
Denver plays Oral Roberts for the Championship on Saturday at 3:00 MT.