Lacrosse Remains Growing Niche Sport

A recent Lax Power article shows the exponential growth rate of lacrosse at the prep level. Lacrosse is growing faster, based on number of participants, than all other high school sports. Over the past 15 years, participation in high school lacrosse has gone up 159.3% for boys and 161.7% for girls. Lax Power provides data for high school sports offered (sponsorship) and the number of players (participants) for each prep sport.

Post Script: Big 12 May Alter WCC Landscape

One additional change facing the West Coast Conference is the potential loss of BYU. According to an article published yesterday in Sports Illustrated: Campus Crush, BYU, an independent football power and WCC member in all other sports, is the first choice of the Big 12 for expansion. Currently sitting with 10 football teams, the Big 12 needs two more football teams to create two divisions and a conference championship. The other two schools being considered are Cincinnati and Colorado State. As for BYU, the article states, "BYU has an increased desire to join the league (Big 12) because of the yawning perception gap between the Power Five (football schools) and everyone else. BYU realizes it won't be treated like Notre Dame as an independent, so this seems like the most logical move for both sides."

Sweden Jolts US Juniors 1-0

Following a thrilling win against Canada in game 1 of the U20 World Junior Championships in Helsinki, Finland, the US dropped their second game this morning to Sweden 1-0. The Swedish goaltender, Linus Soderstrom, turned back 46 shots from Team USA for the win. After 12 straight losses to the Americans over a 20 year span at the World Juniors, the Swedes caught the yanks napping with their only goal at 2:41 into the second period on a break-away, top shelf shot from Alex Nylader.

The US controlled play but could not beat Soderstrom, despite 6 power play opportunities.

Next up for the Team USA (1-1) are the Swiss (0-2) on Wednesday.

The West Coast Conference - Risk & Reward

Photo: Beach volleyball, the fastest growing NCAA sport

Imagine Pacific University rolling into Denver to play beach volleyball - the fastest-growing NCAA sport with 50 colleges and universities playing as of January 2015. Or picture DU cross country runners training over at Washington park, getting ready for the December NCAA championships. What about heading across I-25 to a refurbished South High Stadium to watch the Pios take on BYU in baseball or watch women's softball against San Francisco? On a sunny fall day, how about heading out to Cherry Creek to watch a women's collegiate rowing meet with BYU, Portland and Santa Clara?

US Schools Canada 4-2 in Round 1

In a battle of country hockey powers, US collegians made the difference in a 4-2 victory over team Canada in the U-20 World Juniors Championships, round 1,  in Helsinki, Finland.

Boston University's Colin White, Michigan's Zack Werenski  and Miami's Louis Belpedio scored one goal each. Austin Mathews was the only non-collegian US goal scorer. Mathews scored the final dagger in the third period. 

Leftovers and Loose Ends

Below are links to various hockey stories of interest - some old, some new.

Nine Days in January

While the Summit League my be a free-for-all this year, no team has a tougher opening stretch than the Pioneers. DU will get the Summit League preseason poll 1-2-3-4 punch in the first nine days of January. The first two games are on the road, Brookings & Fargo, and the next two games are in Denver. A 2-2 split would be an excellent start to league play. Anything better than that and the Pioneers would have to be considered the biggest league surprise. All in nine days. It won't take long to get a sense of how well DU matches up against the league's best.

2Q Hoops Report Card Shows Hope & Concern

DU finished the second quarter of their basketball season, 3-3. All six games were against non-conference opponents. During that stretch, DU averaged 63 points per game while their opponents scored 65.4, a -2.4 margin.

Merry Christmas from LetsGoDU

Second Half Skid Dooms DU vs. UC Riverside (54-63)

A brutal start to the second half allowed the home team to build an insurmountable lead and the visiting Pioneers (8-5) fell to the University of California - Riverside/UCR (8-5) Highlanders Tuesday night.

Looking for Hope Only Requires a Short Memory

DU's 2004 squad celebrates a national championship

7-7-2. That is not supposed to be the record of this year's Pioneer hockey team at the break. They are loaded at forward, came into the season with two solid goaltenders, and promised to play all 200 feet of the ice - playing relentless Pioneer Hockey.

'Power Five' Membership no Guarantee


The Washington Post in an article, Playing in the Red, featured 28 schools in the 'Power Five' Conferences (Pac 12, SEC, ACC, Big 12, Big 10) that are hemorrhaging cash in their athletic departments. Among those losers -  CU, Louisville, UCLA, Wisconsin, Cal, & Florida State. The issue is not revenue as each of the schools receive a huge influx of cash but, rather, an increasing outflow of cash, especially to support football and related facilities.

Denver (8-4) falls to Eastern Washington University (6-6)

The good news, Denver held all but three Eastern Washington University players to a total of 2 points. The bad news, the other three players scored 72 of the Eagles 74 points.

Volleyball: Can DU take it to the Next Level?

Last night, Nebraska swept Texas 3-0 in front of 17,561 to win the NCAA volleyball national championship. Some day, could it be DU?

As crazy as it sounds, volleyball is a sport that DU could be a national player, with a focus on recruiting, strong coaching, and a dash of good fortune (i.e. luck).