With the majority of the Summit League two games into conference play, the Denver Pioneers find themselves in a familiar spot at the top of the league.
Denver is among the undefeated in the Summit along with Western Illinois and Omaha who are each 1-0. Denver is currently ranked No. 8 in the country with their record of 9-0-2 this season. The Pioneers have played well defensively only giving up seven goals so far, which leads the conference.
Fort Wayne and Oral Roberts are sitting in the middle of the conference standings with 1-1 records. Oral Roberts victory came against Eastern, they suffered a 3-1 loss to Fort Wayne. Denver defeated Fort Wayne 4-3 for its first loss against a conference opponent.
The bottom dwellers of the conference right now are Eastern and IUPUI with 0-2 records.
IUPUI is 1-8 this season and have been outscored by their opponents, 27 to 5.
Jacob Bevan from Western is the leading goal scorer in the Summit League with seven on the year. He is followed by Fort Wayne teammates Jacob Murphy and Oscar Uyamadu who each have six goals. The assist leader is Santiago Riveros from Oral Roberts with six. He is followed by a Denver duo of Andre Shinyashiki and Sam Hamilton with five each.
Bevan and Riveros lead the league in points with 16 and Uyamadu leads the league by a wide margin in shots with his 47. The closest player in shots is Riveros with 29. For the goalkeepers, Josh Gray of IUPUI leads the league in saves with 40. He is followed by Joseph Ghitis of Omaha with 34.
Tim Hansen has allowed the least amount of goals only giving up six. Junior goalkeeper Mike Novotny from Eastern is third on that list with 11 goals allowed. Hansen also leads the league in save percentage with a mark of .824. Nick Gardner rounds out the goalkeeper stats with a leading goal against average of 0.61 for Denver.
Murphy and Fazlo Alihodzic were named the offensive players of the week in the Summit. Murphy earned it for the first time in his career after a two-goal game against Oral Roberts for a 3-1 victory. Fort Wayne now has six wins, which is more than all of last season. Alihodzic won the honor for the second time in his career with contribution on all three goals for Omaha in the 3-1 win over IUPUI. He had two assists and the game-winning goal.
The defensive player of the week was Hamilton of Denver. His first time receiving the honor was in large part of his role in the 1-0 victory over Eastern last Saturday. Denver now has six shutouts this season. Novotny was also nominated for this award for Eastern.
Mark Shanahan can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]