Notebook: Denver, Omaha atop men’s soccer conference standings

Dillan Schorfheide, Assistant Sports Editor

As if there was any doubt that they would slow down, the Denver Pioneers have not shown any signs of slowing down this season.

Denver is still in first place in Summit League standings and have been there since the beginning of the season, not sparing anyone in their path en route to a 10-1-2 record (2-0-1 in conference play).

The Pioneers have fallen a few spots from their No. 4 ranking in the country when Eastern hosted them a couple weeks ago. Denver is now ranked 12th in the country in the NCAA Men’s Soccer RPI rankings.

Denver is still lead by the nation’s leading scorer in Andre Shinyashiki, who has 21 goals this season. He has slowed down a bit in scoring, as he only has two goals in Denver’s last four matches after scoring 19 goals in the first nine matches of the season.

Denver has beaten Omaha 4-3 and Fort Wayne 2-0 so far in conference play, and Shinyashiki scored all six goals in both matches.

Second in the Summit League rankings is Omaha, who has jumped to second place after opening conference play in last place, and starting the season with a 1-5 record (now 3-5-1).

Omaha stood tough against Denver in the 4-3 shootout, and the Mavericks have defeated Fort Wayne and Western Illinois 4-1 and 2-1, respectively.

Denver was still No. 4 in the country still when Omaha faced the Pioneers, and Omaha played another top team in the country (then No. 11 UCLA) on Sept. 12 and hung with the Bruins in a 2-1 loss.

Diego Gutierrez leads the Mavericks with seven goals on the season and also has four assists, leading the team with 18 points.

Eastern sits in third place in Summit League standings currently, coming off a tough 2-1 home loss to Valparaiso.

Eastern had a 1-0 lead early in the second half, but Valparaiso scored two goals in the half to win.

But since that was a non-conference match, Eastern is still safe in the conference standings. The Panthers’ last Summit League match was a 1-0 double overtime victory against Western Illinois, where Christian Sosnowski saved the day and scored with five minutes left in the match.

Sosnowski leads Eastern with three goals this season.

Rounding out the four Summit League teams who currently qualify for the conference tournament is Fort Wayne. 

The Mastodons are 7-6-1 on the season, and the only conference win for Fort Wayne is a 3-1 victory over Oral Roberts. Matthew Lieshout leads the Mastodons with 10 goals and one assist, for a team-high 21 points.

Sitting at the bottom of the conference, tied for fifth, are Oral Roberts and Western Illinois with one conference point each.

Dillan Schorfheide can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]