Notebook: Paths to Summit League men’s soccer tournament

The men’s Summit League soccer season has had some ups and downs for its teams this year, and the positions of the teams in conference standings have jumped around quite a bit.

With the conference tournament starting Thursday, now is a good time to look at how each of the four teams in the tournament have gotten to this point.


The Pioneers have not been a surprise to constantly be at the top of the conference this season. 

They have continued their success over the last five years and carried it into this year, which includes a constant top-10 ranking in NCAA Division I men’s soccer polls.

The biggest reason the Pioneers have found the success that they have enjoyed for much of this year is because of their senior forward, Andre Shinyashiki.

He has singlehandedly been a wrecking crew to opponents this year, and he has lead the NCAA in scoring the whole year, now sitting with 27 goals on the season.


Last season, Omaha lost to Denver in the conference championship, and, barring any upset victories Thursday, the Mavericks will meet Denver in the same situation again.

Omaha has had the biggest comeback of any team in the Summit League this season. The Mavericks were in last place right before conference play started, but, after opening conference play with a loss to Denver, Omaha shot up to second place and has stayed there since.

Omaha played a tough match against Denver in the conference opener for both teams, losing in a close 4-3 match. And, surprise surprise, Shinyashiki scored all four goals for Denver in that match.

Fort Wayne

The Mastodons are the quiet team that has slowly crept their way into a postseason tournament spot.

Fort Wayne has posted an impressive season statistics-wise, scoring 36 goals this season. The only downside that has hindered the team is that it has given up 34 goals as well.

The important thing for the Mastodons is that they were able to snag two Summit League victories and take the three seed from Eastern late in the season.


The Panthers started conference play with a draw against Goliath itself: Denver. Eastern frustrated Shinyashiki and was able to get a conference point to start Summit League play.

In the next conference match against Western Illinois, Christian Sosnowski, Eastern’s leading scorer, scored a game-winning goal in the 105th minute to give Eastern the second-place spot in the conference. 

But the second half of the conference season was not as kind to Eastern, as the Panthers only got one conference point from a draw with Oral Roberts in three matches.

Now, in the postseason tournament, Eastern will face one-seed Denver again on Thursday at 1 p.m. mountain time. Two-seeded Omaha will face Fort Wayne at 4 p.m. mountain time Thursday, and the winners will faceoff in the championship match on Saturday.

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