Denver Favored to Capture #SummitMSOC Title

(photo by John Baker)
(photo by John Baker)

ELMHURST, Ill. – The Denver Pioneers were selected as The Summit League preseason men's soccer favorites in a poll of the league's seven head coaches. The Pioneers won their third consecutive league tournament title in 2015 and return nine starters from a year ago.

DU collected six first-place votes for a total of 36 points. Omaha was selected second with 29 points while Oral Roberts claimed the final first-place tally and placed third with 26 points. Western Illinois had 21 points for fourth place, followed by Fort Wayne (14 points), Eastern Illinois (11 points) and IUPUI (8 points).


2016 Summit League Men's Soccer Preseason Coaches' Poll



Points (1st)

2015 Record (SL)



36 (6)

15-1-3 (5-0-1, 16 pts.)




9-6-3 (3-2-1, 10 pts.)


Oral Roberts

26 (1)

7-7-4 (3-2-1, 10 pts.)


Western Illinois


6-11-1 (3-3-0, 9 pts.)


Fort Wayne


5-12-0 (2-4-0, 6 pts.)


Eastern Illinois


3-14-0 (1-5-0, 3 pts.)




1-9-7 (1-2-3, 6 pts.)


#SummitMSOC Preseason Notes

  • Denver returns a league-best four first team all-league selections in forward Andre Shinyashiki, midfielder Sam Hamilton and defenders Reagan Dunk and Kortne Ford. The Pioneers also welcome back second-teamers Karsten Hanlin (midfielder) and Scott DeVoss (defender).
  • The Pioneers are ranked in both the College Soccer News (No. 15) and NSCAA (No. 20) preseason polls.
  • Both the Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year from last season return in Western Illinois midfielder/forward Drew Whalen and Denver defender Reagan Dunk, respectively. Whalen led the league in both points (23) and goals (10), while Dunk was named to the preseason MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List.
  • Also returning is reigning Newcomer of the Year Andre Shinyashiki from Denver. The sophomore forward led all freshmen last season in goals (5) and points (12).
  • Omaha, ranked as high as No. 22 in the nation last season, return first team selection Mark Moulton and second-team honoree Fazlo Alihodzic. Moulton was first in the league with 51 shots and was second in points with 20 (7 goals, 6 assists).
  • The Golden Eagles return a first team all-league selection from a year ago in forward Matthew Rogers. The redshirt senior led his team with 17 points and was also named Academic All-League.
  • Two other second team honorees returning for the 2016 campaign are Fort Wayne midfielder Jacob Murphy and Eastern Illinois goalkeeper Mike Novotny. Murphy collected six points last season while Novotny earned a pair of Defensive Player of the Week honors.
  • Denver has won the last three tournament championship titles and three straight regular-season crowns (shared title in 2014).

#SummitMSOC Schedule Notes

  • The 2016 season officially begins Aug. 26 with the league schedule kicking off Sept. 23 with Western Illinois visiting IUPUI.
  • League teams will have nine matches against teams ranked in the preseason top-25 of either the NSCAA or College Soccer News polls. Denver and Omaha will both battle three teams, while IUPUI, Oral Roberts and Western Illinois will each take on one.
  • Last season's tournament championship rematch takes place in the Mile High City on Oct. 22, as Denver hosts Oral Roberts.
  • The top four regular-season finishers will qualify for The Summit League Men's Soccer Championship, held in Denver, Colo., Nov. 10-12.

Players to Watch

Reagan Dunk, Denver – D, R-Sr.
- Named to 2016 MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List
- 2015 Summit League Defensive Player of the Year
- 2015 Second Team All-America by the NSCAA

Kortne Ford, Denver – D, Jr.
- 2015 Summit League First Team selection, Second Team honoree in 2014
- Tied team-high with 1,795 minutes played last season
- Center back on 2015 squad that had a 0.40 goals against average

Sam Hamilton, Denver – M, Sr.
- 2015 First Team All-Summit League
- 2015 CoSIDA Academic All-District selection
- Named to College Soccer News' National Team of the Week (9/7/15)

Zach Medawattage, Eastern Illinois – D, Jr.
- Started 14-of-15 matches during sophomore season
- Logged 1,289 minutes on the field in 2015, second-most on the Panther squad
- Named 2015 Summit League Academic Distinguished Scholar

Mark Moulton, Omaha – M, Sr.
- Summit League First Team selection in 2014 and 2015
- School recorder holder with 18 career assists
- Led the league in shots (51) and was second in points (20) and goals (7) in 2015

Matthew Rogers, Oral Roberts – F, R-Sr.
- 2015 Summit League First Team selection
- Led ORU with 17 points last season on seven goals and three assists
- Recorded a pair of game-winning goals and one game-tying strike

Andre Shinyashiki, Denver – F, So.
- 2015 Summit League Newcomer of the Year
- 2015 First Team All-Summit League
- Led the Pioneers with 48 shots and tied for team-lead with five goals

Cristian Soto, IUPUI – M, Sr.
- Closed 2015 season second on his Jaguar team in both points (8) and goals (3)
- Named Commissioner's List of Academic Excellence recipient
- Played at least 90 minutes in 11 matches and at least 100 minutes in six contests

Zach Tom, Fort Wayne – M, So.
- 2015 Summit League All-Newcomer Team
- Led Mastodons with 11 points during his freshman season
- Started 15-of-17 matches with one game-winning goal

Drew Whalen, Western Illinois – M/F, Sr.
- 2015 Summit League Offensive Player of the Year
- Led the league in points (23) and goals (10) in 2015
- Tallied the league's first hat trick in nearly two years vs. EIU (10/17/15)

Note: Players to Watch selected by league's head coaches

Celebrating its 35th season of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of over 120,000 at nine institutions, including four located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Fort Wayne (Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne), IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis), North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced eight NCAA Champions along with over 80 Academic All-Americans, 75 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague and watch the weekly "Inside The Summit League" show at