By: Kelly Shipp
DENVER – The top-seeded Pioneers of the University of Denver earned a 1-0 victory over No. 4 seed Eastern Illinois on Thursday afternoon in the semifinals of The Summit League Men's Soccer Championship.
Denver got on the board early in the semifinal match against the Panthers as senior forward Andre Shinyashiki was able to take a pass from senior midfielder Moshe Perez and beat the Eastern Illinois goalkeeper to get the Pioneers on the board in the 11th minute of action.
Shinyashiki's first-half goal was the only score of the afternoon as both teams settled in and played a fantastic defensive contest. The Denver defense, led by goalkeeper of the year Will Palmquist and defensive player of the year Scott DeVoss allowed just four total shots and one shot on goal while the Eastern Illinois defense, led by First Team All-Summit League defender Edgar Mesa, gave up 12 shots but just one shot on goal.
• Shinyashiki's goal was his 28th of the year. His 28 goals are the most in the NCAA
• Perez and Jacob Stensson both assisted on the Pioneers lone goal
• Denver tallied three corner kicks while Eastern Illinois earned one
• Eastern Illinois goalkeeper Jonathan Burke allowed one goal on 12 shots
• Denver goalkeeper Palmquist earned his fourth shutout of the season. He improved his record to 6-3 on the year
• Shinyashiki and Perez each totaled four shots
• Both goalkeepers played the full 90 minutes
Eastern Illinois: 3-11-4
Quoting Coach Franks
On the win against Eastern Illinois
"I think it is about surviving and advancing and we had one goal and that was to make it to the final. We scored early and didn't really give up much defensively and felt pretty comfortable in the game."
On Shinyashiki's 28th goal of the season
"Big players play in big games. For us it's great that he has scored all the goals, but he wants to win trophies and that's what is in front of us on Saturday."
On the upcoming match on Saturday
"For us it's just about problem solving, being resilient and being collective on the day.
Denver will play the winner of the second semifinal on Saturday at 3 p.m. (MT). The second semifinal features No. 2 Omaha and NO. 3 Purdue Fort Wayne.