BERKELEY, Calif. – The University of Denver men’s soccer team earned its first victory of the 2019 campaign, keeping its second cleansheet of the season in a 1-0 win at [RV/-] California on Sunday afternoon at Edwards Stadium.
“I’m really proud of the guys,” head coach Jamie Franks said. “Adversity found us again today with two calls that we disagreed with setting up great chances for them, but our guys stayed resilient and persevered through the moment. After this road swing, there’s no one in the country that’s gone through more adverse moments than our group. I’m proud and happy of how the group responded today. It’s been a tough 17 days of the past 21 on the road, but we were rewarded with a result.”
With the victory, Denver is now 9-9-2 against teams listed as “others receiving votes” in the United Soccer Coaches’ Poll, including 8-2-1 under Franks.
Just shy of the half hour mark, junior Preston Judd (Henderson, Nev.) got his first goal in Crimson and Gold, heading a feed from junior winger Josh Drack (Chandler, Ariz.) to put the visitors in front. The goal is the 23rd of the three-year career of Judd, who transferred from California Baptist in the offseason. Drack picked up his first assist of the campaign and the eighth of his career that includes seven in his two years at Grand Canyon.
Since Franks joined the staff as an assistant in 2012, Denver has now outscored opponents 80-29 in the opening 30 minutes of matches.
Cal outshot Denver 10-4 in the opening 45 minutes, but Denver’s defense controlled the quality of the chances, limiting the Bears to just two shots on goal in the first half.
Redshirt-junior Will Palmquist (Denver, Colo.) made five saves in his eighth career shutout, including denying Taylor Davila from the penalty spot in the 79th minute to keep the Pioneers in front. The cleansheet is the 69th since Franks joined the staff in 2012 (61-0-8).
The Pioneers victory pushed their RPI up to 55th in the country in the early stages of the season.