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Sophomore Spencer Vasey
Courtesy: Chris Donahue

Bulldogs Eye Best-Ever Start As Drake Faces Pair Of Road Games

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
         
Release: August 21, 2012
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WHAT'S AHEAD
Opening the season at 2-0 for the first time since 2003, the Drake women's soccer team goes in search of the program's best-ever start this weekend when the Bulldogs face road tests at SIU Edwardsville and Southeast Missouri State on Friday (Aug. 24) and Sunday (Aug. 26), respectively.  Drake's encounter with the Cougars is slated for 7:00 p.m. on Friday, while the showdown with the Redhawks will kick off at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday.

SCOUTING THE COUGARS
SIU Edwardsville (0-2)
enters action this week seeking its first win of the year after dropping 2-0 and 1-0 decisions, respectively, to Indiana State and Northern Illinois last weekend.  The Cougars have not found the back of the net through two games, but junior Kourtney Price has garnered a team-high nine shots.  Sophomore Courtney Vonder Haar and freshman Jennifer Pelley have combined to register seven saves in goal for SIU Edwardsville.  

SCOUTING THE REDHAWKS
Southeast Missouri State (0-1-1)
is in search of its first victory of the season coming into play this week after falling 2-1 to Illinois State last Friday (Aug. 17) before earning a scoreless draw with Saint Louis on Sunday (Aug. 19).  Freshman Ashley Geist owns the Redhawks' lone goal of the season and is pacing the squad in shots (5) and shots on goal (4).  Senior Renee Kertz and junior Ashton Aubuchon have split time in net for Southeast Missouri State registering five combined saves.

SERIES HISTORY
Drake squares off against SIU Edwardsville for only the third time in program history and first since 2010, when the two sides collide on Friday (Aug. 24)  The Bulldogs registered a 3-0 home win over the Cougars in 2010 after SIU Edwardsville bested Drake a year earlier, 1-0.

The Bulldogs are meeting Southeast Missouri State for only the second time and first since the program's inaugural campaign in 2002.  In the lone previous encounter, the two sides fought to a scoreless double-overtime tie on Oct. 18, 2002.

THE COACHES
SIU Edwardsville: Derek Burton
is in his fifth year leading the Cougars posting a 22-36-4 record (.387) and is 76-64-11 (.540) in 10 seasons as a head coach.

Southeast Missouri State: Heather Nelson is in her 14th campaign at the helm of the Redhawks' program, registering a 130-79-27 (.608) mark.  She owns a 161-123-32 record (.560) in this her 18th year as a head coach.

Drake: In her fifth season on the Drake sidelines as head coach is Lindsey Horner, who owns a 33-36-11 record (.481).

DRAKE HEAD COACH LINDSEY HORNER
Lindsey Horner is in her fifth season leading the Drake women's soccer program, owning a 33-36-11 record as head coach after serving five seasons (2003-08) as assistant coach for the Bulldogs.

Horner was named to her position on April 10, 2008, becoming only the second head coach for women's soccer, which began as a varsity sport in 2002.

Horner directed a youthful 2011 squad, that featured 10 underclassmen starters, to a 4-11-4 mark.  The record may not belie the talent on the team as the Bulldogs were involved in 14 games decided by a goal or less, posting three wins and four ties in those matches.

Four members of the team garnered All-Missouri Valley Conference honors, led by sophomore Megan Fisher, who was honored as a first-team All-MVC selection.  Junior Laura Moklestad and sophomore Kalena Litch collected second-team All-MVC recognition.  Pulling in All-Freshman team laurels was Tori Flynn.

Additionally, Moklestad became the first Bulldog to earn regional accolades more than once when she was tabbed a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/Performance Subaru All-Great Lakes Regional third-team selection for the second-consecutive year.

Moklestad joined Andrea Schmitz and Sarah Foote, who were also named to the NSCAA All-Great Lakes Regional team in 2004 and 2006, respectively, as the only Bulldogs to earn regional honors.

Drake was one of 89 schools nationwide that were honored with a Team Ethics Award by the NSCAA.
The Bulldogs were one of 56 teams claiming the Silver Award, which is given to squads that accumulate no red cards and a maximum of five yellow cards.  Drake was the lone Missouri Valley Conference representative, men or women, among the 89 teams honored.

Off the field, the Bulldogs were honored for their academic success by the NSCAA as a College Team Academic Award Winner for 2011.  It marked the ninth consecutive campaign Drake was honored.  The Bulldogs maintained a team grade point average of 3.31 for the 2010-11 academic year.  Additionally, Moklestad was selected as a first-team All-MVC Scholar-Athlete recipient for the second-straight season.

Horner led the Bulldogs to a breakout campaign in 2010 as Drake posted a 10-6-3 overall mark.  The 10 wins marked the Bulldogs' first double-figure win campaign since going 12-6-2 during its NCAA Tournament season in 2006.

As a team, Drake matched a school record with nine shutouts, all by freshman goalkeeper Kalena Litch.
Six members of the team garnered All-MVC honors, led by Moklestad, who was honored as a first team All-MVC selection.

Paige Dusek, Fisher and Litch collected both second team All-MVC and All-Freshman team recognition.  Pulling in honorable mention laurels were senior Bailey Dorrington and redshirt junior Ali Walsh.

Additionally, Moklestad and senior Katie Anderson were selected to the All-MVC Scholar-Athlete first and honorable mention teams, respectively.

Horner led the Bulldogs to a 9-9-1 mark in 2009.  Earning first team All-MVC honors was senior Elizabeth Woerle, while fellow seniors Blair Nelson and Crystal Townley collected second team laurels.  Receiving All-MVC honorable mention recognition were seniors Rachel Gielau and Melissa Lewis along with junior Bailey Dorrington. Moklestad was selected to the MVC All-Freshmen squad.  Lewis also earned first team All-MVC Scholar-Athlete honors for the second consecutive year.

In Horner's first season leading the Bulldogs, Drake posted an 8-10-1 mark in 2008, including a 4-2 record in the MVC. Senior Katie Sauer was tabbed a first team All-MVC selection, while then senior Jenny Schroeder, Woerle and Townley were chosen second team All-MVC.  Nelson and Lewis gained honorable mention all-league accolades, while freshmen Samantha Knosby and Danielle Figliola were named to the All-MVC Freshman team.

Off the field, Drake maintained a collective 3.25 grade point average with Schroeder and Lewis tabbed as first team All-MVC Scholar-Athlete selections.

Horner was the Bulldogs' top assistant from 2003-08. During her tenure, the Bulldogs compiled a 56-35-9 record winning four MVC Conference regular season championships, while competing in the 2006 NCAA Tournament. She assisted in all facets of the Bulldog soccer program and served as camp director of the Premier Soccer camps.

Horner, a native of West Des Moines, Iowa, was a four-year letterwinner at Kansas, being named the Jayhawks' most valuable offensive player as a senior in 2000. She was an all-academic Big 12 Conference selection in the spring of 2001 and graduated in 2002 with a bachelor of science degree from the school of education, majoring in exercise science with an emphasis in sports management.

She recently earned a master's degree in adult learning and organizational performance with an emphasis in leadership at Drake.

BULLDOGS WIN 1-0 AT NEBRASKA
Sophomore Ashlie Stokes' (Sioux City, Iowa/Sioux City North) goal in the 66th minute (65:22) propelled the Drake women's soccer team to a 1-0 road shutout over Nebraska on Sunday (Aug. 19).

The two sides had waged a scoreless battle until Stokes registered her second goal of the season, striking a ball from 30 yards out that hit the crossbar before falling in behind Nebraska goalkeeper Emma Stevens.

Nebraska collected a 13-8 advantage in shots in the affair, including 7-4 in shots on goal.

Stokes led the Bulldogs with a game-high five shots, while freshman Rhian Pritchard (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley North) added two shots.

Junior Kalena Litch (Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata) pulled in a game-high seven saves for Drake en route to recording her 12th career shutout.

DRAKE BESTS NORTHERN ILLINOIS, 2-1
Ashlie Stokes delivered the game-winning goal off a header in the box in the 78th minute (77:40) to propel Drake to a 2-1 victory over Northern Illinois in the season opener for both squads last Friday (Aug. 17) at the Cownie Soccer Complex.

The Bulldogs' triumph marked only the third time in the program's 11-year history that Drake has garnered a win in its season opener and the first since a 2-1 overtime victory versus North Dakota State in 2009.

The two sides waged a nip-and-tuck affair in the initial stanza as each team registered four shots in a scoreless first half.

The Bulldogs cracked into the scoring column first when junior Brittany Schuling (Bondurant, Iowa/Bondurant-Farrar) connected on a penalty kick at the 46:31 mark.

Drake maintained the advantage until the Huskies netted the equalizer on a goal by Anna Roman-Pleschko in the 68th minute (67:44).  Northern Illinois capitalized off a cross that was punched into the middle of the box from the right side off the foot of Nici Newquist, who was credited with the assist.

Nearly 10 minutes of back-and-forth soccer ensued before Stokes' heroics.

Off a corner kick, Schuling swung a ball into the box which Stokes delivered past goalkeeper Amy Carr with a flick of her head from less than three yards out.  The goal was the first of the season for Stokes and the second of her career.

On the strength of a 7-6 second-half shot advantage, the Bulldogs outshot Northern Illinois, 11-10.
Junior Generve Charles (Wausau, Wis./Wausau East) and Rhian Pritchard paced the Drake attack with game-highs of three shots apiece.

Kalena Litch pulled in six saves for the Bulldogs.

IN SEASON OPENERS
In their 11 season lidlfiters, the Bulldogs have been challenged by Arizona (twice), Eastern Michigan, Florida, Minnesota, Northwestern, Iowa, North Dakota State, Iowa State (twice) and Northern Illinois and own a 3-7-1 mark after Drake's 2-1 victory over Northern Illinois this season. The Bulldogs' three victories have come over Eastern Michigan in 2003 (2-0), North Dakota State in 2009 (2-1 in OT) and Northern Illinois in 2012.

BULLDOG BITES

  • On the strength of her 13 saves last week, Kalena Litch moved past Kate Stack (2002-04) and into second place all-time at Drake in career saves (236). She is 23 saves shy of supplanting Jenny Schroeder (258 saves, 2006-08) atop the list.
  • Ashlie Stokes has registered game-winning goal both of the Bulldogs' games this season. Last season, no Drake player recorded more than one game-winning tally.
  • Senior Laura Moklestad (Des Moines, Iowa/Roosevelt) is ranked sixth, sixth and seventh, respectively, in Drake history in career goals (14), points (35) and shots (114), while sitting one assist shy of cracking the top-10 in career assists.
  • Junior Megan Fisher (Ankeny, Iowa/Ankeny), Laura Moklestad and Kalena Litch were named first-team selections on the College Sports Madness MVC Women's Soccer Preseason All-Conference Team. Tabbed as a second-team honoree was sophomore Tori Flynn (O'Fallon, Mo./St. Joseph Academy).
  • Kalena Litch surpassed Erin Jarvis (2003-06) for third all-time in career minutes against Creighton last season and now has played 3,882 career minutes for Drake.
  • Drake's victory over Nebraska (Aug. 19) marked the first time the Bulldogs have begun a campaign at 2-0 since 2003, while also representing the first-ever triumph over the Huskers in five meetings between the schools.
  • Drake also garnered only the third win versus a team from the Big Ten Conference in program history when it bested Nebraska, and first since downing Iowa, 1-0, during the 2004 campaign.
  • The Bulldogs spread the scoring wealth last season as eight players scored a goal. It matches the total number of Bulldogs to score at least one goal from 2009 and 2011 and is the most since nine Drake players found the back of the net in 2008.
  • With her sixth save of the game against Northern Iowa (Oct. 27, 2011) at the 64:09 mark, Kalena Litch established a single-season saves record at Drake with her 125th stop of the season to surpass Kate Stack (2002). She finished the year with a league-best 132 saves last season.
  • The Bulldogs have continued their solid play at home under fifth-year head coach Lindsey Horner, having gone 21-13-3 in her five seasons.
  • Drake has continued its trend under Horner of playing close games as the Bulldogs have had 53 games in the past four seasons decided by one goal or less, including 14 last season.

IN OUR LAST MEETINGS
Drake 3, SIU Edwardsville 0 (Oct. 10, 2010)
DES MOINES, Iowa -
Three goals in a nearly seven-minute span proved to be all the scoring Drake needed en route to earning a 3-0 victory over SIU Edwardsville on Oct. 10, 2010 at the Cownie Soccer Complex.

After a slow first 15 minutes of play, Paige Dusek (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles North) nearly cracked the scoring column for the Bulldogs, getting behind goalkeeper Claire Lovercheck and having her shot deflected out by an SIU Edwardsville team save at the 17:08 mark.

Generve Charles had a 1v1 with Lovercheck in the 28th minute (27:24) and was thwarted with her attempt hitting the crossbar.

Danielle Figliola ended the Drake dramatics at the 25:59 mark, connecting on her third goal of the season with a header off a feed from 25 yards out from Katie Anderson.

The lead swelled to 2-0 in the 28th minute (27:43) when Laura Moklestad beat the goalie 1v1 off a pass from Dusek off the far right sideline.

Tara Zika (St. Louis, Mo./Ursuline) capped the scoring at the 32:53 mark, registering her first goal as a Bulldog accepting a free kick from Charlie Maxwell (Noblesville, Ind./Noblesville) in the box and depositing the ball in the net.

Led by a game-high nine shots from Dusek, Drake posted an 18-14 advantage in shots in the affair.
Kalena Litch pulled in four saves for the Bulldogs.

Drake 0, Southeast Missouri State 0 (Oct. 18, 2002)
DES MOINES, Iowa -
In the next-to-last home game of its inaugural 2002 campaign, Drake battled Southeast Missouri State to a scoreless double-overtime tie at the Hidden Valley Soccer Complex.

ON THIS DATE IN BULLDOG HISTORY
The Bulldogs are facing their first-ever game on Aug. 24 when Drake battles SIU Edwardsville on Friday.  The Bulldogs will be playing for only the third time in program history on Aug. 26 when it encounters Southeast Missouri State on Sunday. The Bulldogs are 1-1 on the date after downing Northern Arizona in overtime last season, 2-1, while losing their only other contest, dropping a 3-1 decision at No. 19 Florida in 2005.

WINS VERSUS LOSSES
In their two victories this season, the Bulldogs are registering 9.5 shots, 2.5 corner kicks and 6.5 saves, while their opponents recorded 11.5 shots, 9.0 corner kicks and 2.5 saves.  

NATIONALLY SPEAKING
The Bulldogs were nationally-ranked in several NCAA statistical categories last season.  Drake was rated 49th in save percentage (.829).  Individually, Kalena Litch finished eighth nationally in total saves (132) and 56th in save percentage (.830).

FISHER AND LITCH EARN PRESEASON ALL-MVC ACCOLADES
Megan Fisher (Ankeny, Iowa/Ankeny) and Kalena Litch were among 11 players tabbed by a vote of the seven Missouri Valley Conference head women's soccer coaches as All-MVC Preseason first-team selections, the league announced on Aug. 15.

Fisher started all 19 games as a sophomore, helping anchor a Drake defensive unit that registered two shutouts.  She was tabbed to the All-MVC first team as a sophomore after garnering second team and All-Newcomer squad status as a freshman.  She ranked third on the team in goals (2), while adding 12 shots, including five on net from her defender's slot.

Litch was named to the first team after a sophomore campaign in which she registered a school record and conference-best 132 saves en route to second-team All-MVC honors.

PRESEASON MVC POLL TABS DRAKE FIFTH
Drake was picked to finish fifth in the MVC Coaches Preseason poll with 20 points.  Pegged ahead of the Bulldogs were Northern Iowa (25 points), Creighton (32 points), Missouri State (43 points) and league favorite Illinois State (47 points).  Rounding out the poll were Indiana State (16 points) and Evansville (14 points).

UP NEXT
The Bulldogs conclude their four-game road swing with a stop at South Dakota State on Aug. 31 before returning home to host North Dakota State on Sept. 2.  Game time versus the Jackrabbits is slated for 6:00 p.m., while the encounter with the Bison is slated for a noon kickoff.

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