DEKALB, Ill. - The Drake men's soccer team closed action at the Northern Illinois Invitational on Sunday (Sept. 9) grinding out a 1-1 double-overtime tie versus Northern Illinois (0-2-2).
"Today was a terrific Sunday afternoon performance to rebound from such a heart-wrenching overtime loss to Northwestern on Friday," Bulldog head coach Sean Holmes commented. "I was concerned about how our guys would react and we were tremendous this afternoon. On a windy day playing on a turf field, we took advantage of both halves. We're young, but to grind out these types of results on the road is really good. We're playing in the right direction and this may be the best 1-4-1 team that I've ever coached and I think we will start turning these into results."
Senior Michael Thaden (West Des Moines, Iowa/Valley) registered his second goal of the season in the 28th minute (27:42) to give Drake (1-4-1) an early 1-0 advantage. Earning the assist on the tally was junior Addison Eck (Springfield, Ill./Sacred Heart Griffin).
"Once again Michael (Thaden) was absolutely ridiculous as his strike today for the goal was top class," Holmes explained.
The Bulldogs took the lead into the intermission before the Huskies netted the equalizer at the 53:47 mark off a goal from Gael Rivera. Karim Darbaki collected the assist on the score.
Neither side was able to crack the scoring column for the remainder of the half or in overtime as Northern Illinois registered a 16-11 shot advantage.
Thaden sparked all players with a game-high five shots, while redshirt sophomore Brian Grand (North Branch, Minn./North Branch) added three shots to the Bulldogs' cause. The Huskies were paced by three-shot performances from Jayson Leseth and Darbaki.
Redshirt junior goalkeeper Rich Gallagher (Lake Bluff, Ill./Lake Forest Academy) hauled in five saves for Drake, while Jordan Godsey posted three stops for Northern Illinois.
Gallagher and Thaden were named to the all-tournament team for the Bulldogs.
Holmes was pleased with the performances of his freshmen, who have stepped up their level of play.
"What was most gratifying, minus Logan (North), Kyle (Whigham) and Ben (LeMay), we were repeatedly able to insert untested freshmen and to a man they responded," stated Holmes. "Austin (Reutzel) was great at the back today and Jonah (Waldron) gave us quality minutes. Jon (Choda) was terrific at the midfield and after a brief illness, Danton (Irelan) returned and proved he can score some goals at the Division I level."
"Most notably today was the effort of Jackson (Teeling), who played 110 minutes at right back and was an absolute warrior," Holmes commented. "I think that tells a lot about our program when guys who haven't had opportunity take advantage and step up when called upon. Jarred (Arde) as well in his first collegiate start rewarded the team with his effort, guile and clever ideas."
Drake returns to action on Friday (Sept. 14) traveling to Omaha, Neb., to face William and Mary at 5:00 p.m. as part of the Creighton Invitational.
"Now we'll regroup and begin training for our games with Old Dominion and William and Mary next weekend in Omaha," said Holmes. "I like our team, we just need to finish of our opportunities when we have teams down."