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Judgement Week Awaits Bulldogs With Showdowns At Bradley And SIU Edwardsville

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
Release: October 16, 2012
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The Drake men's soccer squad is challenged by a pair of contests this week that will go a long way in determining its Missouri Valley Conference fate this fall.  The Bulldogs face road showdowns at Bradley and SIU Edwardsville on Wednesday (Oct. 17) and Saturday (Oct. 20), respectively.  Game time versus the Braves is slated for 6:00 p.m., while the encounter with the Cougars will begin at 7:00 p.m.

Bradley (8-4-2, 2-1 MVC)
comes into play this week having won four of its last five games, including conference victories past Evansville and Missouri State.  Juniors Keegan Balle and Jochen Wojcik pace the Braves with a team-high five goals apiece.  Junior goalkeeper Brian Billings has registered 52 saves and maintains a 1.17 goals against average.

SIU Edwardsville (10-4-0, 2-1 MVC)
enters its showdown at Evansville on Wednesday (Oct. 17) having won three of its last four games, including triumphs past  Missouri State and Bradley.  Sophomore Christian Volesky leads the Cougars with a team-high eight goals.  Junior goalkeeper John Berner has recorded the majority of minutes in net for SIUE this year and owns 32 saves with a 0.79 goals against average.

The Bulldogs are playing Bradley for the 33rd time in program history with the all-time series tied at 15-15-2.  Last season, the Bulldogs notched a 1-0 victory on Oct. 8, 2011, at the Cownie Soccer Complex.

Drake encounters SIU Edwardsville for the 11th time with the Bulldogs and Cougars all square at 5-5 in the series.  Drake collected a 2-0 home win past SIU Edwardsville on Oct. 18, 2011.

Bradley: Jim DeRose
is in his 17th campaign directing the Braves and owns a 189-127-35 (.588) record.

SIU Edwardsville: Kevin Kalish is in his fifth season leading the Cougars owning a 38-34-12 ledger (.524).

Drake: In his 15th year on the Drake sidelines as head coach is Sean Holmes, who owns a 126-126-30 mark (.500), including 204-152-32 (.567) overall, in his 19th year as a head coach.

Sean Holmes was named head men's soccer coach at Drake in 1998 and this season marks his 15th campaign directing the Bulldogs' fortunes.

During Holmes' 15-year tenure, the Bulldogs have posted a 126-126-30 record, building a legacy of excellence on Drake's campus and in the Missouri Valley Conference.  In 19 years as a head coach, he has amassed a 204-152-32 overall record.

His 2011 squad turned in a strong campaign finishing with an 11-8-1 mark en route to a berth in the semifinals of the State Farm MVC Championship.

Led by seniors Matt Kuhn and Charles Schwartz, who were first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference selections, seven Drake student-athletes garnered All-MVC accolades. Seniors Hunter Kennedy and Thomas Ostrander, along with sophomore Garrett Crall, were tabbed second-team selections, while senior Jordan Kadlec was recognized as honorable mention.  Capping a stellar campaign with All-Freshman team accolades was Kyle Whigham.

Kuhn, an MLS supplemental draft selection by DC United, was named to the Capital One Academic All-America first team, and joined Ostrander on the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Scholar All-America team. Kuhn was named to the second team, while Ostrander became only the third Bulldog to pull in honors more than once with his selection to the third team.  He was a first-team honoree in 2010.

Kuhn, Ostrander and Schwartz also were chosen 2011 Continental Tires/National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-Midwest Regional selections.  Tabbed to the second team was Kuhn, while Ostrander and Schwartz were named to the third team. It marked the fourth consecutive season and 10th time in program history that the Bulldogs have garnered at least two players on the all-region squad.

Coming on the heels of the most successful season in school history in 2009, the 2010 edition of the Bulldogs featured a young core of players facing arguably Drake's most challenging schedule ever, playing the likes of national powers Michigan, Indiana, Notre Dame, Saint Louis and UC Irvine.

Infused with 14 newcomers, the Bulldogs turned in a successful 8-8-2 record (4-2-1 MVC), including a 1-0 road victory over Michigan, who advanced to the College Cup, and 1-1 double-overtime tie with No. 12 UC Irvine.

Senior Nick Foster, who was named as a first team All-MVC men's soccer selection, led eight Drake student-athletes garnering All-MVC accolades. Ostrander and junior Michael Thaden were tabbed second-team selections, while Kadlec and Schwartz were recognized as honorable mention recipients.

Capping stellar freshman campaigns with All-Freshman team accolades were Crall, Max Duncan and Nick Marshall.

Additionally, Foster and Ostrander were both tabbed 2010 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/Performance Subaru All-Midwest Regional third-team selections.

The Bulldogs were equally successful off the field as Foster and Ostrander became the first-ever Bulldogs named to the first team NSCAA Men's College Scholar All-America Team. The duo became the ninth and 10th Drake players to garner NSCAA Academic All-America accolades, and the first two to be named to the first team.

Drake posted a school-record 16-7-2 mark in 2009, capped off by winning its first ever MVC Tournament championship while advancing to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.

Drake earned its highest ranking in school history, being rated No. 8 in the final 2009 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Top-25 National Poll.  The Bulldogs also rated eighth in the final 2009 NCAA RPI tabulation.

The Bulldogs posted 2009 NCAA Tournament victories past Western Illinois (2-1), No. 13 ranked Ohio State (1-0, overtime) and Boston College (6-4), before falling at nationally ranked North Carolina (2-1).
Garrett Webb was a semifinalist for the 2009 Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy that is the highest individual honor in college soccer.  He also became the second Drake player to earn All-America status with his selection to the NSCAA and College Soccer News second and third team All-America squads, respectively.

A national-best three Bulldogs were named to the 2009 CoSIDA ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America teams, led by senior Brian Wurst, who became the initial first team Academic All-American honoree in school history.  Joining him on the second and third teams, respectively, were junior Matt Kuhn and senior Calvin Clark.  Drake's three selections marked the most of any school in the country in the university division (Division I), besting Akron and South Carolina, who garnered two selections each.

Drake's progress also has been noticed at the next level with four players being drafted by the Major League Soccer. Matt Nickell and Kuhn were selected by the DC United in 2004 and 2012, respectively, while Corey Farabi and Chris Hamburger were both drafted by the Kansas City Wizards in 2005.

Holmes came to Drake after serving as the top assistant at conference-rival Evansville from 1995-98. During his tenure at Evansville, the Aces compiled a 47-30-6 record, winning the 1996 MVC championship. The team, which he helped build, garnered an NCAA Tournament berth and a top 20 ranking.

Surrendering three second-half goals, Drake dropped a 3-1 decision versus UIC (Illinois at Chicago) last Saturday (Oct. 13) at the Cownie Soccer Complex.

The Bulldogs saw their four-game unbeaten streak snapped by the Flames in the third-annual Ralph Gross Alumni Classic.  

The Bulldogs came out of the gates with a strong start in the tilt but struggled to get shots against a pesky UIC squad.

Neither side was able to garner a goal in the opening 45 minutes, with the Flames owning a 7-1 advantage in shots during the initial stanza.

Zach Kaleta broke the stalemate connecting on his second goal of the year at the 46:20 mark to give UIC a 1-0 lead.  The tally was set-up by an assist from Jorge Alvarez.

Junior Addison Eck (Springfield, Ill./Sacred Heart Griffin) drew a foul in the box for Drake in the 52nd minute (51:45) that resulted in a penalty kick.

Senior Michael Thaden (West Des Moines, Iowa/Valley) stepped forward and nailed the kick to square the game at one on the strength of his team-leading fifth goal of the year.

The Flames regained the lead, 2-1, at the 74:43 mark, when Slobodan Aleksov registered the game-winning goal, his third of the year.

UIC tacked on an insurance tally in the 85th minute (84:58) on Ivan Stanisavljevic's goal.  Jesus Torres earned the assist on the score.

The Flames posted an 18-8 advantage in shots in the affair, led by a game-high six from Stanisavljevic.  Sophomore Thomas Schermoly (Olathe, Kan./St. Thomas Aquinas) paced the Drake attack with a team-high two shots.

Redshirt junior goalkeeper Rich Gallagher (Lake Bluff, Ill./Lake Forest Academy) pulled in eight saves for the Bulldogs.

A goal in the 47th-minute (46:41) by Addison Eck lifted Drake to a 1-0 men's soccer victory past UMKC last Tuesday (Oct. 9).

Drake outshot the Kangaroos in the initial stanza, 5-4, but neither team was able to crack the scoring column.

The Bulldogs scored what proved to be the game-winning tally when Eck delivered the deflection off of redshirt sophomore Jarred Arde's (Gulfport, Miss./Gulfport) shot past UMKC goalkeeper Kevin Colby at the 46:41 mark.

The Kangaroos dominated the shot count over the final 45 minutes, 8-3, but UMKC wasn't able to capitalize as Drake held on for its second-consecutive and third shutout of the season.

Led by a game-high three shots each from Tom McCarthy and Ashley Reece, the Kangaroos posted a 12-8 advantage in shots.  The Bulldogs received two shots apiece from Eck, Michael Thaden and Thomas SchermolyRich Gallagher pulled in two saves for Drake.

On the strength of its 1-0 victory past Central Arkansas Saturday (Oct. 6), Drake remained unbeaten in Missouri Valley Conference action.  The Bulldogs have started their league slate with a win or tie in their first two MVC games in each of the last six seasons.  During that span, Drake has not had a losing campaign overall.

Fueled by a stingy defense, Rich Gallagher has been stout in goal for the Bulldogs in two MVC contests this season.  Gallagher has recorded back-to-back shutouts, including a 0-0 double-overtime tie with No. 12 Creighton.  In those games, Gallagher has recorded 16 saves.

  • Drake looks to remain unbeaten through three league games for the third-consecutive season when the Bulldogs face a road test at Bradley on Wednesday (Oct. 17).
  • Drake visits the Braves this week eyeing its third-straight regular season win at Bradley and the sixth-consecutive triumph overall in the regular season against the Braves.
  • The last three encounters between Drake and SIU Edwardsville have resulted in shutout victories by the home team, with the Bulldogs owning a 2-1 mark in those contests.
  • Rich Gallagher's 79 saves this season are tied with Adam Buseck (1993) and Zack Brennan (2001) for the fourth-best single-season mark in school history.
  • Drake has garnered five shots apiece from Michael Thaden and Nick Marshall in two league games this season. The Bulldogs have also gotten three shots each from redshirt sophomore Jarred Arde (Gulfport, Miss./Gulfport), Addison Eck and freshman Alex Troester (Iowa City, Iowa/Iowa City West).
  • Despite being outshot 43-28, including 16-6 in two MVC tilts this year, Drake has held its opponents without a goal.
  • After missing all of last season, MIchael Thaden has picked up where he left off in 2010 as he leads the Bulldogs in goals (5) and shots (31) this season. He has netted a goal in three of Drake's last four games.
  • Thaden has registered a career high in goals (5) this season, surpassing the previous mark of four, which he set in 2010.
  • The Missouri Valley Conference announced that Rich Gallagher was named the league's Men's Soccer Defensive Player of the Week for the period of Sept. 24-30. Gallagher was honored for the first time in his Drake career.
  • The Bulldogs improved to 5-4-6 in conference lidlifters under head coach Sean Holmes with the result against Creighton, including 5-0-6 in the last 11 league openers.
  • The Bulldogs have gotten solid production out of its junior class as Garrett Crall (Norwalk, Iowa/Norwalk), Nick Marshall (Glen Carbon, Ill./Edwardsville), Addison Eck and Logan North (St. Charles, Mo./Francis Howell North) have accounted for six of Drake's 13 goals this season, while combining to record 41 shots, including 18 on goal. Eck also has posted a team-high two assists.
  • The Bulldogs' game versus Old Dominion (Sept. 16) marked the 275th in the Drake coaching career of head coach Sean Holmes.
  • After being held without a goal in its first two games of the season, Drake erupted for three tallies in the Bulldogs' 3-1 victory past Loyola, all of which were scored by a different player in juniors Nick Marshall, Addison Eck and Logan North.
  • Despite Drake's offensive struggles this season, Rich Gallagher has been solid in net, registering 79 saves.
  • Junior Garrett Crall was named a first-team selection on the College Sports Madness MVC Men's Soccer Preseason All-Conference Team.
  • Crall accounted for a team-best five of the Bulldogs' 22 shots at the Billiken Classic. A year ago, Crall registered eight shots for the entire campaign.
  • Drake collected its fifth consecutive triumph in a home opener after defeating Loyola, 3-1,on Aug. 31. The Bulldogs own a 17-10-0 ledger all-time in home lidlifters, including 12-3-0 under head coach Sean Holmes.
  • The Bulldogs are 34-10-7 since 2006 in home games, including 21-8-2 since 2009.
Drake has garnered contributions from eight of its nine newcomers this season.  Austin Reutzel (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Prairie) and Alex Troester have led the way earning starts in 12 and seven games, respectively.  Ben LeMay (Hugo, Minn./Saint Thomas Academy), who has since been lost for the season with a knee injury, joins Reutzel as the lone Bulldog rookies to earn a point, after collecting an assist against Loyola (Aug. 31).

The change of season has boded well for Drake over the years as the flipping of the calendar from September to October has ignited the Bulldogs into some of their best soccer of the season.  In Drake's last nine seasons, including this fall, under head coach Sean Holmes, the Bulldogs own a 33-17-8 record (.638), including 3-1 this season, and have posted seven consecutive winning months in October.

The Bulldogs are nationally-ranked in several NCAA statistical categories this season.  As a team, Drake is 21st in saves per game (5.33).  Individually, Rich Gallagher is ranked fifth and 20th in total saves (79) and saves per game (5.27).

The Bulldogs own a 3-1-1 mark in their last five contests, with three of the five occurring at home.  Michael Thaden and Addison Eck own Drake's five goals in that span registering three and two, respectively. Thaden paces Drake with 12 shots.  Rich Gallagher has been peppered by 83 shots in goal in that span and has recorded 29 saves.

In their four victories this season, the Bulldogs are registering 11.2 shots, 4.0 corner kicks and 4.0 saves, while their opponents recorded 11.0 shots, 2.3 corner kicks and 3.3 saves.  In its eight losses, Drake is recording 9.4 shots, 3.8 corner kicks and 5.5 saves, while surrendering 15.8 shots, 6.3 corner kicks and 3.0 saves.

Drake will hold its eighth annual alumni reunion in conjunction with the Bulldogs' clash against Evansville at the Cownie Soccer Complex on Oct. 27.

Drake head coach Sean Holmes and the current Bulldogs welcome back all of the proud alumni that have contributed to the growth and development of the Drake men's soccer tradition over the course of the program's 27 years.

The Bulldogs face their eighth tilt on Oct. 17 when the team plays at Bradley on Wednesday.  Drake owns a 2-4-1 record in the previous seven encounters with wins over Tulsa (1994) and Vanderbilt (2004).

The Bulldogs face their eighth contest in program history on Oct. 20 when the squad faces SIU Edwardsville.  Drake is 5-2 on the date with wins versus Louisville (1990), Bradley (1991), Tulsa (1995), Eastern Illinois (2000) and Western Kentucky (2007).

Drake 1, Bradley 0 (Oct. 8, 2011)
On the strength of Nick Marshall's goal in the 68th minute (67:14) and goalkeeper Jordan Kadlec registering the Bulldogs' first shutout of the season, Drake upended Bradley, 1-0, in the Missouri Valley Conference opener for both schools on Saturday (Oct. 8) at the Cownie Soccer Complex.

The first half proved to be a battle as the Bulldogs earned a 10-9 advantage in shots in the initial 45 minutes, but neither side was able to crack the scoreboard.

After a foul was whistled on Bradley just past the midfield stripe in the 68th minute, Logan North took the free kick and served the ball into the box where Marshall flicked a header past Bradley goalkeeper Brian Billings for what proved to be the game-winning goal.

Drake nearly extended the margin to 2-0 in the 88th minute (87:25) on a breakaway by Matt Kuhn, but Kuhn's shot was lifted high to end the scoring chance.

On the strength of outshooting the Bulldogs in the second half, 10-5, the Braves recorded a 19-15 shot margin in the affair.

Christian Meza paced all players with a game-high seven shots for Bradley, while Charles Schwartz and Bryan Jantsch (Mission Hills, Kan./Rockhurst) led Drake with four and three shots, respectively.

Kadlec collected the Bulldogs' first shutout of the season pulling in a team-best six saves.

Drake 2, SIU Edwardsville 0 (Oct. 19, 2011)
Erik Boyer's goal in the 27th minute (26:58) proved to be the game-winning tally lifting Drake to a 2-0 men's soccer victory past SIU Edwardsville in Missouri Valley Conference action at the Cownie Soccer Complex.

Charles Schwartz set up Drake's initial goal swinging the ball into the box to Matt Kuhn, who grazed the ball enough to place it at the foot of Boyer, who drilled the ball into the net for his third goal of the season.

The Bulldogs extended the margin to 2-0 at the 40:51 mark when Kuhn delivered his team-leading ninth goal of the year off an assist from Michael Noonan.

Drake outshot the Cougars in the initial stanza, 9-3, en route to earning a 13-10 margin for the game.
In the second half the Bulldogs clamped down defensively, and on the prowess of its defensive line, including goalkeeper Jordan Kadlec, Drake was able to nail down its second shutout of the season.

Kuhn directed all players with a game-high three shots, while the Bulldogs also garnered two shots apiece from Schwartz, Thomas Ostrander and Boyer.  Kadlec registered three saves for Drake.

The Missouri Valley Conference released its 2012 Preseason Men's Soccer Coaches' Poll on Aug. 14 and Drake was tabbed to finish fifth, while placing junior defender Garrett Crall on the preseason All-MVC squad.

Pegged ahead of the Bulldogs are SIU Edwardsville (27 points), Bradley (34 points), Missouri State (38 points and three first-place votes) and Creighton, who was selected as the preseason favorite to win the league crown with 46 points and four first-place tallies. Rounding out the poll were Evansville (18 points) and Central Arkansas (12 points).

Crall was among 13 players named by a vote of the seven MVC men's head soccer coaches to the All-MVC Preseason team.

Starting in all 19 games he appeared in for the Bulldogs as a sophomore, Crall collected eight shots from his defender's slot en route to earning second-team All-MVC accolades.  He helped anchor a Drake defensive unit that registered three shutouts, all versus conference opponents.

Drake men's soccer home games will now be streamed live on GoDrakeBulldogs.com over the True Blue TV platform.  The games are shot using a one-camera shoot and will be available on a subscription basis starting as low as $9.95 per month.  This subscription also includes access to other Drake streaming events such as volleyball, men's and women's basketball and football games.

The Bulldogs close out the home portion of its schedule hosting Evansville on Oct. 27 in a 7:00 p.m. contest at the Cownie Soccer Complex.
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