SIU Edwardsville Edges Drake In Overtime, 2-1
"I'm quite proud of our young team as SIU Edwardsville celebrated the graduation of eight starters tonight on Senior Night and I thought we were every bit as good as them for long stretches of the game," Drake head coach Sean Holmes commented. "To lose to a team on the road that came into the week ranked No. 23 in the RPI, there is no shame."
"With this second overtime game this week, it should be noted that we have been tied or leading in all four of our league games this season."
The Cougars broke into the scoring column first in the affair when Brian Groark connected on a goal in the 13th minute (12:20) off an assist from Peter Kelly.
SIU Edwardsville outshot the Bulldogs in the initial stanza, 8-6, and held a 1-0 lead at the intermission.
"We were overwhelmed at moments to start the game and the goal they scored was reflective of the advantage they had over us in the opening minutes," said Holmes. "We came into the game a little more as the half progressed and it was in the second half that we came into our own."
Drake registered the equalizer at the 54:07 mark off the foot of junior Addison Eck (Springfield, Ill./Sacred Heart Griffin). Eck's fifth goal of the season was set-up by an assist from junior Bryan Jantsch (Mission Hills, Kan./Rockhurst).
"The goal that we scored came from Rich's (Gallagher) foot and was delivered off a great diagonal ball from Kyle (Whigham) to Bryan (Jantsch) for the fifth goal of the season for Addison (Eck)," Holmes explained. "This was very gratifying to see on a difficult opposing field."
The Cougars garnered a 21-12 advantage in shots in the affair, led by a four-shot effort from Tejada. A game-high four shots from Eck paced the Drake attack.
"In the last 15 minutes of the game they grabbed hold of the contest again and perhaps were a little more mature than we were," stated Holmes. "In overtime, we failed to capitalize and get some sort of points on the night."
Redshirt junior goalkeeper Rich Gallagher (Lake Bluff, Ill./Lake Forest Academy) registered eight saves for the Bulldogs, while John Berner made five stops for SIU Edwardsville.
"This was a challenging conference stretch," Holmes explained. "One thing we know is we have to become a better team and by that I mean a team that creates more chances and plays more thoughtful soccer and playing to our philosophy of how we play the game."
"The key moving forward after two difficult road games is that we get a week to prepare for Evansville and another week to get ready for Missouri State and we're a much better team with seven days to prepare for an opponent. My goal is to pick up some points in the final two games before heading to the conference tournament at Bradley."
Drake closes out its home campaign next Saturday (Oct. 27) when the Bulldogs host Evansville in a 7:00 p.m. tilt at the Cownie Soccer Complex.