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Seniors Laura Moklestad, Kasey Wellman, Lauren Strickfaden, Tara Zika and Kelsey Pigg
Courtesy: Sean Palchick

Bulldogs Control Own Fate In Race For MVC Title

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
         
Release: October 23, 2012
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WHAT'S AHEAD
Drake will have fate in its own hands as the Bulldogs host Illinois State on Thursday (Oct. 25) needing a victory to claim an outright Missouri Valley Conference regular season title. 

Drake will claim the conference title, its first since the 2006 campaign, and the No. 1 berth at the upcoming league tournament with a win over the Redbirds.  The Bulldogs will have their work cut out for them as Drake has not beaten Illinois State since 2005, a span of nine games since its last triumph.  A tie versus the Redbirds will give Drake the No. 2 tournament seed and a bye into the semifinal round to be played Nov. 2 in Omaha, Neb.  A loss drops the Bulldogs into the No. 3 seed and a home game with Creighton on Sunday (Oct. 28) at 1:00 p.m.

Game time at the Cownie Soccer Complex against Illinois State is set for 6:00 p.m.

SCOUTING THE REDBIRDS
Illinois State (10-4-2, 3-2 MVC)
comes into action this week having won its last two games, including a 1-0 home victory past Missouri State on Sunday (Oct. 21).  Sophomore Rachel Tejada leads the Redbirds' offensive attack with 14 goals, while junior Kyle Cross has contributed seven goals.  Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Aryn Newsom has recorded 48 saves for Illinois State, while owning a 1.33 goals against average.

SERIES HISTORY
The Bulldogs will look to snap a seven-game losing streak against Illinois State when it battles the Redbirds on Thursday (Oct. 25).  Illinois State owns a 7-5-2 all-time advantage.  The Redbirds registered a 2-0 home win over Drake on Sept. 25, 2011.

THE COACHES
Illinois State: Drew Roff
is in his sixth year leading the Redbirds, posting a 65-36-10 record (.631) and owns a 91-50-11 ledger (.635) in eight campaigns as a head coach.

Drake: In her fifth season on the Drake sidelines as head coach is Lindsey Horner, who owns a 43-40-13 record (.516).

DRAKE HEAD COACH LINDSEY HORNER
Lindsey Horner is in her fifth season leading the Drake women's soccer program, owning a 43-40-13 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.

Horner holds a Premier Coaching Diploma from the NSCAA and a 'A' license from USSF.

DRAKE AND INDIANA STATE BATTLE TO 0-0 DOUBLE-OT TIE
Drake recorded a 0-0 double-overtime tie at Indiana State last Sunday (Oct. 21).

Neither side was able to crack the scoring column in the first half as the Sycamores recorded a 5-3 shot advantage.

In the second half, Indiana State again outshot the Bulldogs, 6-5, en route to a 12-10 margin in shots on the game.

After failing to get off a shot in the initial overtime session, Drake garnered a pair of shots in the second overtime period, including one at the 108:40 mark by freshman Rhian Pritchard (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley North) that was blocked.

Sophomore Ashlie Stokes (Sioux City, Iowa/Sioux City North), junior Megan Fisher (Ankeny, Iowa/Ankeny) and Pritchard each added a pair of shots to the Bulldogs' attack.

Junior Kalena Litch (Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata) pulled in four saves for Drake.

THE TIME TO SHINE
The change of seasons 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 11 seasons, including this year, the Bulldogs own a 51-24-7 record (.665) in the month of October.  In five of the previous 10 seasons, Drake has lost one game or less.

BULLDOG BITES

  • Drake goes in search of its first MVC regular season title since 2006 when the Bulldogs host Illinois State on Thursday (Oct. 25). A victory over the Redbirds will give Drake its fifth MVC regular season title and mark only the second time the Bulldogs have traversed their league slate unbeaten.
  • A victory against Illinois State also allows the Bulldogs to post their first-ever undefeated campaign at home as Drake enters the game having won its last 10 home contests dating back to last season, including 9-0 this fall.
  • The Bulldogs are looking to score their first goal against Illinois State since the 2007 campaign when the two teams meet this week.
  • Drake is off to its best league start since the 2006 campaign with a 3-0-2 record. That season the Bulldogs posted a 5-0-1 mark en route to earning the MVC Tournament title.
  • Laura Moklestad played in her 77th career game against Indiana State on Sunday (Oct. 21) moving into the top-10 in games played as a Bulldog.
  • Kalena Litch is leading the MVC in MVC-only affairs in saves per contest (6.20). As a team, Drake paces the conference in goals against average (0.92), goals allowed (0.94) and shutouts per contest (0.39). In league-only showdowns, the Bulldogs lead the conference in saves per contest (6.40).
  • Kalena Litch moved atop the all-time wins list at Drake, garnering her 25th career victory in goal against Evansville (Oct. 7). The triumph allowed her to break a three-way tie among Jenny Schroeder (2006-08) and Kate Stack (2002-04). She now owns 26 career victories.
  • Sophomore Ashlie Stokes and juniors Generve Charles (Wausau, Wis./Wausau East) and Brittany Schuling (Bondurant, Iowa/Bondurant-Farrar) have moved into the single-season top-10 record books this year in goals (7), goals (6) and assists (6), respectively.
  • Ashlie Stokes' seven goals this season through 18 games has enabled her to surpass senior Laura Moklestad's team-leading goal total (4) for all of the 2011 campaign.
  • Ashlie Stokes, Generve Charles, Laura Moklestad, Brittany Schuling, Paige Dusek (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles North) and Rhian Pritchard have accounted for 181 of Drake's 230 shots this season as the sextet leads the squad with 53, 31, 29, 28, 21 and 19 shots, respectively.
  • Ashlie Stokes and Laura Moklestad have registered a game-winning goal in four and three games, respectively, of the Bulldogs' 18 games this fall. Last season, no Drake player recorded more than one game-winning tally.
  • Senior Laura Moklestad is ranked fourth, fifth, fifth and seventh, respectively, in Drake history in career shots (136), goals (18), points (46) and assists (10).
  • Kalena Litch surpassed both Jenny Schroeder (2006-08) and Kate Stack (2002-04) to become Drake's all-time leader in minutes played against Eastern Illinois (Sept. 16) and now has played 5,372 career minutes for the Bulldogs. She is also in second place in career shutouts (18).
  • On the strength of her three saves in the Bulldogs' 1-0 win over Northern Colorado (Sept. 14), Kalena Litch supplanted Jenny Schroeder (258 saves, 2006-08) and moved to the top of the all-time saves list at Drake (308).
  • Drake's win over Missouri State (Sept. 22) enabled the Bulldogs to establish a new school record for consecutive wins (8), surpassing the previous mark (7) set during both the 2003 and 2004 campaigns.
  • Drake opened the road portion of its Missouri Valley Conference slate Sept. 27 posting a 1-1 double-overtime tie at Northern Iowa to move to 6-4-1 all-time in league road openers.
  • Drake opened its MVC slate with a 3-0 victory past Missouri State (Sept. 22), a win that moved the Bulldogs to 7-4 all-time in league openers.
  • Drake's showdown with UMKC (Sept. 19) represented the second annual "KICK Cancer Game". In an effort to create awareness about cancer research the Bulldogs donated navy blue jerseys for the contest that were auctioned off during the game, with proceeds benefiting the John Stoddard Cancer Center. The squad also sold memory cards that raised $660 for cancer research.
  • The Missouri Valley Conference announced that Drake juniors Megan Fisher and Kalena Litch were named the league's Women's Soccer Defensive Player of the Week and Goalkeeper of the Week, respectively, for the week of Sept. 10-16.
  • Laura Moklestad was named by TopDrawerSoccer.com to its 11-member women's soccer National Team of the Week, the website announced on Sept. 24.
  • Juniors Brittany Schuling and Kalena Litch were named the league's Women's Soccer Defensive Player of the Week and Goalkeeper of the Week, respectively, on Sept. 10.
  • Laura Moklestad made it back-to-back-to-back winners for the Bulldogs when she was recognized as the College Sports Madness MVC Women's Soccer Player of the Week picking up the accolade on Sept. 24. Previous winners include; Kalena Litch (Sept. 17) and Generve Charles (Sept. 10).
  • The Bulldogs' two-goal victory over Nebraska Omaha broke a string of 25-straight games since Drake's last triumph decided by more than one tally, a 3-1 win over Green Bay last season.
  • Drake's 2-1 victory past South Dakota (Sept. 7) enabled the Bulldogs to surpass their win total for all of the 2011 campaign.
  • Ashlie Stokes and Kalena Litch were honored as the MVC Offensive Player of the Week and Goalkeeper of the week on Sept. 4.
  • Junior Megan Fisher, 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).
  • 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 have continued their solid play at home under fifth-year head coach Lindsey Horner, having gone 29-13-3 in her five seasons.
  • Drake has continued its trend under Horner of playing close games as the Bulldogs have had 66 games in the past five seasons decided by one goal or less, including 15 of 18 this season.
  • 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.

BULLDOGS HONORS FIVE SENIORS
Drake's showdown against Evansville represented Senior Day for seniors Kelsey Pigg (Waukee, Iowa/Waukee), Lauren Strickfaden (Wichita, Kan./Independent), Kasey Wellman (Northfield, Minn./Northfield), Tara Zika (St. Louis, Mo./Ursuline Academy) and Laura Moklestad as the group was recognized in special pre-game ceremonies.

Drake's active leader in games played is Moklestad with 77.  She holds 18 goals and 10 assists in her career.  Pigg has appeared in 33 games, including all 18 this season and owns two goals and one assist.  Strickfaden has played in eight career contests, including one this season.  Wellman has garnered playing time in 46 games and has recorded three goals and two assists.  With six career goals and three assists, Zika has appeared in 38 games.
 
STREAK BUSTED
The Bulldogs saw their nine-game unbeaten streak snapped following a 1-0 setback at Western Illinois (Oct. 3).  Drake was on the second-best run in school history at 8-0-1, trailing only the 2004 Drake squad that was unbeaten in 12-straight games from Sept. 24 - Nov. 5, 2004. 

IN OUR LAST MEETING
Illinois State 2, Drake 0 (Sept. 25, 2011)
NORMAL, Ill. -
Drake saw its Missouri Valley Conference opener spoiled as Illinois State scored a goal in each half to register a 2-0 victory past the Bulldogs.

The Redbirds netted what proved to be the game-winning goal in the 24th minute (23:26) when Rachel Bostick connected off a header off Anna Stinson's corner kick.

The Bulldogs were bettered 14-3 in shots in the initial stanza and 32-5 in the game.

Drake's best scoring opportunity occurred at the 78:27 mark when Gina Zurbey's (New Brighton, Minn./St. Anthony Village) shot struck the post.

Illinois State added an insurance tally in the 87th minute (86:34) from Mia Patrevito to complete the 2-0 triumph.

Kyla Cross led all players with seven shots, while Drake was directed by a team-high two shots from Danielle FigliolaKalena Litch recorded a game-best nine saves for the Bulldogs.

ON THIS DATE IN BULLDOG HISTORY
Drake is playing in its fourth game in school history on Oct. 25.  The Bulldogs are 1-2 in those contests with a victory over Indiana State (2007).

OVER OUR LAST FIVE GAMES
The Bulldogs own a 2-2-1 mark in their last five contests, with four of the five occurring away home.  Laura Moklestad, Generve Charles, Ashlie Stokes and Megan Fisher have each registered a goal.  Stokes leads the team in scoring in that span with three points and she paces Drake with 11 shots.  Kalena Litch has been peppered by 76 shots in that span in goal and has recorded 26 saves.

WINS VERSUS LOSSES
In their 12 victories this season, the Bulldogs are registering 14.1 shots, 3.7 corner kicks and 5.3 saves, while their opponents recorded 12.6 shots, 5.8 corner kicks and 4.4 saves.  In its four losses, Drake is recording 10.5 shots, 2.8 corner kicks and 4.3 saves, while surrendering 13.5 shots, 5.0 corner kicks and 4.8 saves.

NATIONALLY SPEAKING
The Bulldogs are nationally-ranked in several NCAA statistical categories this season.  Drake is rated 35th, 37th and 67th, respectively, in save percentage (.843), winning percentage (.722) and goals against average (.916).  Individually, Kalena Litch is 22nd, 51st, 63rd and 69th nationally in minutes played (1669.37), save percentage (.833), total saves (85.0) and goals against average (.916).  Ashlie Stokes and Laura Moklestad are rated 28th (4.0) and 75th (3.0) in game-winning goals.

FISHER AND LITCH EARN PRESEASON ALL-MVC ACCOLADES
Megan Fisher 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).

HOMES GAMES TO BE STREAMED LIVE
Drake women'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.

UP NEXT
A victory or tie by the Bulldogs over Illinois State on Thursday (Oct. 25) and the Bulldogs receive a bye into the semifinals of the MVC Tournament to be played Nov. 2 in Omaha, Neb.  A loss by Drake against the Redbirds and the Bulldogs will host Creighton at the Cownie Soccer Complex on Sunday (Oct. 28) at 1:00 p.m.

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