"Tonight was our best result on the road this year as we seemed to have righted the ship, but to do it on the road, in an inhospitable place like UMKC, is a tribute to the work of the boys," Bulldog head coach Sean Holmes commented. "Much like our last couples of games, we weren't as good in the second half as the first. We got a good early goal in the half and were able to hang on for the win. A month ago we wouldn't have gotten this victory."
"UMKC has always been a great regional rival over the years and in some ways this is the most emotionally, challenging game of the season outside of conference play. We have a lot of kids and alumni from Kansas City, so the boys were well motivated."
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, senior Michael Thaden (West Des Moines, Iowa/Valley) and sophomore Thomas Schermoly (Olathe, Kan./St. Thomas Aquinas).
Redshirt junior goalkeeper Rich Gallagher (Lake Bluff, Ill./Lake Forest Academy) pulled in two saves for Drake, while Corby matched him with two stops for the Kangaroos.
"I was really please for Rich (Gallagher) to get his third shutout of the season, it was very much deserved," said Holmes.
Holmes also offered praise to a number of players for their efforts in helping Drake garner a road victory.
"Jackson (Teeling) came in for an injured Jon (Choda) at halftime and did really well for us on the back line. Kyle (Whigham) and Michael (Thaden) also were tough for us in the middle and Bryan (Jantsch) kind of re-emerged tonight as an attacking threat as he seems to have returned to what he can do for us on a regular basis."
Drake returns to action on Saturday (Oct. 13) hosting UIC (Illinois at Chicago) in a 7:00 p.m. tilt at the Cownie Soccer Complex.
The Bulldogs will battle the Flames in the third annual Ralph Gross Alumni Classic. The game also marks the fourth annual "Greenest Game on Grass" contest. Drake looks forward to donning green uniforms that will be auctioned off during the game. The first 200 fans in attendance receive a "Drake Soccer Goes Green" T-shirt.
"I think these two non-conference games will be a challenge for us, but if we continue our momentum forward, we can find success when we return to Valley play," Holmes explained.