Preseason Preparations Underway For Bulldogs
DES MOINES, Iowa - With less than two weeks until the start of the 2014 men's soccer campaign, Drake, under the direction of 17th-year head coach Sean Holmes is rounding out its first week of official preparations for the new season.
The Bulldogs enter the 2014 campaign looking to build upon an 8-8-4 mark last season, including a second-place 3-1-2 ledger in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Drake is seeking to integrate 12 newcomers this season onto a roster that boasts 10 returning lettermen from a year ago, including four players who scored goals for the Bulldogs.
Included among the returnees are Drake's six starters from the close of the 2013 campaign, led by a quartet of All-Missouri Valley Conference performers in redshirt junior Alec Bartlett (Overland Park, Kan./St. James Academy), redshirt sophomores Darrin MacLeod (Waterloo, Ontario/Resurrection Catholic) and Ben LeMay (Hugo, Minn./Saint Thomas Academy) and sophomore Mueng Sunday (Coralville, Iowa/Iowa City West).
Bartlett was named a first-team All-MVC selection, while Sunday was tabbed a second-team honoree. LeMay, MacLeod and Sunday were all recognized as all-freshman team recipients.
Drake also will welcome the return of redshirt junior Kyle Whigham (Overland Park, Kan./St. Thomas Aquinas), who missed nearly the entire 2013 campaign due to injury.
Three other returning Bulldogs appeared in at least 10 games for Drake last season. That group includes; junior Alex Troester (Iowa City, Iowa/Iowa City West), Brandon Welter (Mankato, Minn./Mankato East) and Eric Williams (West Des Moines, Iowa/Valley). Redshirt freshman Luke Mennen (Iowa City, Iowa/Iowa City High) is also expected to make strong contributions after redshirting a season ago.
The new campaign will commence for the Bulldogs with a pair of home preseason matches starting with a 7:00 p.m. contest versus Loras College on Wednesday (Aug. 20) at the Cownie Soccer Complex. Drake then hosts Luther College on Friday (Aug. 22) at 7:00 p.m. inside Drake Stadium.
The Bulldogs open their 2014 campaign against Houston Baptist on Aug. 29 at the Cownie Soccer Complex starting at approximately 8:00 p.m. The game is part of a doubleheader with the Drake women’s soccer team, who is hosting Saint Louis at 6:00 p.m.