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Sophomore Tori Flynn
Courtesy: Chris Donahue

Drake Opens Campaign Hosting Northern Illinois Before Showdown At Nebraska

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
         
Release: August 15, 2012
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Entering its season opener on Friday (Aug. 17) versus Northern Illinois, the Drake women's soccer team eyes a bounce-back campaign in 2012 after posting a 4-11-4 mark last season, including a 2-4 ledger in the Missouri Valley Conference.  The Bulldogs, who boast the return of 14 letterwinners from a year ago, host the Huskies in a 7:00 p.m. tilt at the Cownie Soccer Complex before facing a road test at Nebraska on Sunday (Aug. 19).  Game time against the Huskers is slated for 1:00 p.m.

SCOUTING THE HUSKIES
Northern Illinois (0-0)
heads into its 2012 campaign seeking a bounce-back season after posting a disappointing 2-15-2 mark, including 1-10-0 in the Mid-American Conference, a year ago.  The Huskies, who didn't surrender a goal in two exhibition contests, return all 11 starters, including their top-two leading scorers in juniors Frances Boukidis and Samantha Hill, who tallied two goals apiece in 2011.  Junior Amy Carr returns in net for Northern Illinois after recording 72 saves, while owning a 1.67 goals against average last fall.

SCOUTING THE HUSKERS
Nebraska (0-0)
comes into its season opener at Oklahoma on Friday (Aug. 17) looking to rebound after a 7-10-1 mark, including 4-5-1 in the Big Ten, a season ago.  The Huskers, who return six starters, including senior Jordan Jackson and junior Stacy Bartels, defeated South Dakota State, 2-0, in their lone exhibition game of the season.  Jackson and Bartels, are Nebraska's top-returning scorers after netting eight and seven goals, respectively, in 2011.  Back in net for the Huskers is junior Emma Stevens, who made 84 saves, while owning a 1.90 goals against average and three shutouts last fall.

SERIES HISTORY
The Bulldogs are meeting Northern Illinois for the second time in program history and first since 2005 when Drake registered a 1-0 victory at the Creighton Bluejay Classic on Sept. 11, 2005.
Encountering Nebraska for the fifth time in regular season action and first since 2008, Drake is seeking its initial triumph over the Huskers after posting an 0-2-2 mark in the first four meetings.

THE COACHES
Northern Illinois: John Ross
is in his first year leading the Huskies, and will make his head-coaching debut against the Bulldogs.

Nebraska: John Walker is in his 19th campaign at the helm of the Nebraska program, registering a 256-108-23 (.691) mark.

Drake: In her fifth season on the Drake sidelines as head coach is Lindsey Horner, who owns a 31-36-11 record (.468).

DRAKE HEAD COACH LINDSEY HORNER
Lindsey Horner is in her fifth season leading the Drake women's soccer program, owning a 31-36-11 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 her 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 as second team All-MVC selections.  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.

BULLDOGS DROP 2-1 DECISION AT GREEN BAY
A goal in the 76th minute (75:58) broke open a 1-1 contest and lifted Green Bay to a 2-1 victory past Drake in exhibition action last Saturday (Aug. 11).

Six Bulldogs made their Drake debuts in the contest, including freshmen Kylie DeHaven (Olathe, Kan./Olathe East) and Rhian Pritchard (Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley North) garnering starts for the Blue and White.

The two sides battled in a trio of 30-minute periods in the lone exhibition tilt for the Bulldogs.

The Phoenix stole the advantage early the affair assuming a 1-0 lead after Chandra Eigenberger's penalty kick goal at the 1:28 mark.

The lead held for Green Bay until junior Paige Dusek (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles North) evened the contest at one in the 49th minute (48:30).  Junior Generve Charles (Wausau, Wis./Wausau East) earned the assist on the tally after feeding a cross into the box that Dusek capitalized on from short range with the goal.

Scoring the game winner for the Phoenix at the 75:58 mark off a header was Heidi Hartmann.  Emily Friedl registered the assist on the tally.

Sophomore Ashlie Stokes (Sioux City, Iowa/Sioux City North) paced Drake's attack with a game-high three shots, while the Bulldogs received one shot apiece courtesy of junior Brittany Schuling (Bondurant, Iowa/Bondurant-Farrar), freshman Kaylin Okuma (Honolulu, Hawaii, Panahou) and Dusek.  Eigenberger directed Green Bay with a three-shot performance.

Both sides collected six shots each in the contest, while junior goalkeeper Kalena Litch (Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata) pulled in a game-high three saves for the Bulldogs.

IN SEASON OPENERS
In their previous 10 season lidlfiters, the Bulldogs have been challenged by Arizona (twice), Eastern Michigan, Florida, Minnesota, Northwestern, Iowa, North Dakota State and Iowa State (twice) and own a 2-7-1 mark.  Drake's two victories came over Eastern Michigan in 2003 (2-0) and versus North Dakota State in 2009 (2-1 in OT).

Friday's showdown with Northern Illinois marks the second-consecutive campaign and only the third occurrence in program history that the Bulldogs have opened the season on their home pitch.  In 2007, Northwestern earned a 1-0 overtime victory over Drake, while Iowa State bested the Bulldogs 2-0 a year ago.

BULLDOG BITES

  • The Bulldogs spread the scoring wealth last season as eight players scored a goal. It matches the total number of Bulldogs to score at least one goal from 2009 and 2011 and is the most since nine Drake players found the back of the net in 2008.
  • With her sixth save of the game against Northern Iowa (Oct. 27) at the 64:09 mark, Kalena Litch established a single-season saves record at Drake with her 125th stop of the season to surpass Kate Stack (2002). She finished the year with a league-best 132 saves last season.
  • Kalena Litch surpassed Erin Jarvis (2003-06) for third all-time in career minutes as a Bulldog against Creighton (Oct. 18) and now has played 3,702 career minutes.
  • On the strength of her 132 saves last season, Kalena Litch ranks third all-time at Drake in career saves (223).
  • Senior Laura Moklestad (Des Moines, Iowa/Roosevelt) enters the 2012 campaign ranked sixth, sixth and seventh, respectively, in Drake history in career goals (14), points (35) and shots (114), while sitting one assist shy of cracking the top-10 in career assists.
  • The Bulldogs have continued their solid play at home under fifth-year head coach Lindsey Horner, having gone 20-13-3 in her four seasons.
  • Drake has continued its trend under Horner of playing close games as the Bulldogs have had 51 games in the past four seasons decided by one goal or less, including 14 last season.

IN OUR LAST MEETINGS
Drake 1, Northern Illinois 0 (Sept. 11, 2005)
OMAHA, Neb. -
With less than two minutes left in regulation, Danielle Oswald footed the ball over to Nikki Thaden for the game-winning goal as Drake earned its first win of the 2005 season over Northern Illinois, 1-0, at the Bluejay Classic.

The teams each registered eight shots in the first half, before the Bulldogs came alive in the second stanza, widening the shot margin to 14-4. Thaden and Andrea Schmitz led the way with four attempts apiece. Katie Sauer followed, landing two of her three shot on net. Erin Jarvis had three saves to earn the shutout.

Drake 0, Nebraska 0 (Sept. 16, 2008)
LINCOLN, Neb. -
Drake opened a two-game road swing against Big 12 Conference opponents by battling to a 0-0 double overtime tie at Nebraska on Sept. 16, 2008.

Drake goalkeeper Jenny Schroeder recorded her first shutout of the season, collecting 10 saves.

The Bulldogs had only three shots in the contest, compared to 22 by Nebraska.  Crystal Townley and Karissa Brown each had a shot on goal for Drake.

ON THIS DATE IN BULLDOG HISTORY
Drake will play in its earliest contest in school history when it faces Northern Illinois this week and this is the Bulldogs' second showdown on Aug. 19 after dropping a 2-0 home decision versus Iowa State last season.

WINS VERSUS LOSSES
In their four victories last season, the Bulldogs registered 14.5 shots, 4.3 corner kicks and 8.0 saves, while their opponents recorded 15.2 shots, 5.8 corner kicks and 5.5 saves.  In its 11 losses, Drake recorded 11.5 shots, 4.6 corner kicks and 6.5 saves, while surrendering 17.6 shots, 4.5 corner kicks and 5.5 saves.

NATIONALLY SPEAKING
The Bulldogs were nationally-ranked in several NCAA statistical categories last season.  Drake was rated 49th in save percentage (.829).  Individually, Kalena Litch finished eighth nationally in total saves (132) and 56th in save percentage (.830).

FISHER AND LITCH EARN PRESEASON ALL-MVC ACCOLADES
Megan Fisher (Ankeny, Iowa/Ankeny) 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).

UP NEXT
Drake continues its four-game road swing with stops at SIU Edwardsville (Aug. 24) and Southeast Missouri State (Aug. 26).  Start times against the Cougars and Redhawks are slated for 7:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., respectively.

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