The gauntlet known as the Drake men's soccer non-conference schedule continues this week as the Bulldogs travel to Omaha, Neb., to compete in the Creighton Invitational. Drake opens tournament play versus William and Mary on Friday (Sept. 14) at 5:00 p.m. before battling No. 14 Old Dominion on Sunday (Sept. 16) at 11:30 a.m.
SCOUTING THE TRIBE
William and Mary (1-2-1) enters action this week on the heels of a 2-1 loss at No. 12 St. John's last Saturday (Sept. 8). The Tribe has four players who have registered a goal apiece, while fifth-year senior Ben Anderson is the squad's leading scorer with a goal and two assists this season. Sophomore goalkeeper Bennett Jones owns 22 saves, while sporting a 0.95 goals against average through four games this fall.
SCOUTING THE MONARCHS
Old Dominion (4-0) comes into play this week ranked No. 14 in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) top-25 national poll. The Monarchs collected 6-0 and 3-2 victories past Seton Hall and Winthrop last Friday (Sept. 7) and Sunday (Sept. 9), respectively. Junior Tim Hopkinson paces ODU with team-high marks in goals (5) and assists (4). Senior goalkeeper Victor Francoz has made seven saves, while owning a 0.51 goals against average this fall.
The Bulldogs are meeting both William and Mary and Old Dominion for the first time in program history.
William and Mary: Chris Norris is in ninth season leading the William and Mary program and maintains a 80-59-23 record (.565).
Old Dominion: Alan Dawson is in his 16th campaign directing the Monarchs and owns a 175-95-27 (.635) record and is 304-125-32 (.694) in 25 years overall as a head coach.
Drake: In his 15th year on the Drake sidelines as head coach is Sean Holmes, who owns a 123-122-28 mark (.502), including 201-148-30 (.570) overall, in his 19th year as a head coach.
DRAKE HEAD COACH SEAN HOLMES
Sean Holmes was named head men's soccer coach at Drake in 1998 and this season marks his 15th campaign directing the Bulldogs' fortunes.
During Holmes' 15-year tenure, the Bulldogs have posted a 123-122-28 record, building a legacy of excellence on Drake's campus and in the Missouri Valley Conference. In 19 years as a head coach, he has amassed a 201-148-30 overall record.
His 2011 squad turned in a strong campaign finishing with an 11-8-1 mark en route to a berth in the semifinals of the State Farm MVC Championship.
Led by seniors Matt Kuhn and Charles Schwartz, who were first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference selections, seven Drake student-athletes garnered All-MVC accolades. Seniors Hunter Kennedy and Thomas Ostrander, along with sophomore Garrett Crall, were tabbed second-team selections, while senior Jordan Kadlec was recognized as honorable mention. Capping a stellar campaign with All-Freshman team accolades was Kyle Whigham.
Kuhn, an MLS supplemental draft selection by DC United, was named to the Capital One Academic All-America first team, and joined Ostrander on the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Scholar All-America team. Kuhn was named to the second team, while Ostrander became only the third Bulldog to pull in honors more than once with his selection to the third team. He was a first-team honoree in 2010.
Kuhn, Ostrander and Schwartz also were chosen 2011 Continental Tires/National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-Midwest Regional selections. Tabbed to the second team was Kuhn, while Ostrander and Schwartz were named to the third team. It marked the fourth consecutive season and 10th time in program history that the Bulldogs have garnered at least two players on the all-region squad.
Coming on the heels of the most successful season in school history in 2009, the 2010 edition of the Bulldogs featured a young core of players facing arguably Drake's most challenging schedule ever, playing the likes of national powers Michigan, Indiana, Notre Dame, Saint Louis and UC Irvine.
Infused with 14 newcomers, the Bulldogs turned in a successful 8-8-2 record (4-2-1 MVC), including a 1-0 road victory over Michigan, who advanced to the College Cup, and 1-1 double-overtime tie with No. 12 UC Irvine.
Senior Nick Foster, who was named as a first team All-MVC men's soccer selection, led eight Drake student-athletes garnering All-MVC accolades. Ostrander and junior Michael Thaden were tabbed second-team selections, while Kadlec and Schwartz were recognized as honorable mention recipients.
Capping stellar freshman campaigns with All-Freshman team accolades were Crall, Max Duncan and Nick Marshall.
Additionally, Foster and Ostrander were both tabbed 2010 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/Performance Subaru All-Midwest Regional third-team selections.
The Bulldogs were equally successful off the field as Foster and Ostrander became the first-ever Bulldogs named to the first team NSCAA Men's College Scholar All-America Team. The duo became the ninth and 10th Drake players to garner NSCAA Academic All-America accolades, and the first two to be named to the first team.
Drake posted a school-record 16-7-2 mark in 2009, capped off by winning its first ever MVC Tournament championship while advancing to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.
Drake earned its highest ranking in school history, being rated No. 8 in the final 2009 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Top-25 National Poll. The Bulldogs also rated eighth in the final 2009 NCAA RPI tabulation.
The Bulldogs posted 2009 NCAA Tournament victories past Western Illinois (2-1), No. 13 ranked Ohio State (1-0, overtime) and Boston College (6-4), before falling at nationally ranked North Carolina (2-1).
Garrett Webb was a semifinalist for the 2009 Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy that is the highest individual honor in college soccer. He also became the second Drake player to earn All-America status with his selection to the NSCAA and College Soccer News second and third team All-America squads, respectively.
A national-best three Bulldogs were named to the 2009 CoSIDA ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America teams, led by senior Brian Wurst, who became the initial first team Academic All-American honoree in school history. Joining him on the second and third teams, respectively, were junior Matt Kuhn and senior Calvin Clark. Drake's three selections marked the most of any school in the country in the university division (Division I), besting Akron and South Carolina, who garnered two selections each.
Drake's progress also has been noticed at the next level with four players being drafted by the Major League Soccer. Matt Nickell and Kuhn were selected by the DC United in 2004 and 2012, respectively, while Corey Farabi and Chris Hamburger were both drafted by the Kansas City Wizards in 2005.
Holmes came to Drake after serving as the top assistant at conference-rival Evansville from 1995-98. During his tenure at Evansville, the Aces compiled a 47-30-6 record, winning the 1996 MVC championship. The team, which he helped build, garnered an NCAA Tournament berth and a top 20 ranking.
DRAKE EARNS 1-1 DOUBLE OT TIE AT NORTHERN ILLINOIS
Drake closed action at the Northern Illinois Invitational on Sunday (Sept. 9) grinding out a 1-1 double-overtime tie versus Northern Illinois.
Senior Michael Thaden (West Des Moines, Iowa/Valley) registered his second goal of the season in the 28th minute (27:42) to give Drake an early 1-0 advantage. Earning the assist on the tally was junior Addison Eck (Springfield, Ill./Sacred Heart Griffin).
The Bulldogs took the lead into the intermission before the Huskies netted the equalizer at the 53:47 mark off a goal from Gael Rivera. Karim Darbaki collected the assist on the score.
Neither side was able to crack the scoring column for the remainder of the half or in overtime as Northern Illinois registered a 16-11 shot advantage.
Thaden sparked all players with a game-high five shots, while redshirt sophomore Brian Grand (North Branch, Minn./North Branch) added three shots to the Bulldogs' cause.
Redshirt junior goalkeeper Rich Gallagher (Lake Bluff, Ill./Lake Forest Academy) hauled in five saves for Drake.
Gallagher and Thaden were named to the all-tournament team for the Bulldogs.
NORTHWESTERN EDGES DRAKE, 2-1
A golden goal from Chris Ritter enabled Northwestern to earn a 2-1 men's soccer victory past Drake in overtime last Friday (Sept. 7) at the Northern Illinois Invitational.
The Wildcats, who were receiving votes in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Top-25 national poll, cracked the scoring column first when Kyle Schickel connected on his second goal of the season at the 27:03 mark providing Northwestern a 1-0 advantage.
The lead held until Michael Thaden delivered his initial goal of the year off a free kick in the 52nd minute (51:21) to square the tilt at one.
The two sides battled back-and-forth in the final stanza with Rich Gallagher making two second-half saves to push the affair into overtime.
The Wildcats registered three shots in the extra session en route to recording a 13-6 shot advantage in the affair. Thaden led the Bulldogs with a game-high three shots, while Addison Eck added two shots for Drake. Three players collected three shots apiece for Northwestern.
Gallagher pulled in four saves for the Bulldogs, all in the second half and overtime.
- After missing all of last season, senior MIchael Thaden has picked up where he left off in 2010 as he leads the Bulldogs in goals (2) and shots (13) this season.
- The Bulldogs have gotten strong production out of their junior class as Nick Marshall (Glen Carbon, Ill./Edwardsville), Addison Eck and Logan North (St. Charles, Mo./Francis Howell North) have accounted for three of Drake's five goals this season, while combining to record 16 shots, including seven on goal. Eck has also posted a team-high two assists
- Sunday's game versus Old Dominion will mark the 275th in the Drake coaching career of head coach Sean Holmes.
- After being held without a goal in its first two games of the season, Drake erupted for three tallies in the Bulldogs' 3-1 victory past Loyola, all of which were scored by a different player in juniors Nick Marshall, Addison Eck and Logan North.
- Despite Drake's offensive struggles this season, redshirt junior goalkeeper Rich Gallagher has been solid in net, registering 23 saves and owning a 1.28 goals against average.
- Junior Garrett Crall (Norwalk, Iowa/Norwalk) was named a first-team selection on the College Sports Madness MVC Men's Soccer Preseason All-Conference Team.
- Crall accounted for a team-best five of the Bulldogs' 22 shots at the Billiken Classic. A year ago, Crall registered eight shots for the entire campaign.
- Drake collected its fifth consecutive triumph in a home opener after defeating Loyola, 3-1,on Aug. 31. The Bulldogs own a 17-10-0 ledger all-time in home lidlifters, including 12-3-0 under head coach Sean Holmes.
- The Bulldogs are 32-9-7 since 2006 in home games, including 19-7-2 since 2009.
FRESHMEN MAKING A MARK
Drake has garnered contributions from eight of its nine newcomers this season. Alex Troester (Iowa City, Iowa/Iowa City West) and Austin Reutzel (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Prairie) have led the way earning starts in five and three games, respectively. Ben LeMay (Hugo, Minn./Saint Thomas Academy), who has since been lost for the season with a knee injury, is the lone Bulldog rookie to earn a point, after collecting an assist against Loyola (Aug. 31).
SENIOR CLASS ESTABLISHES VICTORY MARK
The Bulldogs' 2-0 win over SIU Edwardsville last season enabled Drake's senior class of Matt Kuhn, Jordan Kadlec, Hunter Kennedy, Michael Noonan, Thomas Ostrander, Matt Reindl and Charles Schwartz to surpass the Bulldogs' 2010 seniors for most wins by a class in program history with their 47th victory. The class finished with 48 career wins.
HOLMES WINS NO. 200
Drake head coach Sean Holmes collected his 200th career coaching victory on the strength of the Bulldogs' 3-0 triumph over Central Arkansas in the 2011 Missouri Valley Conference Championship quarterfinals.
The Bulldogs were nationally-ranked in several NCAA statistical categories last season. Drake rated 17th, 22nd, 33rd and 68th, respectively, in scoring offense (1.85), total goals (37), saves per game (4.9) and won-loss percentage (.575). Individually, Charles Schwartz was 21st nationally in total assists (8) and 32nd in assists (0.4) per game, Matt Kuhn was 24th in total goals (11), 31st in total points (26), 35th in goals per game (0.55) and 37th in points per contest (1.3), while Jordan Kadlec ranked 40th, 62nd and 72nd in saves per game (4.63), total saves (74) and save percentage (.779).
OVER OUR LAST FIVE GAMES
The Bulldogs own a 1-3-1 mark in their last five contests, with three of the five occurring away from home. Four Drake players have registered a goal, with Michael Thaden leading the way with two goals. Thaden and Addison Eck lead the team in scoring in that span with four points each. Thaden paces Drake with 11 shots, while Eck and North have contributed five shots apiece. Rich Gallagher has been peppered by 61 shots in that span in goal and has recorded 21 saves.
DRAKE WELCOMES BACK ALUMNI
Drake will hold its eighth annual alumni reunion in conjunction with the Bulldogs' clash against Evansville at the Cownie Soccer Complex on Oct. 27.
Drake head coach Sean Holmes and the current Bulldogs welcome back all of the proud alumni that have contributed to the growth and development of the Drake men's soccer tradition over the course of the program's 27 years.
ON THIS DATE IN BULLDOG HISTORY
The Bulldogs face their ninth tilt on Sept. 14 when the team battles William and Mary on Friday. Drake own a 4-4 record in the previous eight encounters.
Drake will be playing for the eighth time in program history on Sept. 16 when it battles Old Dominion on Sunday. The Bulldogs have registered a 2-5 mark in the previous six games on the date.
MVC ANNOUNCES PRESEASON HONORS
The Missouri Valley Conference released its 2012 Preseason Men's Soccer Coaches' Poll on Aug. 14 and Drake was tabbed to finish fifth, while placing junior defender Garrett Crall on the preseason All-MVC squad.
Pegged ahead of the Bulldogs are SIU Edwardsville (27 points), Bradley (34 points), Missouri State (38 points and three first-place votes) and Creighton, who was selected as the preseason favorite to win the league crown with 46 points and four first-place tallies. Rounding out the poll were Evansville (18 points) and Central Arkansas (12 points).
Crall was among 13 players named by a vote of the seven MVC men's head soccer coaches to the All-MVC Preseason team.
Starting in all 19 games he appeared in for the Bulldogs as a sophomore, Crall collected eight shots from his defender's slot en route to earning second-team All-MVC accolades. He helped anchor a Drake defensive unit that registered three shutouts, all versus conference opponents.
HOMES GAMES TO BE STREAMED LIVE
Drake men'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.
The Bulldogs conclude their six-game road swing traveling to face DePaul (Sept. 19) and Memphis (Sept. 22). Game time versus the Blue Demons is slated for 12:00 p.m., while the showdown with the Tigers will kick at 7:00 p.m.