DES MOINES, Iowa - The Drake men's soccer team ran into one of the hottest squads in the country and the result was a 4-1 setback for the Bulldogs (1-6-1) versus No. 14 Old Dominion (6-0) on Sunday (Sept. 16) at the Creighton Invitational.
"As is the sort of running theme of our season, we were able to play toe-to-toe with one of the best programs in the country for extended stretches, but our youth and inexperience wilted under the pressure," Drake head coach Sean Holmes commented. "I think as with all young teams, if we had gotten to the half down only 1-0, that the boys were bubbling with confidence having played so well for long stretches of time. When we went down 2-0 though it made the second half a very daunting proposition."
"We did well to fight back and at 2-1, we really though we could get a result in the game, but ODU asserted its superiority with two clinical goals."
The Monarchs registered the game's initial tally in the 24th minute (23:05) on a penalty kick by Jordan LeBlanc.
Extending Old Dominion's lead to 2-0 with a goal at the 38:58 mark was Sidney Rivera.
The Bulldogs cracked the scoring column with their lone tally in the affair in the 64th minute (63:21) when redshirt sophomore Jarred Arde (Gulfport, Miss./Gulfport) delivered a strike into the net from 25 yards out off an assist from freshman Austin Reutzel (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Prairie).
"Jarred (Arde's) goal was a real piece of quality as he created the opportunity for himself and scored with a terrific shot from 25 yards out," said Holmes.
The Monarchs tacked on goals in the 68th and 70th minutes, respectively, to account for the final 4-1 margin.
Old Dominion dominated the Bulldogs in shots, bettering Drake, 25-7.
Seven Bulldogs recorded one shot apiece, while a six-shot game by LeBlanc led the Monarchs.
Redshirt junior Rich Gallagher (Lake Bluff, Ill./Lake Forest Academy) garnered a career-best 11 saves for Drake, while Victor Francoz made three stops for Old Dominion.
"I felt a little sorry for Rich (Gallagher) as he has been tremendous for us this season," Holmes stated.
The outcome allowed Holmes the opportunity to get playing time for 21 players in the contest, something he expects the Bulldogs to benefit from as the season continues to develop.
"A positive from this weekend was we were able to get lots of minutes for our young players, who are really pushing our starting 11 for playing time," Holmes explained. "Our team is one of guarded optimism, as I know we're young and playing a demanding stretch of opponents, but I think we will see dividends, if not in the short term, then definitely the long term."
Arde and senior Michael Thaden (West Des Moines, Iowa/Valley) were named to the all-tournament team for Drake.
The Bulldogs return to action with a 12:00 p.m. showdown at DePaul on Wednesday (Sept. 19).