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Redshirt freshman Alec Bartlett
Courtesy: Chris Donahue

Bulldogs Close Regular Season Slate With Showdown At Missouri State

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
         
Release: October 30, 2012
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WHAT'S AHEAD
In its final regular season game of the season, the Drake men's soccer team visits Missouri State on Friday (Nov. 2) for a 7:00 p.m. tilt.  The Bulldogs are in search of their first road victory over the Bears since 2005, while attempting to garner key points in the race for seeding at the upcoming Missouri Valley Conference Tournament (Nov. 7-11) in Peoria, Ill.  The showdown with Missouri State is scheduled to be broadcast live on Mediacom Connections 22 on Friday.

SCOUTING THE BEARS
Missouri State (5-7-4, 0-5 MVC)
comes into play this week winless in its last six games, although the Bears did record a 1-1 double-overtime tie at then No. 19 SMU on Oct. 21. Thirteen of Missouri State's 16 games this fall have been decided by a goal or less.  Junior Cole Alexander leads the Bears with a team-high three goals.  Sophomore goalkeeper Andrew Riggs has made 53 saves and maintains a 0.77 goals against average.

SERIES HISTORY
The Bulldogs are meeting Missouri State for the 27th time in program history with the Bears leading the series 12-9-5.  Last season, Missouri State posted a 2-1 double-overtime victory over Drake in the regular season on Nov. 5, 2011, before edging the Bulldogs in the semifinals of the MVC Tournament, 2-0, on Nov. 11, 2011.

THE COACHES
Missouri State: Jon Leamy
is in his 21st campaign directing the Bears and owns a 209-152-42 (.571) ledger.

Drake: In his 15th year on the Drake sidelines as head coach is Sean Holmes, who owns a 126-128-31 mark (.496), including 204-154-33 (.564) 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 126-128-31 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 204-154-32 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 COLLECTS 2-2 DOUBLE-OT TIE WITH EVANSVILLE
Turning in a strong performance on Senior Night, Drake earned a key point in the race for a berth in the upcoming Missouri Valley Conference Tournament with a 2-2 double-overtime tie with Evansville last Saturday (Oct. 27) at the Cownie Soccer Complex.

The tie enabled the Bulldogs to qualify for the tournament while sending out its quartet of seniors in Joe Lyons (West Des Moines, Iowa/Dowling Catholic), Nick Mims (Davenport, Iowa/Davenport Central), Jackson Teeling (Waukee, Iowa/Waukee) and Michael Thaden (West Des Moines, Iowa/Valley) on a positive note in their final home game.

The Purple Aces broke open a scoreless contest in the 27th minute (26:08) when Mark Gonzalez connected on his fourth goal of the year.  Dylan Terry fed the ball into Gonzalez from the top of the box to earn an assist on the tally.

Netting the equalizer for Drake at the 43:27 mark with his first goal of the year was junior Brian Grand (North Branch, Minn./North Branch).  Thaden delivered the ball into Grand from the corner of box to register the assist.

The Bulldogs garnered an 11-9 shot advantage in the first half led by four and three shots, respectively, courtesy of Grand and redshirt sophomore Jarred Arde (Gulfport, Miss./Gulfport).

The contest remained deadlocked at one until Drake was whistled for a foul in the box in the 69th minute (68:39) resulting in a penalty kick for Evansville.  Striking the shot to give the Purple Aces a 2-1 lead was Faik Hajderovic.

Less than two minutes later at the 70:28 mark, Evansville was tagged with a foul in the box to provide the Bulldogs with a penalty-kick opportunity.  Fittingly on Senior Night, it was Thaden who stepped over the ball and converted the kick to square the tilt at two.

Both sides had opportunities in the waning minutes of the second half, but neither team was able to convert.  The best chance came off the foot of Grand, who's shot at the 76:46 mark was thwarted only by an Evansville team save.

The Bulldogs registered a 4-2 advantage in shots in overtime, but neither side was able to find the back of the net.

Grand paced all players with a team-high five shots, while Arde and junior Addison Eck (Springfield, Ill./Sacred Heart Griffin) added three shots apiece for Drake.  A game-best six saves from redshirt junior Rich Gallagher (Lake Bluff, Ill./Lake Forest Academy) led the Bulldogs.

OVERTIME DRAMA
The Bulldogs have been involved in seven overtime games this season, including four of its five MVC encounters.  This marks the most OT affairs for Drake in a single campaign since 1992.

In 1992, the Bulldogs played in a school-record eight overtime contests, posting a 3-3-2 mark in those affairs.  Drake also was involved in seven overtime games in 1990 (2-2-3) and eight in 1988 (3-1-4).

THADEN GARNERS MVC ACCOLADES
Drake senior Michael Thaden was selected as the Missouri Valley Conference's Men's Soccer Offensive Player of the Week (Oct. 29).  It marked the second occasion this season that a Bulldog has been honored, while Thaden garnered recognition for the second time in his Drake career.

Thaden sparked the Bulldogs to a 2-2 double-overtime tie with Evansville last Saturday (Oct. 27), registering a goal and an assist to help the Bulldogs secure a berth in the upcoming MVC Tournament.

Thaden earned his team-leading second assist of the year on Brian Grand's goal at the 43:27 mark.  He then tied the contest at two in the 71st minute (70:28), converting on a successful penalty kick.  

BULLDOG BITES

  • Drake has registered a 3-1 mark in its last regular season road game over the last four seasons.
  • The Bulldogs have played Missouri State extremely close over the last four meetings in Springfield as all four games have been decided by a goal or less, including a pair of ties.
  • Drake has been tied or ahead after 90 minutes of play in all five of its MVC contests this season. In those contests, Drake is 1-0 in regulation and 0-2-2 in overtime tilts.
  • Rich Gallagher's 103 saves this season is the second-best single-season mark in school history.
  • The Bulldogs have started their league slate with a win or tie in their first two MVC games in each of the last six seasons. During that span, Drake has not had a losing campaign overall.
  • Drake has garnered 13 shots apiece, from Michael Thaden and Addison Eck in five league games this season. The Bulldogs have also gotten 10, 10 and eight shots courtesy of Jarred Arde, Brian Grand and junior Nick Marshall (Glen Carbon, Ill./Edwardsville).
  • After missing all of last season, Michael Thaden has picked up where he left off in 2010 as he leads the Bulldogs in goals (6) and shots (39) this season.
  • Thaden has registered a career high in goals (6) this season, surpassing the previous mark of four, which he set in 2010.
  • Thaden is Drake's active career leader in goals (10), assists (5), points (25), shots (80), shots on goal (30) and game-winners (3). Nick Marshall leads active Bulldogs on the roster in games played (53) and contests started (49).
  • The Missouri Valley Conference announced that Rich Gallagher was named the league's Men's Soccer Defensive Player of the Week for the period of Sept. 24-30. Gallagher was honored for the first time in his Drake career.
  • The Bulldogs improved to 5-4-6 in conference lidlifters under head coach Sean Holmes with the result against Creighton, including 5-0-6 in the last 11 league openers.
  • The Bulldogs' game versus Old Dominion (Sept. 16) marked 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 (St. Charles Mo./Francis Howell North).
  • Despite Drake's offensive struggles this season, Rich Gallagher has been solid in net, registering 103 saves.
  • 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 34-10-8 since 2006 in home games, including 21-8-3 since 2009.

FRESHMEN MAKING A MARK
Drake has garnered contributions from eight of its nine newcomers this season.  Austin Reutzel (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Prairie) and Alex Troester have led the way earning starts in 15 and seven games, respectively.  Ben LeMay (Hugo, Minn./Saint Thomas Academy), who has since been lost for the season with a knee injury, joins Reutzel as the lone Bulldog rookies to earn a point, after collecting an assist against Loyola (Aug. 31).

THE TIME TO SHINE
The change of season has boded well for Drake over the years as the flipping of the calendar from September to October has ignited the Bulldogs into some of their best soccer of the season.  In Drake's last nine campaigns, including this fall, under head coach Sean Holmes, the Bulldogs own a 33-19-9 record (.638), including 3-2-1 this season, and have posted seven consecutive winning months in October.

NATIONALLY SPEAKING
The Bulldogs are nationally-ranked in several NCAA statistical categories this season.  As a team, Drake is 12th in saves per game (5.83).  Individually, Rich Gallagher is ranked third and 13th in total saves (103) and saves per game (5.72).

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.  Addison Eck, Michael Thaden, Brian Grand and Jarred Arde own Drake's seven goals in that span registering three, two, one and one, respectively. Eck paces Drake with 12 shots, while Thaden has added 11.  Rich Gallagher has been peppered by 89 shots in goal in that span and has recorded 34 saves.

WINS VERSUS LOSSES
In their four victories this season, the Bulldogs are registering 11.2 shots, 4.0 corner kicks and 4.0 saves, while their opponents recorded 11.0 shots, 2.3 corner kicks and 3.3 saves.  In its 10 losses, Drake is recording 10.0 shots, 4.2 corner kicks and 6.2 saves, while surrendering 16.5 shots, 5.9 corner kicks and 3.1 saves.

ON THIS DATE IN BULLDOG HISTORY
The Bulldogs face their sixth contest in program history on Nov. 2 when the squad plays Missouri State.  Drake is 1-4 on the date with its lone win coming in 1990 over Creighton (3-2).

IN OUR LAST MEETING
Missouri State 2, Drake 0 (Nov. 11, 2011)
OMAHA, Neb. -
Propelled by a pair of first-half goals, Missouri State thwarted Drake's bid to reach the finals of the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Men's Soccer Championship as the Bears registered a 2-0 victory over the Bulldogs in the semifinals at Morrison Stadium.

Charles Schwartz nearly got Drake off to a fast start as his shot from the top of the box at the 1:11 mark sliced through Missouri State's defensive line before being plucked out of the air at the last second by goalkeeper Trevor Spangenberg.

A defensive giveaway at midfield by Drake at the 19:48 mark enabled Jordan Hoffman to get 1v1 with goalkeeper Jordan Kadlec, and he capitalized to provide the Bears an early 1-0 advantage.

The Bulldogs had a strong scoring opportunity in the 35th minute (34:18), but Thomas Schermoly's (Olathe, Kan./St. Thomas Aquinas) header struck the post and was deflected out.

After a foul at the 40:16 mark, Danny Frid struck a free kick that hit the post and was redirected by Andrew Turner and blocked, before Heath Melugin knocked in the rebound at the 40:14 mark for his sixth goal of the season providing Missouri State a 2-0 lead.

The Bears registered a 9-3 advantage in shots in the initial stanza.

The Bulldogs came out firing in the final 45 minutes recording seven of the half's first 10 shots.

Thomas Ostrander nearly cut the deficit in half at the 64:18 mark as his shot came up just short after Matt Kuhn's cross into the box.

Jared Gain's strike in the 68th minute (67:37) hit the crossbar for Missouri State and bounded out to prevent the Bears from taking a 3-0 lead.

Aiming to get Drake on the scoreboard and in the process record his 12th goal of the season, Kuhn struck a strong ball in the box at the 78:31 mark that was stopped with a save by Spangenberg.

Despite the Bulldogs outshooting Missouri State, 9-7, in the second half, the Bears finished the contest owning a 16-12 advantage in shots.  Ostrander led all players with a game-high four shots, while Schwartz chipped in three shots for Drake.  Finishing with a game-best five saves was Kadlec.

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.

UP NEXT
The Bulldogs kick off their second season on Nov. 7 at the MVC Tournament in Peoria, Ill.

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