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Senior Michael Thaden
Courtesy: Chris Donahue

Fifth-Seeded Drake Opens MVC Championship Against Evansville

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
         
Release: November 06, 2012
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WHAT'S AHEAD
Drake visits Peoria, Ill., to compete in the quarterfinals of the Missouri Valley Conference Men's Soccer Championship as the fifth-seeded Bulldogs battle fourth-seeded Evansville on Wednesday (Nov. 7) at 3:00 p.m. in Shea Stadium.  A victory over the Purple Aces and Drake advances to face top-seeded Creighton on Friday (Nov. 9) at 3:00 p.m. with a berth in the championship game at stake.  The tournament quarterfinals will be video streamed via MVC Live.

SCOUTING THE PURPLE ACES
Evansville (9-7-1, 3-2-1 MVC)
comes into showdown with Drake on Wednesday (Nov. 7) winless in its last three contests, including a 2-2 double-overtime tie with the Bulldogs on Oct. 27. Freshmen Faik Hajderovic and Mark Gonzalez pace the Purple Aces' attack with a team-high five goals apiece. Sophomore goalkeeper Eric Teppen has made 67 saves and maintains a 1.35 goals against average.

DRAKE MVC CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY
Drake maintains a 7-13-2 mark in 22 matches in MVC Championship history, including 5-8-1 under head coach Sean Holmes.  The Bulldogs are meeting Evansville for the fourth time with Drake owning victories in each of the previous three games.  In the last meeting in 2009, the Bulldogs captured their first-ever MVC Tournament title with a 2-1 victory past the Purple Aces at the Cownie Soccer Complex.  Drake also holds quarterfinal-round wins over Evansville in 2006 (2-0) in Peoria, Ill., and in 1997 (2-0) in Evansville, Ind.

BULLDOG MVC CHAMPIONSHIP NUGGETS
  • The Bulldogs are 7-13-2 all-time in tournament action, but are 3-2 in their last five contests.
  • Drake is 4-6-0 all-time in quarterfinal matches, 2-6-2 in the semifinals and 1-1 in championship tilts.
  • The Bulldogs are 0-2 in games decided by penalty kicks.
  • No current Drake player has registered a goal or an assist in an MVC Tournament contest.
  • Junior Garrett Crall (Norwalk, Iowa/Norwalk) is the Bulldogs' active leader in MVC Tournament starts with three, while also garnering the starting assignment in two, two, one and one games, respectively, is junior Logan North (St. Charles, Mo./Francis Howell North), sophomore Kyle Whigham (Overland Park, Kan./St. Thomas Aquinas), senior Michael Thaden (West Des Moines, Iowa/Valley) and junior Nick Marshall (Glen Carbon, Ill./Edwardsville).
  • Owning tournament shots during their respective careers are Crall, junior Brian Grand (North Branch, Minn./North Branch), Thaden, junior Addison Eck (Springfield, Ill./Sacred Heart Griffin) and sophomore Thomas Schermoly (Olathe, Kan./St. Thomas Aquinas) with three, two, two, one and one shots, respectively.

SERIES HISTORY
The Bulldogs are playing Evansville for the 25th time in program history with Drake leading the series 12-10-2. Earlier this season, the Bulldogs and Purple Aces engaged in a 2-2 double-overtime tie on Oct. 27, 2012.

THE COACHES
Evansville: Mike Jacobs
is in his seventh campaign directing the Purple Aces and owns a 61-57-7 (.516) record and is 90-100-12 (.475) in 11 seasons as a head coach.

Drake: In his 15th year on the Drake sidelines as head coach is Sean Holmes, who owns a 127-128-31 mark (.498), including 205-154-33 (.565) 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 127-128-31 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 205-154-32 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.

BULLDOGS EARN 1-0 VICTORY AT MISSOURI STATE
On the strength of Nick Marshall's goal in the 76th minute (75:24), Drake registered a 1-0 road victory over Missouri State last Friday (Nov. 2).

The triumph was the first for the Bulldogs in Springfield, Mo., against the Bears since 2005.

Missouri State outshot Drake in the affair, 17-3, including 4-2 on goal, but it was Marshall's second goal of the season that propelled the Bulldogs to victory.

Cole Alexander paced all players with a game-high three shots for the Bears, while Michael Thaden (West Des Moines, Iowa/Valley) led Drake with a team-best two shots.

Redshirt junior Rich Gallagher (Lake Bluff, Ill./Lake Forest Academy) pulled in a game-high four saves for the Bulldogs.

GALLAGHER EARNS MVC DEFENSIVE ACCOLADES
The Missouri Valley Conference has announced that redshirt junior goalkeeper Rich Gallagher has been named the league's Men's Soccer Defensive Player of the Week for the week of Oct. 29 - Nov. 4.  The honor marks the second for Gallagher this season and in his Drake career.

Gallagher turned in his fourth shutout of the season, including his third in conference action, in Drake's 1-0 road victory at Missouri State last Friday (Nov. 2).  The triumph was the first for the Bulldogs in Springfield since 2005.

Gallagher pulled in four saves in the affair, including a pair in each half, en route to his league-best third shutout of the conference campaign.

On the season, Gallagher owns 107 saves and has posted a 1.62 goals against average.  In conference-only affairs, he leads the MVC in saves (7.33) and shutouts (0.50) per game, while pacing the league in overall saves at 5.63 per contest.

MARSHALL CAPTURES ACADEMIC HONORS
Junior Nick Marshall earned recognition for his efforts in the classroom as he was tabbed a first-team Capital One Academic All-America All-District VI selection.

Marshall was named to the first team for the second-consecutive year and remains in contention for national Academic All-America laurels.

To be nominated, a student-athlete must be a starter or important reserve with at least a 3.30 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) at his/her current institution.  Nominated athletes must have participated in at least 50 percent of the team's games at the position listed on the nomination form (where applicable).

Marshall, who boasts a perfect 4.00 GPA majoring in computer science and chemistry, has started all 19 games for the Bulldogs recording two goals on 15 shots from his defender's position.

OVERTIME DRAMA
The Bulldogs have been involved in seven overtime games this season, including four of their six 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).

BULLDOG BITES

  • Michael Thaden was selected as the Missouri Valley Conference's Men's Soccer Offensive Player of the Week on 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.
  • Drake has registered a 4-1 mark in its last regular season road game over the last five seasons.
  • Drake was tied or ahead after 90 minutes of play in all six of its MVC contests this season. In those contests, Drake is 2-0 in regulation and 0-2-2 in overtime tilts.
  • Rich Gallagher's 107 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 15 and 13 shots, respectively, from Michael Thaden and Addison Eck in six league games this season. The Bulldogs also have gotten 10, 10 and nine shots courtesy of Jarred Arde (Gulfport, Miss./Gulfport), Brian Grand and Nick Marshall.
  • 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 (41) 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 (82), shots on goal (31) and game-winners (3). Nick Marshall leads active Bulldogs on the roster in games played (54) and contests started (50).
  • 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.
  • Despite Drake's offensive struggles this season, Rich Gallagher has been solid in net, registering 107 saves.
  • Junior Garrett Crall 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 (Iowa City, Iowa/Iowa City West) have led the way earning starts in 16 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).

NATIONALLY SPEAKING
The Bulldogs are nationally-ranked in several NCAA statistical categories this season.  As a team, Drake is 14th in saves per game (5.74).  Individually, Rich Gallagher is ranked fourth and 15th in total saves (107) and saves per game (5.63).

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, Jarred Arde and Nick Marshall own Drake's seven goals in that span registering two, two, one, one and one, respectively. Thaden paces Drake with 11 shots, while Eck has added 10.  Rich Gallagher has been peppered by 94 shots in goal in that span and has recorded 36 saves.

WINS VERSUS LOSSES
In their five victories this season, the Bulldogs are registering 9.6 shots, 3.2 corner kicks and 4.0 saves, while their opponents recorded 12.2 shots, 3.0 corner kicks and 2.8 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 third contest in program history on Nov. 7 when the squad plays Evansville.  Drake is 0-1-1 on the date with the Bulldogs earning a 3-3 double-overtime tie with Creighton in 2009.

IN OUR LAST MEETING
Drake 2, Evansville 2 (2OT) (Oct. 27, 2012)
DES MOINES, Iowa -
Turning in a strong performance on Senior Night, Drake earned a 2-2 double-overtime tie with Evansville at the Cownie Soccer Complex.

The tie enabled the Bulldogs to qualify for the Missouri Valley Conference 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 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 Brian Grand.  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 Jarred Arde.

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.

Grand paced all players with a team-high five shots, while Arde and Addison Eck added three shots apiece for Drake.  A game-best six saves from Rich Gallagher.

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
A victory by the Bulldogs and they advance to the MVC Tournament semifinals for a date with top-seeded Creighton on Friday (Nov. 9) at 3:00 p.m.  A loss ends the campaign for Drake.

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