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Drake Closes Out Regular Season At Central Arkansas

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
Release: November 05, 2013
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Drake closes out its regular season slate this week traveling to Conway, Ark., to battle Central Arkansas on Friday (Nov. 8).  Game time is slated for 7:00 p.m.

The Bulldogs have secured the No. 2 tournament seed and bye into the semifinal round of the Missouri Valley Conference Championship to be held in Peoria, Ill. (Nov. 13-17) following Missouri State’s 1-0 victory over Bradley last Saturday (Nov. 3). The triumph clinched the regular season MVC title and No. 1 seed for the Bears. Seeding for the remaining four spots will go down to the wire with this weekend’s contests. Central Arkansas has been eliminated from tournament consideration.

Bradley and Loyola are currently tied for the No. 3 seed with seven league points apiece, while Evansville and SIU Edwardsville each own six points in the conference race. The Cougars own the head-to-head tiebreaker over Evansville by virtue of a 1-0 victory last Saturday (Nov. 2), while the Braves defeated the Ramblers, 2-0, on Oct. 19.

The quarterfinal contests will be played on Nov. 13 before Drake and Missouri State take on the respective winners in the semifinals on Nov. 15.

Central Arkansas (4-11-1, 0-4-1 MVC) enters its showdown with Drake on Friday (Nov. 8) winless in its last eight games, including five consecutive losses. Freshman Wes Carson directs the Bears’ attack with team-high marks in goals (7), points (15), shots (38) and shots on goal (21). Senior goalkeeper Paxi Shortsleeve own the majority of minutes in goal for Central Arkansas, registering 49 saves and a 1.87 goals against average.

Drake is battling Central Arkansas for the seventh time overall with the Bulldogs owning a 4-2 series advantage.  Drake captured a 1-0 victory past the Bears on Oct. 6, 2012, at the Cownie Soccer Complex. In the only meeting in series history in Conway, Ark., Central Arkansas posted a 2-1 triumph on Oct. 22, 2011.

Central Arkansas: Ross Duncan is in his second season at the helm of the Bears’ program, owning a 12-20-2 (.382) ledger.
Drake: In his 16th year on the Drake sidelines as head coach is Sean Holmes, who owns a 136-136-34 mark (.500), including 214-162-36 (.563) overall, in his 20th year as a head coach.

Sean Holmes was named head men’s soccer coach at Drake in 1998 and this season marks his 16th campaign directing the Bulldogs’ fortunes.

During Holmes’ 16-year tenure, the Bulldogs have posted a 136-136-34 record, building a legacy of excellence on Drake’s campus and in the Missouri Valley Conference.  In 20 years as a head coach he has amassed a 214-162-36 overall record.

In 2012, the Bulldogs were faced with reloading a squad that lost six starters from a team that went 11-8-1 in 2011.

Despite the challenges, Drake registered a 6-11-4 ledger, including a 2-2-2 record in the MVC and a spot in the semifinals of the MVC Championship. The Bulldogs posted a 0-0 double-overtime tie with No. 12 Creighton on Sept. 29 at the Cownie Soccer Complex and took the 12th-rated Bluejays to double overtime in the semifinals of the MVC Championship before dropping a 3-2 decision.

Led by senior Michael Thaden, who was chosen as a first-team All-MVC men’s soccer selection, four Drake student-athletes garnered All-MVC accolades. Redshirt junior Rich Gallagher and junior Addison Eck were tabbed honorable mention selections, while redshirt freshman Alec Bartlett was recognized as an all-freshman team recipient.  Thaden was also a Continental Tires/National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-Midwest Regional selection.

Juniors Garrett Crall and Nick Marshall garnered All-MVC Men’s Soccer Scholar-Athlete accolades, while Marshall went on to be named a second-team honoree to the 2012 Capital One Academic All-America® Division I Men’s Soccer Team, as chosen by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

Holmes’ 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, seven Drake student-athletes garnered All-MVC accolades.

Kuhn, an MLS supplemental draft selection by DC United, was named to the Capital One Academic All-America first team and also joined Thomas Ostrander on the NSCAA 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/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 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 chosen as a first team All-MVC men’s soccer selection, led eight Drake student-athletes garnering All-MVC accolades.

Additionally, Foster and Ostrander were both tabbed 2010 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.

Holmes led the Bulldogs to a school-record 13-5-1 mark in 2008, including six-consecutive shutouts to open the season. Drake finished second in the Missouri Valley Conference with a 4-1-0 record and made its first-ever NCAA tournament appearance, receiving an at-large bid. The Bulldogs were nationally ranked for the final 10 weeks of the season.

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.

Holmes holds a USSF ‘A’ level coaching license and is a member of the Region II staff for the Olympic Development Program. He serves as a staff coach for the Iowa Soccer Association, and also served as age group coach for both the 1978 and 1984 Region II teams. He was an assistant coach at the 1994 U.S. Olympic Sports Festival in St. Louis, Mo.

Holmes and his wife, Dr. Carrie Holmes, reside in Des Moines with their three sons, Matthew, Samuel and Andrew.

A pair of goals over the game’s final eight minutes sparked UIC (Illinois at Chicago) to a 3-1 men’s soccer victory past Drake on Sunday (Nov. 3).

The Flames staked themselves to an early 1-0 lead on the strength of Slobodan Aleksov’s team-leading eighth goal of the season at the 27:41 mark.

The two sides battled through a first half that saw UIC maintain a 5-3 advantage in shots, with only one of the eight attempts going on goal.

Drake was dealt a blow in the 53rd minute (52:27) when redshirt junior Jarred Arde (Gulfport, Miss./Gulfport) was issued a red card forcing the Bulldogs to play the remainder of the contest a man down.

Despite the adversity, Drake evened the affair at one at the 78:31 mark when redshirt junior Logan North (St. Charles, Mo./Francis Howell North) connected on his first goal of the season off an assist senior Addison Eck (Springfield, Ill./Sacred Heart Griffin).

The lead was short-lived as Aris Zafeiratos delivered what proved to be the game-winning tally for the Flames in the 83rd minute (82:30).

Aleksov added his second goal of the afternoon and ninth of the year at the 87:41 mark to finish off a 3-1 victory for UIC.

The Flames bettered the Bulldogs in shots, 16-8, including 5-3 on goal.  North led Drake with a team-high three shots, while freshman Mueng Sunday (Coralville, Iowa/Iowa City West) added a two-shot effort. Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Darrin MacLeod (Waterloo, Ontario/Resurrection Catholic) collected a pair of saves for Drake.  

In a renewal of former Missouri Valley Conference men’s soccer rivals, Creighton recorded goals in both halves en route to registering a 2-0 triumph past Drake last Wednesday (Oct. 30).

Eric Dejulio scored the game’s first goal connecting on a header in front of the box to beat a diving goalkeeper Darrin MacLeod at the 15:52 mark.  The tally came off a corner kick by Timo Pitter.

Shots were at a premium in the game’s early going as the Bulldogs didn’t record their first shot until the 21:08 mark when Logan North connected on a shot on goal.

Creighton registered a 6-2 advantage in shots in the initial stanza, including 4-1 on goal.

Christian Blandon extended the Bluejays’ lead to 2-0 with his third goal of the season in the 57th minute (56:16).

Creighton posted a 13-4 margin in shots in the contest.  Four different Bulldogs recorded a shot apiece. MacLeod collected a game-high three saves for Drake.

Drake is the highest-rated team in the Missouri Valley Conference in the latest NCAA RPI rankings released on Nov. 4.  The Bulldogs check in at No. 48 and are followed by Bradley (No. 75), Missouri State (No. 77), Evansville (No. 97), SIU Edwardsville (No. 130), Loyola (No. 147) and Central Arkansas (No. 157).

• The Bulldogs have secured their highest MVC Championship seed (No. 2) since 2009 and will finish second in the final conference standings for the first time since 2009 and fourth time overall (1994, 2008 and 2009).
• Drake saw its four-game unbeaten streak snapped with a 2-0 setback at Creighton.
• The Bulldogs suffered back-to-back non-conference losses last week at Creighton and UIC for the first time since dropping 4-2 and 2-0 decisions, respectively, against Cal Poly and Tulsa in Drake’s initial two games of the season.
• The Bulldogs’ 3-1-1 mark to start conference play represents its best league record through five games since posting a 4-1 mark during the 2009 campaign.
• Led by goalkeeper Darrin MacLeod, Drake has registered five shutouts this season, its highest total since recording eight in 2009.
• Drake has gotten unexpected offensive production this season as sophomore Danton Irelan (Ottumwa, Iowa/Ottumwa), Jarred Arde, Nick Marshall (Glen Carbon, Ill./Edwardsville),  junior Thomas Schermoly (Olathe, Kan./St. Thomas Aquinas) and Bryan Jantsch (Mission Hills, Kan./Rockhurst) lead the Bulldogs with four, four, three, three and three goals, respectively.  The quintet entered the season with a combined 11 career goals, four apiece from Arde and Marshall and three by Schermoly.

• Sophomore Eric Williams’ (West Des Moines, Iowa/Valley) marked the second multi-goal performance of the season for the Bulldogs.
• Drake was shut out three times at home this season marking the first time since 2004 that this has happened.
• Since starting the season 0-2, Drake has posted an 8-5-3 mark in its last 16 games.  In those contests, the Bulldogs are averaging 1.38 goals and 111.6 shots per game.
• The Bulldogs have gotten scoring contributions from 15 different players this season.
• Drake’s contest versus Missouri State (Oct. 12) marked the 300th game in head coach Sean Holmes’ Bulldog coaching career.
Thomas Schermoly’s hat trick at Evansville was the first for a Bulldog since Jesse Baker recorded three goals in a 3-2 triumph past No. 16 Creighton on Oct. 26, 2005.
Thomas Schermoly’s three-goal explosion also doubled his career goal output as he had not found the back of the net since recording three goals as a freshman in 2011.
• The four goals for Drake against the Purple Aces marked the most in a conference game for the Bulldogs since posting a 4-1 win at Eastern Illinois on Nov. 4, 2009.
• With its 4-1 victory at Evansville, Drake is now 8-9-6 all-time in league openers in The Valley, including 6-4-6 under head coach Sean Holmes.  Over the last 12 seasons, the Bulldogs are 6-0-6 in conference openers.
• Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Darrin MacLeod registered shutouts in his first four collegiate starts and has allowed 14 goals this season in 15 games.  He is second in the Missouri Valley Conference in save percentage (.813), third in goals against average (1.05) and shutouts (0.33) and fourth in saves (4.07) per game.
• Drake goalkeeper Darrin MacLeod was selected as the MVC Defensive Player of the Week for the period of Oct. 21-27. MacLeod turned in a strong week for Drake recording 17 saves and posting a 0.90 goals against average en route to collecting a 1-0-1 mark.
Alec Bartlett (Overland Park, Kan./St. James Academy) was selected as the MVC Defensive Player of the Week for the period of Sept. 30 - Oct. 6. He helped the Bulldogs extend their winning streak to four and unbeaten run to six as Drake garnered its fourth consecutive shutout with a 1-0 victory at Western Illinois (Oct. 1) before turning in a dominating 4-1 triumph at Evansville (Oct. 5).
• Drake swept the weekly MVC men’s soccer accolades for the period of Sept. 23-29 as senior Bryan Jantsch and Darrin MacLeod were named as the conference’s Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively. Jantsch registered the game-winning goal in the third minute (2:48) of Drake’s 1-0 victory past UMKC (Sept. 28). In only his third career start, MacLeod notched his third consecutive shutout with a five-save performance in a 1-0 win over the Kangaroos.
• Drake swept the weekly MVC accolades for the period of Sept. 16-22 as senior Addison Eck and Darrin MacLeod were named as the conference’s Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week. Eck sparked the Bulldogs to back-to-back shutouts, including scoring the game-winning goal in a 1-0 victory at No. 14 New Mexico (Sept. 20). MacLeod made a splash in his first two collegiate starts against DePaul and No. 14 New Mexico, registering 10 saves en route to posting back-to-back shutouts.
Addison Eck was named the MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Week on Sept. 25 for his performances versus DePaul and New Mexico.
• Drake’s victory over No. 14 New Mexico was the first for the Bulldogs over a ranked opponent since defeating No. 13 Ohio State, 1-0 in overtime, in the second round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament.
• TopDrawerSoccer.com named Thomas Schermoly to its national team of the week on Oct. 8.
• College Sports Madness named Darrin MacLeod its Madness Men’s Soccer MVC Player of the Week on Sept. 24 and Oct. 1 after he registered shutouts in Drake’s games versus DePaul, No. 14 New Mexico and UMKC.
• The Bulldogs’ game with DePaul (Sept. 17) marked the 400th in the coaching career of Drake head coach Sean Holmes.
• Named to the Panther Invitational all-tournament team were Mueng Sunday and Alec Bartlett.
• Senior goalkeeper Rich Gallagher’s (Lake Bluff, Ill./Lake Forest Academy) eight combined saves versus Cal Poly and No. 14 Tulsa moved him into sixth place all-time at Drake in career saves.  He owns 172 career saves, 30 shy of surpassing Jordan Kadlec (2008-11) for fifth place all-time at Drake.
Rich Gallagher is ranked sixth, seventh, eighth, eighth, eighth, eighth and ninth, respectively, in career saves (172), minutes (2,963), shutouts (4), wins (10), games (33) and goals against average (1.85).
Jarred Arde is Drake’s active career leaders in goals (8), while Addison Eck paces the squad in assists (8) and points (21).  Bryan Jantsch and Arde each own a team-best 63 career shots.  Nick Marshall leads active Bulldogs on the roster in games played (74) and contests started (70).
Rich Gallagher’s 122 saves last season established a new single-season mark in school history.
• The Bulldogs are 38-13-9 since 2006 in home games, including 25-11-4 since 2009.

Drake held its ninth annual alumni reunion in conjunction with the Bulldogs’ clash against Bradley this past Saturday (Oct. 26). Drake head coach Sean Holmes and the current Bulldogs welcomed 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 28 years.

Drake’s conference showdown against Bradley represented Senior Day for seniors Garrett Crall (Norwalk, Iowa/Norwalk), Addison Eck, Rich Gallagher, Bryan Jantsch, Nick Marshall and Jackson Teeling (Waukee, Iowa/Dowling Catholic) along with fourth-year juniors Jarred Arde, Logan North and Kevin Wilson (Ballwin, Mo./Chaminade College Prep).  The group was recognized in special pre-game ceremonies.

Crall has appeared in 58 career games owning three goals. The Bulldogs’ active leader in assists and points is Eck with eight and 21, respectively. Gallagher is ranked sixth, seventh, eighth, eighth, eighth, eighth and ninth, respectively, in career saves (172), minutes (2,963), shutouts (4), wins (10), games (33) and goals against average (1.85). Jantsch is Drake’s active leader in shots (63), while also recording three goals and seven assists. Marshall leads active Bulldogs on the roster in games played (72) and contests started (68) and has registered seven goals and four assists. Teeling has appeared in 29 games, posting five career shots.  Arde is Drake’s active leader in career goals (8) and shots (63), while ranking second in points (20) and game-winners (2). North has started 42 of the 58 games he has played as a Bulldogs, registering a two goals and four assists on 31 shots.  Wilson has appeared in one career contest as a Bulldog.

Drake’s recent resurgence can be tied to the continued development of its defensive corps led by Alec Bartlett, Nick Marshall, Logan North, sophomore Austin Reutzel (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Prairie) and redshirt freshman James Grunert (Muskego, Wis./Muskego) along with goalkeeper Darrin MacLeod.  Over the last 13 games, the Bulldogs have posted five shutouts.

Drake head coach Sean Holmes has been consistent in his praise of the play of freshman Mueng Sunday in the midfield for the Bulldogs this season.  Through its first 18 games in 2013 with Sunday versus the initial 18 contests in 2012 without, Drake has reduced its opponents goals per game and shot and shots on goal percentages.

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 10 campaigns, including this fall, under head coach Sean Holmes, the Bulldogs own a 38-22-10 record (.614), including a 5-3-1 mark this season, and have posted seven consecutive winning months in October.

Drake 1, Central Arkansas 0 (Oct. 6, 2012)
DES MOINES, Iowa - Drake registered a 1-0 shutout victory past Central Arkansas at the Cownie Soccer Complex.

Michael Thaden accounted for the Bulldogs’ offensive exploits in the contest converting a successful penalty kick at the 24:17 mark, for what proved to be the game-winning goal.

From there, Drake relied on a stingy defense and seven saves from Rich Gallagher to collect its second-consecutive league shutout.

The Bulldogs outshot the Bears in the initial stanza, 7-6, while Central Arkansas bettered Drake in the second half by an identical 7-6 margin.

The Bears nearly squared the game at one with 33 seconds remaining as Shafial Mason had a shot from a yard out in the box that was misplayed into the hands of Gallagher.

Drake was sparked by three-shot performances from Thaden and Nick Marshall. Gallagher finished with a game-high seven saves.  

Drake owns a 2-4 record in its previous six games played on Nov. 8. The Bulldogs’ victories came over Evansville in 2008 and Eastern Illinois in 1996.
The Bulldogs are nationally-ranked in several NCAA statistical categories this season.  As a team, Drake is 44th in saves per game (4.89), 48th in total assists (24), 62nd in total points (72), 66th in total goals (24), 75th in assists per game (1.33), 85th points per contest (4.00).  Individually, Darrin MacLeod ranks 41st in save percentage (.813), 61st in total saves (61), 73rd in goals against average (1.05) and 85th in saves per game (4.07).

The Bulldogs own a 2-2-1 mark in their last five contests, with three of the five occurring away from home.  Four Drake players have registered a goal, with Eric Williams leading the way with two goals, followed by Jarred Arde, Nick Marshall and Logan North with one goal apiece. Williams and Arde lead the team in scoring with four and three points, respectively.  Arde paces Drake with seven shots.  Darrin MacLeod has been peppered by 75 shots in that span in goal and has posted 25 saves.

In their eight victories this season, the Bulldogs are registering 12.2 shots, 3.9 corner kicks and 5.8 saves, while their opponents are recording 14.2 shots, 5.5 corner kicks and 3.1 saves.  In its seven losses, Drake has recorded 8.7 shots, 3.6 corner kicks and 3.0 saves, while surrendering 14.7 shots, 6.6 corner kicks and 2.9 saves.

Drake is rated No. 4 in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Midwest Regional Poll released on Nov. 5.  UAB is the regional leader, followed by Creighton, Tulsa, Drake, Missouri State, Memphis, Evansville, Bradley, Oakland and Houston Baptist.

The Bulldogs return an experienced squad this season as eight starters are back for a Drake team that finished the 2012 campaign with a 6-11-4 ledger, including 2-2-2 in the Missouri Valley Conference.  Senior Addison Eck is the Bulldogs’ top-returning scorer after recording five goals and a team-high four assists in 2012.  Senior goalkeeper Rich Gallagher started all 21 games for Drake a year ago and pulled in a school-record 122 saves.

Drake senior Addison Eck and redshirt junior Jarred Arde were among 11 players tabbed by a vote of the seven Missouri Valley Conference head men’s soccer coaches as All-MVC Preseason first-team selections, the league announced on Monday (Aug. 26).

Eck started all 21 games for Drake in 2012 registering five goals, while adding a team-high four assists en route to honorable mention All-MVC honors.  He ranked second on the team in goals (5), points (14), shots (30), shots on goal (15) and game-winners (1).  Eck finished sixth in the MVC in assists (4), seventh in goals (5) and eighth in points per game (0.67).

Arde appeared in 21 games, including 17 starts for the Bulldogs a year ago en route to recording three goals and an assist.  He ranked third on the squad in goals (3), points (7) and shots (29).

Drake was picked to finish second in the MVC Coaches Preseason poll with 36 points and one first-place vote.  Pegged ahead of the Bulldogs was league favorite SIU Edwardsville (40 points).  Rounding out the poll were Evansville (36 points), Bradley (35 points), Missouri State (21 points), Central Arkansas (19 points) and Loyola (9 points).

A pair of Bulldogs were honored when College Sport Madness released its men’s soccer MVC preseason team.  Senior Addison Eck was tabbed as a first-team honoree, while senior Nick Marshall was chosen as a second-team selection.

Drake opens the Missouri Valley Conference Championship on Nov. 15 in Peoria, Ill., against an opponent that has yet to be determined.

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