Drake Relays

Last Second Goal Ends Men's Soccer Season

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
         
Release: November 21, 2008
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Junior forward Garrett Webb had three shots against Saint Louis.
Courtesy: Drake Athletics
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ST. LOUIS, MO.  -- Kyle Hayes' goal with 4.1 seconds left in the second overtime lifted Saint Louis University to a 1-0 victory past Drake in first round of the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship Friday night.

Hayes goal came off a free kick after Drake goal keeper Michael Drozd (Hartwood Heights, Ill.) was given a yellow card with six seconds left when he collided with Charles Bryce of Saint Louis.

The loss spoiled a school record breaking season by the Bulldogs who were making their first appearance in school history in the NCAA Tournament.

"One unlucky second doesn't undo three months of hard work," said Drake coach Sean Holmes whose team ended the season with a 13-5-1 record.

Both teams had battled on even terms through 109-plus minutes, braving temperatures which dipped to a 16 degree wind chill.

With the clock ticking down and the game destined for a penalty-kick shootout, Bryce chased down a long clearance by teammate Tim Ream. He beat out several Drake defenders and got to the ball near the top-right corner of the box before he collided with Drozd. The subsequent yellow card that was issued to Drozd stopped the clock with six seconds remaining.
 
On the restart, Angus sent a curling ball that found its way near the goal line. Hayes, stationed on the line, managed to get his left foot on the ball and tip the ball into the upper netting.

"It was a tough way to end the game," said Drake sophomore outside defender Nick Foster (West Des Moines, Iowa). "But we will take this and use as motivation to work hard in the off season and get after it in the spring."
 
Drake had a chance to win it with four minutes left in the first sudden death overtime period.

Sophomore Kenan Malicevic (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) had a chance off a corner kick but his shot was blocked by Saint Louis goal keeper Pat Disbennett who made a quick reaction to his right to knock the ball over the end line.

In the second overtime junior midfielder Kevin Shrout (Lee's Summit, Mo.) had a shot from 15 yards out go high off the net.

Saint Louis edged Drake in shots with a 16-15 advantage. In the second half Drake outshot the Billikens, 8-6.

Saint Louis out-cornered the Bulldogs 8-6. Drozd had six saves for the Bulldogs.

"I thought we were terrific after the first 20 minutes of the game,"  Holmes said. "The first 20 minutes we looked overwhelmed, a little bit frightened. The moment we survived that, we took over the game."

The Bulldogs had their best chance at scoring during regulation early in the second half. Malicevic snuck in behind St. Louis' defense, collected a pass but had his shot stopped on a save by Disbennet.

Drake junior Luke Gorczyca (Overland Park, Kan.) got the rebound but was denied by Disbennet.

"We had plenty of opportunities," Holmes said. "We should have not let it come to down to the end."

Drake recovered from a sluggish opening 20 minutes of the first half taking the attack to the Billikens.

The young Bulldogs displayed poise and saw their confidence grow with every minute.

Drake threatened to get on the board first midway through the first half on a shot by freshman Hunter Kennedy (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) in the 20th minute, followed less than a minute later on a header by junior first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference choice Garrett Webb (Prairie Village, Kan.) that was wide.

Kennedy, who was named to the Missouri Valley Conference All-Freshman team, suffered a rib injury in the 25th minute and missed the remainder of the match. 

"His (Kennedy) absence hurt a lot because he provides us with a big physical presence," Holmes noted. "When you take Hunter out of the equation it hurts."

Malicevic, who replaced Kennedy in the lineup, led Drake with four shots, including three shots on goal.

Drake closed out the season being nationally ranked for 10 consecutive weeks. The Bulldogs finished the season at No. 22 in the National Soccer Coaches Association poll.

The Bulldogs will return 10 of the 11 players who started against Saint Louis with graduation claiming only midfielder Ryan Moylan (Wauwatosa, Wis.).

Saint Louis, which picked up a win in NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003, advances to play at No. 6 seeded Indiana this Tuesday (Nov. 25).

"I'm ecstatic, but I feel bad for Drake because I've been in this game long enough to where that has happened to us," Saint Louis head coach Dan Donigan said.
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