DES MOINES, IOWA - Junior Generve Charles' (Wausau, Wis./Wausau East) goal in the 56th minute (55:13) sealed a 2-1 victory for Drake (5-2) over South Dakota (1-4-1) in women's soccer action on Friday (Sept. 7) at the Cownie Soccer Complex.
The triumph enabled the Bulldogs to surpass their win total for all of the 2011 campaign, while extending their current winning streak to three straight.
"In the first half I thought South Dakota game out with a good game plan and they were just high energy all over us," Drake head coach Lindsey Horner commented. "We struggled to play out of that and got caught playing into how they wanted to go and found ourselves behind. I thought as the game opened up that we were able to play our style and connect through the central midfield and get our outside backs involved. We were then able to find our wide players and were dynamic from there."
The Coyotes began the scoring in the affair when Teagan Eberle delivered her second goal of the season at the 25:58 mark on a give-and-go from Jenny Teslow.
South Dakota appeared destined to enter halftime with a 1-0 lead, but the Coyotes were whistled for a foul in the box with only three ticks left before the intermission.
Senior Kelsey Pigg (Waukee, Iowa/Waukee) stepped in and converted the penalty kick to square the contest at one. The goal was the first collegiate goal for Pigg.
"I thought our bench at the end of the first half really impacted the game as their efforts helped us get the goal before the half ended and that helped set the tone for our second-half effort," said Horner.
After narrowly outshooting South Dakota in the initial 45 minutes, 11-10, Drake registered an 11-4 second-half shot margin to finish the game winning the battle of the shots, 22-14.
The most-decisive shot came off the foot of Charles, who beat Abby Lindsey to the corner on a give-and-go from sophomore Ashlie Stokes (Sioux City, Iowa/Sioux City North) for the game-winning goal.
Junior Paige Dusek (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles North) directed the Bulldogs with a team-high four shots, while contributing three shots apiece were Stokes, junior Brittany Schuling (Bondurant, Iowa/Bondurant-Farrar), senior Laura Moklestad (Des Moines, Iowa/Roosevelt) and sophomore Katie Helmlinger (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Kennedy).
Lauren Bennett led South Dakota with a game-high seven shots.
Lindsey pulled in a game-best five saves for the Coyotes, while junior Kalena Litch (Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata) recorded four stops for the Bulldogs. Litch is now four saves from surpassing Jenny Schroeder (2006-08) atop Drake's all-time saves list, as she has posted 255 career saves.
Litch and the Bulldogs return to action on Sunday (Sept. 9) as Drake hosts Nebraska Omaha in a 1:00 p.m. matinee affair at the Cownie Soccer Complex.