DES MOINES, Iowa - In a contest that ranged the gamut of emotions, the Drake women's soccer team narrowly escaped with a 4-3 triumph over UMKC (2-4-3) on Wednesday (Sept. 19) at the Cownie Soccer Complex to equal a school record with the Bulldogs' (9-2) seventh-consecutive victory.
Drake's showdown with the Kangaroos represented the second annual "KICK Cancer Game". In an effort to create awareness about cancer research the Bulldogs donated navy blue jerseys for the contest that were auctioned off during the game, with proceeds benefiting the John Stoddard Cancer Center. The squad also sold memory cards that raised $660 for cancer research.
With its victory, Drake equaled the school record for consecutive wins (7) set during both the 2003 and 2004 campaigns.
The Bulldogs saw the Kangaroos whittle away a 4-1 advantage and nearly square the contest at four if not for a stellar team save by freshman Kylie DeHaven (Olathe, Kan./Olathe East) at the 87:55 mark.
The story for Drake began just 23 seconds into the tilt when sophomore Ashlie Stokes (Sioux City, Iowa/Sioux City North) netted her team-leading fifth goal of the season off an assist from senior Laura Moklestad (Des Moines, Iowa/Roosevelt).
Less than two minutes later Allison Schau netted the equalizer for UMKC converting on a penalty kick in the third minute (2:03).
Junior Generve Charles (Wausau, Wis./Wausau East) registered what proved to be the game-winning tally at the 17:48 with a strong spin move to beat Nina Tzianos. Moklestad earned her second assist of the evening on the play.
The Bulldogs took a 2-1 lead into the intermission on the strength of a 7-4 shot advantage in the initial stanza.
Less than three minutes into the second half, Stokes struck again delivering a sliding shot that found the back of the net at the 47:20 mark. Junior Paige Dusek (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles North) and sophomore Katie Helmlinger (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Kennedy) garnered assists on the tally.
Moklestad concluded the scoring for Drake in the 72nd minute (71:13) redirecting a shot off of Tzianos into the back of the net for her second goal of the season.
The momentum soon swung into the Kangaroos' favor as they pushed numbers up on the Bulldogs and saw tangible results when Ellie Chadick cut UMKC's deficit to 4-2 with a tally at the 73:05 mark.
The Kangaroos edged even closer in the 80th minute (79:12) when Hunter Wagoner collected a goal off a Hannah Chadick assist to close the margin to 4-3.
UMKC continued to push up numbers and nearly netted the equalizer at the 87:55 mark off a shot from Alyssa Elver that got past junior goalkeeper Kalena Litch (Plymouth, Minn.) and nearly crossed the goal line if not for a clearance by DeHaven.
The Kangaroos outshot the Bulldogs in the affair, 19-16, led by a game-high five shots from Elver. Registering three shots apiece for Drake was Stokes and juniors Megan Fisher (Ankeny, Iowa/Ankeny) and Brittany Schuling (Bondurant, Iowa/Bondurant-Farrar).
Litch and Tzianos each recorded five saves in the game.
Drake opens its Missouri Valley Conference slate on Saturday (Sept. 22) hosting Missouri State in a 7:00 p.m. tilt at the Cownie Soccer Complex.