It was not a night meant for soccer by any means; the game had to be moved from Cownie Soccer Complex to Drake Stadium. On a rainy and muddy night, the Bulldogs were able to fight back from a second-half deficit and rally to earn a valuable tie against North Dakota State last Thursday.
Led by a penalty kick score from freshman Megan Fisher, her fourth goal of the season, the Bulldogs tied up the game late in the second half and could not capitalize their opportunities in overtime as the match concluded in a 1-1 tie.
The first half saw both teams struggle to find any kind of rhythm as they battled to a scoreless halftime draw that did not generate much excitement.
“We made the first half harder for ourselves than necessary, as we were a bit flat and we couldn’t seem to adjust to the wind and didn’t do the little things early enough, but we improved as the game went on,” Head Coach Lindsey Horner said.
For awhile, neither team was able to open up the scoreboard. It wasn’t until a North Dakota State corner kick that the game broke loose. Brooklyn Dyce headed in the score with 25 minutes remaining in the second half.
Drake was unsuccessful in its attempts to open up the North Dakota State defense, but caught a break when the Bison were called for a hand ball inside the box. Fisher converted the score with 12 minutes to go in the second half and Drake carried the momentum into the overtime periods.
The Bulldogs missed a couple of one-on-one opportunities in overtime which could have propelled them past the Bison. Sophomore Laura Moklestad misfired a good chance in the first overtime period and freshman Generve Charles could not finish a few opportunities that could have given them the win in the second overtime period.
North Dakota State outshot the Bulldogs 10-7, with freshman goalkeeper Kalena Litch holding the Bulldog net intact with her three saves.
“The elements tonight made for a very different game than we were hoping for,” Horner said. “I’m happy with our ability to come back from a goal down to equalize.”
This was the last match for Drake before conference play begins. The Bulldogs boast a 5-2-3 ledger and are excited to begin what they have prepared for during these early weeks: conference play.
“This was our final prep game before starting conference,” Horner said. “If we are able to retain all that we have improved upon throughout our non-conference season, Sunday should be a very good game.”
Details for Sunday’s game against Evansville will be available in Thursday’s issue.
Photo: Darcy Dodge