The Drake men’s soccer team suffered a devastating loss as Nick Maglasang struck the winning goal with 57 seconds to go in double overtime for host Saint Louis. The Billikens escaped with the 1-0 win and saw their record grow to 2-2-1 while the Bulldogs’ ledger dropped to 3-5 on the season.
Saint Louis knocked the Bulldogs out of the 2008 NCAA tournament in the final minute of the second period of overtime, much like Saturday’s game.
In the 107th minute, senior Evan Harrison came up with back-to-back shots, each of them coming up short in the end. Just a minute later, the game nearly ended on a shot from Adnan Gabeljic except for a diving save by Bulldog keeper Jordan Kadlec.
Kadlec ended the game with a match-high six saves.
“Jordan was once again a real force in goal and I thought our back four was much more organized than it has been the past few games,” Head Coach Sean Holmes said.
The Billikens outshot the Bulldogs in the match 21-10 while junior midfielder Michael Thaden tallied a game-high three shots.
“I’m hugely proud of the effort tonight,” Holmes said. “To go to play a 10-time NCAA champion on their homecoming and to hold our own for 109 minutes is very encouraging.
“As young as we are, any road game at a perennial national power is always going to be a challenge. To go somewhere like this and deal with a big wind for half a game is a testament to the improvement we’ve made over the course of the last month. The lesson for our boys is that when golden opportunities come, you have to capitalize.”
Outshot in the first half 9-1, the Bulldogs saw their best scoring chance come when freshman Brian Grand got behind Saint Louis goalkeeper Nick Shackelford for an uncontested shot, but got under it and sent it high above the crossbar.
Another opportunity presented itself when junior Charles Schwartz nailed a shot from outside the box just wide right.
It was a game of missed opportunities up until the golden goal, as a bouncing ball made it past a Saint Louis defender and to the foot of junior Thomas Ostrander, who sent the ball high and wide of the net.
“What is most exciting is that, despite the fact that most of our players coming off the bench are young, they have added enthusiasm and skill to our line-up,” Holmes explained. “We continue to be a work in progress, but I’m excited by what I saw tonight.”
As the game ended 0-0 in regular time, it went to an evenly matched overtime period where the Billikens caught the goal with just 57 seconds left on the clock to earn the win.
The Bulldogs return to action this Tuesday as they play a rematch of their 2009 NCAA tournament opener, hosting Western Illinois at 7 p.m. at Cownie Soccer Complex.
Photo: File Photo