Photo: Michael Sage
The Bulldogs (1-7-3, 0-0-1 in the MVC) will wrap-up their three-game home stand this Saturday when they take on Central Arkansas (6-4, 0-0) at Cownie Soccer Complex at 7 p.m.
Drake will be looking to earn its first conference win of the season. Last Saturday, the Bulldogs garnered a hard-fought 0-0 double overtime tie against No. 24 Creighton to open up their Missouri Valley Conference season.
This will be the fifth time Drake faces off against Central Arkansas with the all-time series tied at 2-2. The Bulldogs went 1-1 against the Bears last season. Drake fell to Central Arkansas 2-1 on the road late in the season, before routing the Bears 3-0 in the opening round of the State Farm MVC Quarterfinals.
However, the Bears are off to a much stronger start this season. After finishing with a 2-12-4 overall record in 2011, Central Arkansas’ six wins have already exceeded last year’s win total.
Not only that, but the Bulldogs and the Bears fared similarly against the two matching teams on their schedule so far: Saint Louis and Loyola.
Drake lost to Saint Louis 1-0 and defeated Loyola 3-1. Meanwhile, the Bears lost 3-0 to Saint Louis and defeated Loyola 2-1.
The Bulldogs are hoping the momentum garnered from their match against Creighton will carry over into Saturday’s match. Drake has not won since Aug. 31 and, last Saturday, saw its back line hold the Bluejays scoreless for 110 minutes. The Bulldogs started three freshmen on defense.
Following the match against Creighton, junior Addison Eck commented on what the Bulldogs needed going forward.
“We just gotta play like we did today (Sept. 29) and finish our chances. We didn’t finish our chances today (Sept. 29), but I thought we played our hearts out,” Eck said.
Not only did the Bulldogs face a tough non-conference schedule to start the season, they also have a few more non-conference games packed into their remaining schedule.
Head coach Sean Holmes said after the Creighton that the key for the Bulldogs in the upcoming games would be: “To sort of reproduce that sort of level of commitment. The hard thing is we have three non-conference games scheduled into our final six conference games. “
Following their game against Central Arkansas, the Bulldogs will hit the road to take on the University of Missouri-Kansas City on Tuesday, Oct. 9. After that, Drake will return home for the Third Annual Ralph Gross Alumni Classic to take on Illinois at Chicago (UIC) on Oct. 13 in its last non-conference game of the season.
On Wednesday, the Bulldogs took on Western Illinois. Results on that match can be found in the next edition of The Times-Delphic.