Story by Austin Cannon
Photo by Joel Venzke
Junior Ashlie Stokes led the way for the Bulldogs. She recorded the team’s first two goals and assisted on the final goal.
Her first goal came in the 35th minute when she buried a shot from the top of the 18-yard box, giving the Bulldogs the 1-0 lead that they would never relinquish.
Stokes’ second goal was the result of an assist from sophomore defender Kylie DeHaven.
In the 39th minute, DeHaven crossed the ball from the right and found Stokes, five yards from goal, where she headed it into the back of the net, beating goalkeeper Kylie Morgan.
Time passed in the second half without a goal from either side until the final two minutes.
This time, Stokes was the passer. She sent the ball in toward freshman forward Kayla Armstrong in the 89th minute. Being only three yards out from goal, she knocked it in for her first goal as a Bulldog.
The final minute and 52 seconds ticked away, and Drake had its first victory of the season.
Head coach Lindsey Horner was pleased with her team’s ability to produce the long-awaited goals.
“I felt we had a variety in how we looked to attack today,” Horner said in a Drake athletics press release.
“We were good playing side-to-side through the midfield, playing off our target, and also being a bit more direct, resulting in a more balanced attack.”
Drake dominated on the attack, registering a 10-1 advantage on shots over the winless Panthers in the first half and a 20-6 advantage on the game overall.
Junior Drake goalkeeper Andrea Swanson was rarely challenged. She was only forced to make two saves all game.
Kayla Armstrong led the Bulldogs with seven shots, five on goal. Stokes and senior Paige Dusek each added four.
The win was almost a necessity, as Horner pointed out.
“We needed a result like today,” Horner said. “We have one more chance to prepare for MVC play, and we must get the same quality and mentality on Thursday at South Dakota in order to gain momentum heading into Evansville.”