Story by Emily Gregor
The Drake women’s soccer team faced Indiana State Friday in the semifinals of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament, which the team hasn’t made an appearance in since 2009. Indiana State pushed through with a final score of 4-0, ending the Bulldogs’ (3-12-5) run.
“The first 10 minutes were exciting, and we really had two excellent chances to score,” said head coach Lindsey Horner. “That would have changed how the following 80 minutes played out. But, as was our problem for the season, we let those opportunities slip away, and when the momentum turned, we didn’t have anything to hang on to.”
In the 30th minute, Indiana State’s Taylor Reed scored what ended up being the game-winning goal to be followed shortly thereafter with another goal by Abby Reed, setting the pace for the Sycamores, leading with a score of 2-0.
“We went from a dominating performance to the complete opposite, and within 70 seconds, we were down two goals,” Horner said.
The final two goals of the game came in the 59th and 62nd minutes, respectively, to bring Indiana State to a victory of 4-0 over the Bulldogs.
On the defensive front, junior goalkeeper Andrea Swanson equaled a career high by making 10 saves for Drake. Offensively, sophomore Rhian Pritchard led the Bulldogs with three shots, a team-high for the night.
Despite the disappointing end to the season, the women’s soccer team has had many strong points throughout this season.
“I think our best game was our tie with Iowa State. Our players performed to their potential in that game for a full 110 minutes,” Horner said. “We looked dangerous in the attack, organized and disciplined defensively and hungry to get a result.”
Horner also saw strength on the field as the Bulldogs took on Loyola.
“Our first-round MVC game was exciting as well in that we looked rehearsed and confident in the shootout.”
With that, Drake women’s soccer is ready to take on another season and another chance to get the Missouri Valley Conference Championship.
“For us to be successful next season, we have a lot of areas we’ll need to improve upon mentally, athletically and on the field with our returners and through recruiting,” Horner said. “Simply said, we have to perform consistently at a higher level on game day, but there’s a lot of improvements to be made to ensure we put ourselves in a position to earn results.”