STORY BY ADAM ROGAN
Strong defense has spelled success for the Men’s Soccer team in 2015, not giving up more than one goal in any match this season. That defense has played a big part in Drake’s 3-1-1 record at the start of the season.
“Not only did we get the results we wanted, but also had good performances in each game,” redshirt junior goalkeeper Darrin MacLeod said.
One goal offensively proved to be enough to top the University of Belmont Bruins at the ProRehab Aces Classic in Evansville, Indiana this past Friday.
Two goals were all the Bulldogs needed against the Air Force Academy two days later.
Not even five minutes into the match against the Bruins, Drake got out to a lead that would hold through the rest of the match.
Freshman forward Nic Jaimes picked up his first assist of the season on a pass to junior Ben LeMay, who deflected the ball past Evansville goalkeeper Grayson Rector.
MacLeod earned his third shutout of the season in the game, picking up five saves off of the Bruins’ eight shots.
Drake played its second game of the ProRehab Aces Classic on Sunday, taking on Air Force under the hot summer sun. The temperature at game time was close to 90 degrees.
Drake freshman Nic Jaimes, after being denied his first goal in his last three games, put the Bulldogs in the lead before the heat was able to wear them down.
An early turnover by Air Force led to a breakaway for Jaimes, who put the ball past the keeper before the first minute was up.
Air Force junior midfielder Tucker Axhoj responded quickly, scoring a goal in the 18th minute off of some well-placed passes from teammates Joey Haug and Gus Jensen.
The game was still tied as the clock closed in on 90, each team hoping to score a goal to prevent overtime.
Drake redshirt junior defender James Grunert was up to the challenge.
A corner kick was awarded to Drake in the 87th minute, to be taken by James Wypych.
Wypych sent the ball towards the near post and Grunert put the ball in the back of the net, the first goal in his collegiate career and the deciding goal of the match.
“I think college soccer is all about small details,” MacLeod said. “(You need to) minimize the oversights and capitalize on moments of brilliance.”
Drake’s accuracy on net made the difference, converting on two out of three shots on goal.
The Bulldogs will take the field again on Saturday against Butler University in Indianapolis.