After three games on the road, the Bulldogs hosted the Western Illinois Leathernecks on Wednesday night at Cownie Soccer complex where they made the most of their home turf advantage and shut-out the Leathernecks 4-0. They started off strong with goals from sophomore Leroy Enzugusi and junior Antonio Sanchez back to back at the 14th and 16th minute marks and then a goal from senior Steven Enna in the 20th minute. Enna’s goal came from a free kick by midfielder Cole Poppen that was headed by Lucas Bartlett and bicycle kicked into the goal by Enna. This was Poppen’s 7th assist this season, which positions him as the holder of most assists on the team.
“Set pieces are something that our team takes a lot of pride in,” Poppen said. “I know if my service is where it’s supposed to be, my teammates will be there to finish. All credit is to those guys though. I’m just crossing a ball.”
It wasn’t until the second half that Enzugusi scored his second goal of the night to make the final score 4-0. The two goals that Enzugusi scored against the Leathernecks put his total at 5 goals this season, making him the team’s top scorer. With 14 shots on the goal and two saves, junior Jared Brown, the Bulldogs’ goalkeeper, was kept busy throughout the game, but in the end let nothing past allowing the Bulldogs to claim their second shut-out of the season.
“Credit has to be given to our back line and goalie who have held two clean sheets as well,” Poppen said. “It’s a lot easier to win games when we aren’t getting scored on.”
The Bulldogs then hosted Central Arkansas on Saturday night at Tiger Field in West Des Moines instead of the Cownie Soccer Complex due to the weather. Despite the weather conditions, the Bulldogs and the Bears began play at 4:30 p.m. In the 36th minute, Enzugusi scored the first and only goal of the game off of a header. Enzugusi now has 6 goals on the season. Again, goalie Jared Brown excelled in the goal with 5 saves throughout the game. The win against the Central Arkansas Bears is a big feat for the Bulldogs seeing that the Bears were last year’s MVC champions.
This win advances the Bulldogs to 6 wins, 3 losses, and 1 tie situating them at the top of the MVC standings. With six more games to play before the MVC tournament, the Bulldogs need to stay focused if they want to stay in the number one spot when the tournament rolls around in early November.
“We all still know we have a long way to go and preparation for next Saturday has already began,” Poppen said.
The Drake Men’s soccer team will host Omaha at home next Saturday, Oct. 6, for their third game at home.