An early goal in the second half of overtime was everything conference-foe Indiana State University needed to edge past the Bulldogs.
Alison Gasparovich scored in the 108th minute, ending the match and dealing Drake its second consecutive conference loss. The Bulldogs relied on their defense to hang on against the Sycamores, but the offensive attacks by Indiana State were too much to handle for Drake.
“It was another game where in regulation we put balls across the six on a platter, and we made a mess of them,” Head Coach Lindsey Horner said. “At some point we have to relieve our defense, and give ourselves a cushion.”
The Bulldogs were outshot 14-8 by the Sycamores. Drake struggled to keep possession of the ball, which hurt its ball movement, and thus its attack in the final third of the field.
“We are still lacking the motivation and hunger to win that is required in conference games,” sophomore Laura Moklestad said. “Indiana State came out with the attitude that they were going to win and let nothing hinder that.”
Redshirt junior Ali Walsh left the game early due to an injury, an absence that certainly hurt the Bulldogs in the midfield. Walsh is one of Drake’s most consistent defensive midfielders and does a great job of recovering and distributing balls.
“In the end, Indiana State deserved to win tonight,” Horner said. “We struggled when Ali left the game with an injury, had unnecessary fouls that gave them momentum and we played tight under the pressure.”
Still, it was a tough match on the road against a conference opponent. The Bulldogs knew nothing was going to come easy, and even had a shot at winning the game down the stretch. Sophomore Tara Zika had a great scoring opportunity late in the first overtime, but it was saved by Sycamore goalkeeper Emily Lahay.
Zika led the team with three shots, and freshman Paige Dusek added a pair of shots as well.
As for the defense, freshman goalkeeper Kalena Litch had another solid showing with five saves, and was able to keep her goal intact up until overtime.
The loss marked the second consecutive conference defeat for the Bulldogs, who now own a 7-4-3 ledger overall and a 1-2 record in the Missouri Valley Conference.
“It is really important that we put our two losses behind us,” Moklestad said. “We need to remember how good of a team we can be.”
Drake squared off against SIU Edwardsville at Cownie Soccer Complex on Sunday. The Times-Delphic will have details of this game in Thursday’s issue. This is the last non-conference match of the season for the Bulldogs.
Photo: Eduardo Zamarripa