The Bulldogs kicked off their 2011 season last Friday with a 2-0 home loss against Iowa State. Drake surrendered two goals in the last twenty minutes of play, giving the Cyclones all they needed for their first win of the season.
“It was an exciting environment, with a lot of fans, and end-to-end action in the second half,” said Head Coach Lindsey Horner. “There are a lot of positives we can takes from tonight, but we still have some aspects of the game we need to tidy up.”
Drake was out-shot by the Cyclones 18-8, but still had an opportunity to get out in front early in the second half.
After a tightly contested first half, the Bulldogs found their best scoring chance in the 59th minute when junior Kasey Wellman hit the crossbar.
Eleven minutes later, Iowa State’s Hayley Womack found the back of the net to give the Cyclones a 1-0 lead. Iowa State would score again with five minutes left, putting the game completely out of reach for the Bulldogs.
“Tonight we were much improved,” Horner said. “The return of a number of healthy players, who missed our exhibition games, certainly helped us.
Drake was coming off an ugly 6-0 defeat against Iowa in their last exhibition game.
With a couple of players coming back from injury, among them senior Melanie Fielder who had been out with a lower back injury, the Bulldogs looked a lot sharper on the defensive front but still could not breakthrough offensively.
“The leadership and experience on the field seemed to be the significant difference between this game and our previous exhibition game,” Fielder said. It was pretty exciting to have the majority of the team healthy and able to compete last night.”
Drake has yet to score a goal in two exhibition games and one regular season game so far this season.
“The lack of scoring isn’t ideal, but I wouldn’t say there is any serious frustration yet,” Fielder said. “All (of) our attacking players want to find the back of the net every time they step foot on the field. We’ll break through it.”
The Bulldogs looked a lot better than they did in their previous two exhibition games and that should be enough encouragement as the non-conference schedule continues.
“We played better than we did in our previous two matches. We fought harder,” Fielder said. “I don’t believe the score of 2-0 necessarily reflects how we played, either.”
Drake will also have to do a better job of finishing off games, after allowing two goals in the last twenty minutes of the game.
“We must play the full 90 minutes regardless of the opponent,” Fielder said. “A team can’t only play 70 minutes and expect to come out with a win.”
After their match Sunday against Green Bay, the Bulldogs will then go on the road and travel to Arizona. They will square off against Northern Arizona and Southern Utah.
DRAKE VS. GREEN BAY
The Bulldogs won their game against Green Bay on Sunday night 3-1.
Junior Tara Zika scored two goals and sophomore Generve Charles scored one goal.