Photo: File photo
Drake took a trip to the Golden State last weekend to face two California opponents in San Diego and 14th ranked California-Irvine.
The Bulldogs ousted San Diego 4-2 last Friday, but dropped a 2-1 decision to UC Irvine on Sunday.
The Bulldogs conceded an early goal against San Diego. The Toreros jumped on top 21st minute, but three minutes later the Bulldogs answered on a well-struck ball by senior Matt Kuhn.
Following Kuhn’s goal the offensive onslaught by Drake continued with goals from fellow seniors Michael Noonan and Thomas Ostrander.
The Bulldogs never relinquished the lead from as they went on to win 4-2. Kuhn would net the last goal as well.
Head coach Sean Holmes was impressed with the team’s performance after a long period of travel.
“We got there a day after flying across two time zones and we played well,” he said. “To beat our opponent was terrific, we were overwhelmed at first against San Diego but then we figured it out.”
Drake had a day off then played against the 14th ranked Anteaters. Drake went down a goal close to halftime in the 38th minute by the Anteaters’ Christian Hernandez.
“It is hard on the road,” Holmes said. “Number one they were the better team, and number two we didn’t really play to our potential, and then after the full 45 minutes (at halftime) we looked a little bit tired.”
Hernandez connected again in the 65th minute to put the Anteaters up 2-0.
In the 75th minute sophomore Erik Boyer netted the Bulldogs’ only goal of the game off of a header. Drake also received a red card in the 76th minute and was forced to play a man down.
Senior goalkeeper Jordan Kadlec was not happy with the result but felt the team has room for improvement across the board after the road trip.
“(Last) Friday we played really well, probably the best we’ve played all year,” Kadlec said. “The two goals though we really want to cut down on. I would have liked to get the shutouts. But it’s hard to go on the road and going four games in a row.”
Kadlec has consistently kept the Bulldogs afloat, acting as a brick wall behind the young defensive back four. He has been worked quite a bit but Holmes hopes that the defense can come help his stellar goalie through the rest of the season.
Holmes had nothing but praise for the senior.
“Kadlec is pound-for-pound one of the top five goalies in Division I, I don’t say that a lot,” Holmes said. “He doesn’t make mistakes, he’s not one of the most spectacular goalies or the most athletic, but he’s one of the smartest.”
The Bulldogs have started out seasons on the road with tough competition repeatedly under Holmes’s tenure as coach. He feels it is essential to test his team early in the season.
“There are few teams that are aspiring to be top 25 programs that have gone four in a row on the road, Holmes said. “These places are all hard to come in and win at. We play six of our first eight on the road because not everyone is begging to come to Des Moines. We came out 2-1-1 and from a teaching angle that has been really good.”
The Bulldogs take on Missouri-Kansas City at Cownie Soccer complex this Friday at 7 p.m.