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Drake survives against Northern Colorado

For the third consecutive game, Drake came away with a double overtime tie on the road. This one, however, was an offensive showdown.

Junior Laura Moklestad and freshman Ashlie Stokes scored for the Bulldogs, but Drake relinquished the lead twice and barely held on in the overtime periods to earn a 2-2 draw at Northern Colorado.

“Scoring goals was a big theme of the weekend, and it was great to see our forwards put a couple away for us,” sophomore Megan Fisher said. “I think we improved from last week, and we are on the right track to get ready for conference.”

The Bulldogs are now 2-5-4 on the year and have gone six games without winning. Drake’s last victory was a 2-1 double overtime victory on the road against Northern Arizona on Aug. 26.

“We were effective in the first half and executed the game plan well,” head coach Lindsey Horner said in a Drake athletic press release. “We haven’t been in a position to hold the lead until today, and during regulation we went away from possessing the ball, and it is difficult to manage the final minutes of the game when we don’t have the ball.”

Moklestad opened the scoring at the 13:54 mark to give Drake the early lead. Senior Danielle Figliola was credited for the assist on the play.

The Bulldogs took the lead heading into the break with a 9-7 shot advantage. However, the Bears seized the momentum in the second half, outshooting Drake 15-3. A set-piece goal evened up the score.

Tara Rickenbach scored on a header from Madison Yoswa’s corner kick at the 64:58 mark to tie the game at one.

Drake answered right back and found the net just over a minute later. Stokes recorded her first collegiate goal to give the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead. Sophomore Kiah Swanson tallied the assist on the play.

With less than three minutes to go in regulation, Yoswa fired in a shot for the tying goal for Northern Colorado to make the score 2-2, ending Drake’s hopes of ending its six-game winless streak.

“We came out strong in the beginning of the second half and were unlucky to have a Megan Fisher goal called back,” Horner said. “They made adjustments in the second half, and that paired with our fatigue from playing overtime on Friday caused the game to open up some.”

Drake’s fatigue was evident in the overtime periods. The Bulldogs were outshot 12-3 during overtime, giving Northern Colorado a whopping 34-15 shot advantage for the game.

“We always want to come away with the win, but after a long weekend and a tough game against Wyoming, a tie was a fair result,” Fisher said.

The Bulldogs have struggled to score all season, enduring a scoreless drought that lasted 409 minutes at one point. However, offense was not lacking in this game as both squads were able to put plenty of shots on frame.

“I’m extremely proud of our effort today,” Horner said. “We were exhausted in overtime but managed to keep a clean sheet. We have one more non-conference game to fix a few aspects of our play, and then we’re tested right away in conference with Illinois State.”

Sophomore goalkeeper Kalena Litch kept the Bulldog goal intact during the overtime period and recorded nine saves. Litch has arguably been the Bulldogs’ best player this season.

Drake will continue its road trip at North Dakota State on Thursday before hitting the road again to take on Illinois State on Sunday. This will be Drake’s first Missouri Valley Conference game of the season.

“Each practice and game is a lesson learned,” Fisher said. “Our conference has turned into a pretty even playing field, so on any given day any team has the possibility of winning. It’s important that we stay focused and prepare for every game as best we can, taking one game at a time.”

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