Drake stretches winning streak to eight
The Drake women’s soccer squad romped past Missouri State 3-0 in its Missouri Valley Conference opener on Saturday at the Cownie Soccer Complex, extending its winning streak to a school-record eight games.
Freshman Rhian Pritchard scored her first career goal in the first half to give the Bulldogs the halftime lead. Junior Generve Charles and senior Laura Moklestad both scored in the second half to make sure the Bulldogs’ winning streak stayed alive.
“I’m really pleased with our performance tonight. Everything that we’ve done in non-conference (play) really is irrelevant other than the lessons we’ve learned and the fact that we’ve improved up to this point,” said head coach Lindsey Horner in a Drake athletic press release.
The previous winning streak record for the Bulldogs was seven, which occurred during the 2003 and 2004 seasons. Drake took advantage of its seven-game home stand, winning all seven of its matches and improving its home season record to an impressive 8-0.
With the victory, Drake improved its overall record to 10-2 and 1-0 in MVC play.
“For the freshmen, and for everybody, it was an awesome way to start,” junior goalkeeper Kalena Litch said. “Last year, we lost to them at their home field. We didn’t want to have that experience.”
Drake struggled to get into rhythm in the first half, but the Bulldogs were able to shake off their sluggish start thanks to Pritchard’s goal. Junior Brittany Schuling assisted Pritchard on her goal to give Drake the lead at the 30:17 mark.
The Bulldogs outshot the Bears nine to seven in the first half and went into the break with a 1-0 lead.
In the second half, the Bulldogs managed to keep the lead and withstood the attacks by the Bears. It wasn’t until the 75:19 mark that the Bulldogs were able to breathe and extend their lead.
A diving Charles headed the ball into the net after a Schuling corner kick was deflected by junior Megan Fisher, giving her five goals so far this season.
Shortly after, Moklestad put the game out of reach after combining with senior Kelsey Pigg to notch her third goal of the season and give Drake a commanding 3-0 lead at the 78:39 mark.
Drake’s late offensive push secured Saturday’s victory.
“The shots were high, but that’s expected at the end of the game,” Litch said. “It shows that we did our job. We did what we had to do.”
Drake outshot Missouri State 19-17 in the contest. Litch registered seven saves en route to her fifth shutout of the year.
“Going into our first MVC game, I’m really pleased to get a shutout and get three goals up on the board,” Horner said.
The Bulldogs will look to keep their winning streak alive when they hit the road to take on Northern Iowa on Thursday at 7 p.m. The Bulldogs have not played a road game since Aug. 31 when they defeated South Dakota State 2-1. Drake is 2-2 on road games this season.
Litch expects a challenging match against the Panthers.
“It’s always a chippy team,” she said. “It’s an in-state rivalry. It’s going to be a tough match even though we’ve been successful against them in the past.”