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Bulldogs drop pair of weekend non-conference openers

Story by Austin Cannon

Photo by Joel Venzke

women's-soccer_venzke-w2000-h2000Drake University women’s soccer opened its season with a pair of tough losses to the University of Iowa and Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.

Drake and Iowa remained scoreless until the 75th minute when Drake committed a foul inside the 18-yard box and a penalty was awarded to the Hawkeyes. Lana Bonekemper then converted the penalty by beating Drake goalkeeper Andrea Swanson.

That proved to be the difference as Iowa held off Drake’s late attack and went on to win 1-0.

Even with the loss, head coach Lindsey Horner was still able to see some positives in her team’s play.

“We demonstrated that we can compete physically with anyone, we were organized defensively and frustrated a Big Ten opponent,” Horner said. “Our work rate and intensity was high and for the most part, we sustained a high level of concentration and followed the game plan.”

Horner was complimentary of the defense’s resilience as well.

“Our defense was solid under pressure against Iowa. Their attackers were fast and athletic, so to keep a clean sheet through the run of play is promising,” she said.

After creating many scoring opportunities in their previous exhibition matches, Horner was not worried about goal production.

“We will put pressure on opposing goalkeepers if we can get more of our shots on frame and force them to make a save,” she said.

Things looked more promising Sunday afternoon early against Edwardsville.

Senior forward Paige Dusek gathered a pass from fellow senior Brittany Schuling, dribbled up the left side and scored Drake’s first goal of the season in the 29th minute.

“(She) scored a great goal and was a threat getting in behind. She is someone that will need to get goals and assists if we are going to win games,” Horner said.

The lead, however, lasted only 12 minutes.

Freshman forward Kayla Delgado entered the game for Edwardsville as a reserve and, by the end of the match, scored four goals.

In the 41st minute Delgado received a throw-in and ripped a shot from the top of the box that found the upper corner of the net.

Delgado tacked on three more goals in the second half, scoring in the 63rd, 67th and 76th minutes to lead the Cougars to a 4-1 victory.

“(Her) goals were each from different breakdowns on our end.  She wasn’t on the scout as the season is new and she came off the bench. She finished her chances against us, but we didn’t do enough to make it hard for her,” Horner said.

After a quick turnaround from Friday night’s game, Horner could see that fatigue was a factor on Sunday afternoon, when temperatures reached the mid to upper 90s.

“Sunday games following a Friday game tend to involve tired legs, but we can overcome this. When we are tired we still have to communicate, be organized, and stay focused, and this faded with our fatigue,” she said.

Drake’s next action comes out west. The Bulldogs travel to play Pacific tomorrow followed by a match Sunday against  UC Davis.


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