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Women’s soccer clinches MVC title

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BY MADDIE TOPLIFF

For the second time in three seasons, the Drake women’s soccer team has clinched the Missouri Valley Conference regular season title. The title was won in a thrilling overtime win against Illinois State on Sunday, Oct. 23.

It was a big weekend for Drake’s junior midfielder and footwork master Alyssa Brand, an Illinois native. She was named Women’s Soccer Player of the Week in the MVC for her Sunday performance. Brand scored her first goals of the season on Sunday, including the goal that forced Drake and Illinois State into overtime.

Following Sunday’s win, the Bulldogs will be the No. 1 seed going into the Missouri Valley Conference postseason tournament, which will be held Nov. 3-5 in Springfield, Missouri.

The winner of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament will receive an automatic berth to the NCAA Division I tournament, the Women’s College Cup. The College Cup will be held Dec. 1 and 3 in Orlando, Florida.

On Thursday, Oct. 26, the women will honor their seniors and play their last game of the regular season on home turf at Cownie Soccer Complex against Loyola.

Seniors to be honored include goalkeeper Haley Morris of Clive, Iowa, defender Kasey Hurt of Ankeny, Iowa, midfielder Rebecca Rodgers of Peotene, Illinois, forward Hannah Wilder of Wheatfield, Indiana, defender Ali Smith of Lenexa, Kansas, midfielder Rachel Wanninger of Johnston, Iowa and midfielder Brooke Salisbury of Kearney, Missouri.

Loyola will be coming off a two-game win streak, but they did drop a 3-5 score loss to Drake’s most recent victim Illinois State a couple of weeks ago.

The Bulldogs have not lost a game since Sept. 7 when they played the Big Ten Conference’s Wisconsin, and they are undefeated in conference play with one tie against Missouri State rounding out their conference record. Overall, the team is in fantastic shape to not only beat Loyola, but to keep the momentum rolling all the way to the College Cup.

Players to continue to watch in the coming weeks are MVC standout Rebecca Rodgers, breakout star-of-the-week Alyssa Brand and assist aficionados Ali Smith, Kasey Hurt and Hannah Bormann.

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