By ERIN O’BOYLE
The Drake Men’s Soccer Team had a busy week with an away game on Tuesday night against Northern Illinois University and then a home game against Bradley on Saturday night.
The Bulldogs started off strong against DeKalb with a goal from junior Antonio Sanchez in the 8th minute. In the 69th minute, Leroy Enzugusi’s goal put the Bulldogs ahead 2-0. However, NIU wasn’t going down without a fight. The Huskies’ scored two goals back-to-back in the 73rd and 76th minutes, both by Nick Markanich. The teams went into the overtime, but despite two extra periods, neither team could secure another goal and the game ended in a tie. Throughout the game, junior goalkeeper Jared Brown had a career-high 13 saves.
After the away game on Tuesday night, the Bulldogs hosted the Bradley Braves at home on Saturday. The game began at 7 p.m. at Cownie Soccer Complex, where the full 90-minute match ended scoreless. The Braves had nine shots on the goal and the Bulldogs followed closely behind with a total of eight shots on the goal. The Braves defeated the Bulldogs in the first extra period at the 99th minute with a goal from Gerit Wintermeyer.
Both Brown and Bradley’s goalkeeper had eight saves throughout the game. Junior midfielder Alex Peterson and senior forward Steven Enna came close to putting the Bulldogs on the board with a spinning shot off the crossbar that was, to Bradley’s benefit, saved.
“We created a lot of chances but just couldn’t finish which contributed to the game being a one-goal game,” Peterson said. “Normally you would expect to score at least one goal when you have 20 shots, but sometimes the ball just doesn’t roll your way.”
The Bulldogs are now situated at the lower end of the Missouri Valley Conference standings, only above Evansville and Bradley. Their overall record is 6-5-2, but in conference play they are 1-2-1. The Bulldogs will face the Missouri State Bears at home on Oct. 27th at 7 p.m. Saturday night is also senior night which will include a small ceremony before the game to honor the seniors.
With only two games left in conference play before the MVC tournament, it is vital that the Bulldogs bring their A game in order to climb to the top of the MVC. “We need to re-group this week before Missouri State. It is a huge conference game and we definitely have a lot of things to clean up before the match,” Peterson said. “We will most likely focus on attacking actions and finishing this week.”