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The Times-Delphic

The Student News Site of Drake University

The Times-Delphic

The Student News Site of Drake University

The Times-Delphic

Drake men’s soccer secures key opening game win to kick off season

The Drake men’s soccer team won their opening game, starting their current season well. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The Drake men’s soccer team kicked off its season during the first week of class, and the game couldn’t have gone any better for the Bulldogs.

The Drake men’s soccer team welcomed Western Illinois this past week on Friday, Sept. 1, when the Bulldogs took full control over their home turf. With goalie Kevin Qi ready for anything coming his way and the powerhouse trio of Austin Holtebeck, Damian Segura and Timmy Browning, nothing was going to get past the Bulldogs. 

The powerhouse trio secured a goal, an assist and three additional shots on Western Illinois’s goal that really put the pressure on their opponents to perform.

With a strong goal that would set Drake ahead in the first half, Holtebeck would not only score his first goal of the season but set the Bulldogs ahead for what would remain a 1-0 score throughout the game, making the goal a game winner. 

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Although this win might not have been by multiple goals, Drake outshot Western Illinois 12-4 which showed just how fierce the Bulldogs were willing to be to win the game. This win would set Drake up for a clean first win of the season and an excellent season opener.

“Going into that first game was definitely a mix of emotions. Excitement was at the forefront, but there were also those pre-game nerves you can’t escape. It’s all part of the experience. Now, after that big win, I can say the team’s spirits are at an all-time high. We’re thrilled about the victory, and it’s given us a big boost of confidence as we move forward in the season,” Qi said. ”We’re a tight team, always there for one another, and putting the team first is what we’re all about. We’ve been working hard together, both on and off the field, and that camaraderie is what drives us during games.”

This win meant a lot for the Bulldogs’ season. Not only was it the confident first win they needed to put themselves on the map early, but it also solidified their home field advantage. The game proved their hard work was all worth it in the end and highlighted the chemistry and communication not only between the players, but the coaching staff as well.

“I am very happy the team got our first win of the year, and it makes the win even better that we were able to do it at home. I think the team played well and our coaches were happy with the performance, so the team is happy,” junior Evan Carlson said.

With an important win in the books to jumpstart the 2023-2024 season, Drake looks ahead for whatever the season is ready to throw its way whether at home or away. The team will continue to play hard as it works towards beating some of its biggest rivals and showing its Drake pride with every game they play.

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