With the festivities of Welcome Week concluded, and the 2019- 2020 school year officially underway, there is much excitement on campus over what the year will bring. As always, much of this excitement is directed at the Drexel University sports teams, which enter their regular fall seasons. The first term is highlighted among others by the campaign of women’s soccer, who went 2-1 during their Welcome Week stretch of games
The Drexel women’s soccer team travelled to Queens, New York for a showdown against St. John’s University Sept.15. The matchup was featured on ESPN 3. The Dragons were unchallenged throughout the match, maintaining charge of possession, outshooting their opponents 24-9, and earning 11 corner and free kicks combined. Despite the dragons statistically dominating St John’s, the Red Storm took a 1-0 lead at halftime.
It took until the 90th minute for Drexel to score the equalizer. With just 13 seconds left in regulation Freshman Lily Dunbar put the ball in the net for Drexel sending the game into overtime. After 10 shots on target in the match, Drexel was finally able to get on the board in the 90th minute. The match proceeded into overtime, with a golden goal deciding the outcome. The first overtime period went scoreless, with goalkeeper Libby Baeza getting a hand on a strong shot from St. John’s that allowed Drexel into the second overtime. The Dragons were able to get the goal they were looking for in the 107th minute.
In the first half of overtime the dragons struggled to produce offensively, not being able to get off a shot attempt. However, the second half was a different story for the Dragons as sophomore Lauren Currey scored the game winner in the 107th minute. This victory showed that this Dragon team isn’t afraid to get gritty. The Dragons continued to fight the whole gameand it paid off. Drexel was aided by an extraordinary performance from senior goalie Libby Baeza as she had five saves on the day, only letting in one goal.The Dragons outshot the Red Storm 24-9, and took 11 corners compared to St. Johns one corner attempt.
On September 22, the Dragons made another trip to New York, this time to Manhattan to play Columbia University, who posted a season record of 5-2-1 going into the contest. The Dragons put up a fight in the first half, only going down by one goal.
Unfortunately, the second half was a different story. Columbia put the pressure on the Dragons, and Drexel didn’t have an answer. Columbia put up three goals in the second half to give them a 4-0 victory. Drexel was outshot 10-5 and failed to make the necessary defensive stops.
The Dragons, now sitting at 4-3-2, look to rebound as they travel to Long Island, New York to play Colonial Athletic Association rival Hofstra University who have a record of 6-3 in non-league play.
Last season, the Drexel men’s soccer team surpassed early expectations of mediocrity and went a respectable 9-5-3 overall, but unfortunately stumbled to a 2-5-1 in Colonial Athletic Association conference play. Now looking ahead to 2019, the Dragons are trying to rewrite the script.
In the first three games of this season, the Dragons struggled mightily, losing all three games. Despite these results, the Dragons fought hard in each match. The team dropped all three games by a score of 2-1, including one overtime loss to Binghamton. The fourth game of this season, which came against New Jersey Institute of Technology, was the start of a turnaround for the Dragons. After falling behind early in the first half, Drexel fought back to force a 1-1 tie. While it wasn’t a victory, it was a step in the right direction and gave Drexel something to build on.
Drexel’s success against non-conference foes carried over from last year as well. Following the draw against Binghamton, the Dragons faced off against Bucknell. In just his second start of the year, redshirt junior Cameron Johnson made his presence known in net, making five saves and allowing only one goal. On the offensive end, the Dragons received goals from sophomore Adam Nork and freshman Philip Burckhardt. Despite not finding the net for the first time this season, sophomore Chris Donovan led the team with three shots on goal. The Dragons earned a 2-1 victory.
Against George Mason University on September 17, Johnson was brilliant once again behind the net, making 4 saves and earning his first shutout of his career. Drexel got offensive production from juniors Laolu Darnajio and Chris Donovan, each scoring a goal. Following a strong freshman showcase, Donovan is currently the leading goal scorer for the Dragons with four goals on the season.
The Dragons hosted William & Mary Sept. 21. Drexel ended up winning by a score of 2-1. Despite facing 11 shots, Cameron Johnson was able to save two out of the three shots that were on goal. Chris Donovan continued his dominance, scoring his fifth goal of the season. Last year Donovan scored only three goals the entire season. Donovan has scored four more goals than other Dragons that have scored on the season. The Dragons have a record of 3-3-1.
Drexel will look to build on their three game winning streak as they travel to Princeton, New Jersey to play the Tigers Sept. 24.