Something must be in the water at Vidas Field, or maybe there has been a bad batch of Wheaties going around. Perhaps, most realistically, someone put a hex on the Dragons, because suddenly, none of the Drexel athletic teams can score goals!
Women’s soccer has been shut out in four consecutive matches, and field hockey put up a goose egg against Rutgers University in their last game. Someone figure this out, quickly!
Men’s soccer was also unable to break the spell, as the Dragons were held scoreless in both of their matches this week. Drexel lost to Temple University and Princeton University, dropping to an overall record of 5-5-1 in the process.
Following a tough 3-2 loss Oct. 2 to the cross-street rival University of Pennsylvania, the Dragons looked to get back on track against Temple. The Owls, however, had other plans, beating Drexel 2-0 on goals by junior midfielder Willie Chalfant and senior forward Vaughn Spurrier.
In the first half, the Dragons peppered Temple goalkeeper Dan Scheck with five shots on goal, but the junior was able to turn all of them aside. Meanwhile, Chalfant was the beneficiary of a golden opportunity in the box, depositing a rebound into the back of the net to take a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute.
The second goal from the Owls came from Spurrier, who was able to work the ball around multiple Drexel defenders and beat freshman goalkeeper Tyler Afflerbach inside the far post in the 63rd minute. The match ended up quite evenly, in terms of statistics, with Temple registering 17 shots to the Dragons’ 18 and each team earning three corner kicks.
With a quick turnaround, Drexel traveled to New Jersey Oct. 8 to face Princeton for a night game. The Tigers shut down the Dragons once again, winning by a score of 1-0 with a second-half goal by sophomore forward Thomas Sanner.
Through a scoreless first half, Drexel and Princeton each mustered only two attempted shots with one shot on goal apiece, both of which were turned away by the opposing goalkeeper.
The only real scoring chance for the Dragons in the first half, and over the course of the entire match, was when sophomore forward Joaquin del Rosario chipped a ball over sophomore goalkeeper Ben Hummel, who came out to challenge. But a Tigers defender shuffled the ball out of trouble and tallied a team save in the process.
But in the second half, the field was tilted drastically toward the Dragons’ end of the field, with the Tigers tallying 11 shots. Two of those shots got to Afflerbach, and one of them got past, which proved to be the difference. In an extraordinary individual effort, Sanner muscled through two Drexel defenders near the goal line and curled in toward the net. He got off a high shot to the far post that eluded the arms of the goalkeeper to put Princeton ahead in the 59th minute.
That would be all the scoring, as Drexel fell to the Tigers 1-0 in a match without some of its top players. Seniors Tal Bublil and Ken Tribbett did not play, and Nathan Page came off the bench as a replacement in the 74th minute.
But the Dragons expect to have their regular starters back for a prime matchup with Northeastern University, the preseason favorite to win the Colonial Athletic Association. The Huskies visit Vidas Field Oct. 12 for a late-afternoon start time of 4 p.m.
Last season, Northeastern won three games on Drexel’s home turf. One was a 2-1 win over the Dragons in the regular season on Oct. 3, and the other two were to win the CAA Tournament in November.
Even though Northeastern is 5-4-2 on the season, goals may be hard to come by for Drexel, which is bad news considering the funk they are in. The Huskies have only allowed 10 total goals and have not conceded more than two goals in any match. Maybe some Cap’n Crunch will be on the pregame menu for the Dragons. Perhaps that will do the trick.