Home loss to William & Mary ends m. soccer’s hopes of playoffs | The Triangle

Home loss to William & Mary ends m. soccer’s hopes of playoffs

Ken Chaney The Triangle
Ken Chaney The Triangle

The Drexel University men’s soccer team has now lost eight consecutive games. Unless it’s opposite day (which it isn’t, I checked), that’s a very bad streak.

On Oct. 24, the Dragons hosted the College of William and Mary at Vidas Field in their second to last conference contest with their last hopes at postseason play on the line. Despite this, they didn’t quite play like their backs were against the wall.

Less than ten minutes into the game, the Dragons had already allowed a goal courtesy of Marcel Berry, who cut through the box and finished to put the Tribe up by one.

Things did not improve from there. Perhaps smelling blood, William and Mary kept pressing throughout the half, taking a whopping 12 shots in the 45-minute period to the Dragons’ one. In the 35th minute, that pressure yielded dividends for the Tribe once again, as Jackson Eskay curled the ball by the outstretched arms of Drexel goalie Tyler Afflerbach to give the Tribe a 2-0 lead.

The Dragons were unable to score before the break, and headed into the locker room facing a 2-0 deficit in a game that would decide their postseason hopes.

The second half featured a bit of a stronger fight from the Dragons, but still made no difference in the outcome of the game.

The Dragons offense was once again unable to get on the board in the second, and the defense allowed yet another goal, again to Eskay in the 57th minute.

They continued pressing trying to get a goal and climb back into the match, but the Dragons couldn’t make a difference in the game and they were officially eliminated from postseason contention with the 3-0 loss.

The loss to the Tribe was the eighth scoreless game that the Dragons have had this season, and the fourth consecutive game where they allowed three or more goals. In this case, despite how allowing three goals reflects on the goalie and defense, things weren’t as bad as they seemed. Afflerbach finished the game with 10 saves, which is typically a strong game from a goalkeeper, but didn’t work out that way as he was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of attempts that William and Mary had in the game. They took 21 shots overall, with 13 on target.

Following the disappointment against William and Mary, the Dragons travelled to Catonsville, Maryland to take on University of Maryland, Baltimore County in a game for pride more than anything else, as there were no stakes remaining for Drexel in the season.

Again, a lack of offensive firepower did the Dragons in against UMBC. The first half was actually fairly closely played, as the Dragons took five shots to the Retrievers’ nine and held strong defensively. At halftime, the game remained scoreless, and the Dragons seemed to have a good chance at ending their lengthy losing streak. UMBC had other plans, however, and kicked up their defensive intensity in the second half, which led to offense.

In the 51st minute, the Retrievers scored as Michael Burgos retrieved (heh) a rebound in front of the net and put it away, giving UMBC the lead.

The Dragons weren’t able to put up much of a fight after that, as they only managed to take a single shot in the second half and allowed UMBC to take seven. Overall, the Retrievers took 16 shots to the Dragons’ six. The Dragons also had zero shots on goal in the game, which isn’t ideal when scoring goals is a major part of the sport.

The Dragons lost the game 1-0, and added to both their losing streak (eight games) and their number of scoreless games in the season (nine). The Dragons will obviously look to end the former and avoid adding to the latter in the final games of the season.

Going forward, the Dragons will host Northeastern University Oct. 31 at Vidas Field, hoping to find some bright spots heading into the offseason.