If I had a dollar for how many games the Drexel University men’s soccer team has scored in this season, I’d have five whole dollars. That’s an entire meal from any of the Halal food trucks on campus or about four bags of gummy bears.
That doesn’t sound awful, but considering they just completed their 12th game this season, it’s not great.
On Oct. 3, the Dragons faced off against the College of Charleston for their fourth Colonial Athletic Association matchup of the year. They were coming off of a split week of conference play where they went 1-1 and scored in both games.
This week was a bit of a different story. Against Charleston, the Dragons once again showed off the strong defensive presence that has become a mainstay for a team that has struggled on the other end of the field for a few years now.
The Dragons came out played well overall, in the first half in particular. They managed to control the ball on the offensive end and rack up eight shots in the first half. Charleston also tallied a fair amount with nine, but both teams remained scoreless through 45 minutes.
The second half was more of the same, but saw Charleston break through with a Martin Sedari goal in the 55th minute on diving header following a cross into the box from 25 yards out by TK Abderahman. The Dragons fought valiantly for the remainder of the game and managed to take another nine shots, but were still unable to score. This marked yet another loss due to offensive struggles by a score of 1-0.
After the loss to Charleston, the Dragons faced a non-conference foe in Columbia University Oct. 6 at the Vidas Athletic Complex.
The Dragons had much less offensive presence in this second matchup of the week with only seven total shots on goal: less than half what they brought against Charleston three days earlier.
The team was unable to control the tempo of the game and possession for very much time in the opposing zone, allowing Columbia to set the pace and dictate how the game would be played. Columbia managed to take twice as many shots as the Dragons took in the first half, but neither team was able to score.
The second half once again spelled defeat for Drexel, as they allowed Columbia to take the lead on a Bryce Terrill goal in the 77th minute. The Dragons were once again held scoreless in the second half and only managed to take four shots in the last 45 minutes. In the game, they took seven shots to Columbia’s 13. Columbia had nine corner kicks in the contest to Drexel’s two and both teams had two saves.
Despite the two losses, the Dragons showed some progress this week. Particularly on the defensive end, the team has been impressive this year. Even with little to no offensive presence to control the pace, they’ve allowed a paltry average of 1.58 goals per game, a number made more impressive given the fact that in three games of this season alone they allowed twelve goals. Those games were against the highest level of competition they’ve faced all season, and excluding those matchups, this defense has been of the highest caliber. Tyler Afflerbach returned to the net this week and played well in both games.
The offense continues to be an issue for the young team, and it looks like they haven’t been able to find a solution. They may simply be lacking the offensive firepower needed to really make a run this year, but there’s a chance lack of experience throughout the team will fade as the year continues and they’ll make a late season run.
Only time will tell, and the Dragons return to Colonial Athletic Association action Oct. 10 against the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, hoping to improve upon their early season play.