M. soccer splits in final games of unfortunate 2015 season | The Triangle

M. soccer splits in final games of unfortunate 2015 season

Ken Chaney The Triangle
Ken Chaney The Triangle

On Halloween, the Drexel University men’s soccer team hosted Northeastern University in a battle of the bottom two teams in the Colonial Athletic Association. It was appropriately scary, but mostly in the way a video of an unavoidable car crash is scary.

The Dragons came into the game riding an eight-game-losing streak and were looking to finally end the streak before the season came to a close.

This game followed the trend of many games the Dragons have played this season, as Northeastern took more than twice as many shots as the home team while the Dragons only managed to respond with three shots of their own on goal.

In the first half, the pressure was on from Northeastern as they repeatedly attacked the Drexel defensive zone and created scoring opportunities. Red-shirt freshman goalie Jacob Jordan held down the net for the Dragons formidably and the defense held up, keeping Northeastern scoreless in the period.

On the other end, the Dragons tried to return the favor and force Northeastern to hold up defensively, but they were unable to create many chances in the half and went into the break with only three shots taken.

The second half was a different story, as offensive pressure yielded dividends for the Dragons. They continued pressing for the entire second half, trading blows with Northeastern to the tune of 13 and eight shots for Northeastern and Drexel, respectively. While being outshot by five, this is a much more reasonable half for the Dragons, as they managed to actually accrue enough chances where it gave them the ability to pull out a victory.

In the 89th minute, it finally broke through for the Dragons. As the game was in its final minutes, Bayley Winkel pushed up the right side of the box and found Francisco Palma for his second goal of the year, putting the Dragons up 1-0.

That would be the winning goal, and finally the Dragons managed to end their lengthy losing streak. The game did not mean much, as the Dragons had already been eliminated from postseason contention, but it was certainly nice to end such a lengthy streak of losses and move ahead with that behind them.

To round out the 2015 season, the Dragons travelled to Princeton, New Jersey Nov. 3 to take on the Princeton University Tigers.

The Tigers are a solid team overall, and they certainly played like it.

The first half spelled the downfall of the Dragons, as before the buzzer sounded for halftime, they were down by three goals.

Problems started in the 24th minute, when Brendan McSherry finished a pass from Josh Miller for his fifth goal of the season, putting the Tigers up 1-0.

Less than a minute later, Princeton’s Jack Hilger joined the fun, scoring off of a give and go in the Drexel zone to extend the lead to two goals. By the 25th minute of the half, Princeton had already had two goals.

By the end of the first half, the Dragons had taken two shots. That is indicative of the problem the Dragons have had all year with scoring and the reason this season has been so rough for them.

Before halftime began, Harry Heffernan would score off and was assisted by Josh Miller to extend the Princeton lead to three goals, and the game was essentially over from that point. The Tigers added another goal in the 63rd minute and the Dragons were unable to get on the board, losing the final game of the season 4-0.

The Dragons finish the season 3-15-1, which is far from great, but indicative that this is an interim rebuilding year. The Dragons are lacking senior leadership and often played younger players, keen on experimenting and trying to find a way to maximize the young talent the team has.

This season may have been a shaky one, but the future is likely bright as the underclassman grow into their collective games and prepare for strong seasons to come.