The Drexel men’s soccer team has gotten off to a rough start for the 2011 season. After losing 1-0 to Bucknell Sep. 21, the team has fallen to 0-5-1 and is struggling to score goals. The Dragons have scored one goal this season and have not found their way offensively.
“We need to score more goals. We have one goal in six games and have really hurt ourselves with the way we have played,” head coach Doug Hess said. “We have finished two games a man down because of red cards and are not playing in sync like we should be by this point in the system.”
As conference play approaches, the team knows that they will need to string together some wins and get some momentum. If the offense can get it together and build confidence, they will be in good shape, as the defense has played well in non-conference games.
“In college soccer, one week could change the season in either direction,” Hess said. “If we can string together two results we would be in really good shape. We have some home games coming up and it is a good opportunity to turn it around. Bucknell and William and Mary were both [NCAA Tournament] teams last year, so beating them could be big for confidence.”
Although the Dragons ended up falling 1-0 to the Bison, they are still hard at work preparing for the Tribe.
Earlier in the week, the team was able to play to a 0-0 draw at NJIT, but was still left thinking about the opportunities they had to win the game. Drexel controlled the tempo of the game and did well opening up the offense, but could not finish their chances.
“We could not get the final kick in, we would have the ball in the box and not get the finishing touch,” Hess said. “We started to press and spread the game out way too much, and we were hurt by that. We could have won the game, maybe even should have won the game, but it didn’t work out and we had to get back to work.”
When a team struggles like the Dragons have, there are concerns building and the coach must make sure his team continues to work toward improvement. The team has played games they could have won, and with a few breaks the team could string together two or three wins and turn the season around.
“The mental grind is the most important aspect of the game,” Hess explained. “We have had injuries that have hurt us, and we have gotten tested. It is up to us to turn it around and keep focused.”
Next up for the Dragons is the Colonial Athletic Association opener against William and Mary, where they will try to escape thoughts of the past and start fresh.
“When you start the conference you know we are 0-0 and we have new life,” Hess said. “The challenge is going to be starting over. Last year three of the top four finishers in the conference started off slow. We know that and need to work to be one of those teams this year.”
The goal is to get better each week, and the team is working hard to turn the season around.