Playoff hopes in danger as soccer struggles in CAA play | The Triangle
Men's Soccer

Playoff hopes in danger as soccer struggles in CAA play

Sophomore midfielder Joey Martini ( right) attempts to wrestle possession of the ball back into the hands of the Drexel Dragons, who find themselves at risk of not competing in the CAA championships. (Photograph courtesy of Greg Carroccio/Sideline Photos)

Looking to rebound from four straight losses and a tie, the Drexel women’s soccer team played with righteous anger in their 2-0 victory over Towson University Oct. 10 at Vidas Field. Leading the way for the Dragons were junior Melissa Lyon and senior Ali Shick, as they each scored goals for the Dragons. The Tigers were outplayed in all areas, as Drexel kept possession, maintained a steady buildup play, and physically bullied their opposition throughout.  

With her second goal of the season, Mellissa Lyon now ranks second on the team in points with six on the season. After coming in as a reserve for much of her sophomore season, Lyon has made the most of her opportunity in the starting lineup. For Ali Shick this goal was extra meaningful as well, given that it was the first of her career and during her senior year. 

The Dragons were aggressive out of the gate peppering their opponent with 14 shots in the first half, resulting in one goal. In the second half the Dragons lobbed 12 more shots and also scored a goal. Not only did the Dragons attempt 26 shots, but they shot an impressive 11 shots on goal. The 26 shot attempts for the Dragons was well above their average of 10.5 shots per game and was a testament to their aggression. On the other hand, Towson struggled to get any production offensively, taking only six shots and putting just one on target. Senior Libby Baeza was rock solid in the net, making one save for her 10th career shutout.

In the next game the Dragons weren’t so lucky on their trip to North Carolina against University of North Carolina Willmington Oct. 13. Unlike the previous game, the Dragons failed to have any type of offensive momentum throughout the game, only being able to put up three shots, with only two shots on target. UNCW were aggressive offensively, taking 11 shots, with seven being on target. UNCW scored quickly getting a goal from Grace Hersey in the fourth minute.

Adding to UNCW’s attack was Morgan Nanni, who scored off a penalty kick in the 63rd minute to make the game 2-0.  This ended up being the final score of the game. Despite the loss, the Dragons received a strong effort from Baeza, who saved five of the seven shots she faced.  The Dragons’ (5-7-3, 1-4-1 CAA) next game comes on Saturday at 12pm against William and Mary (3-10-2). The Dragons’ playoff chances are slowly starting to fade as they currently sit in 7th place of the Colonial Athletic Association Conference. 

Those in attendance for Alumni Day witnessed a thrilling double overtime game between the Drexel men’s soccer team (4-5-2,2-2-1 CAA) and Hofstra University (5-6-1, 2-2-1 CAA). The offensive production for Drexel came from sophomore Chris Donovan (three shots on goal) and senior Francisco Rodrigues De Palma (two shots on goal), who put a penalty shot in net for his second goal of the season. 

De Palma’s goal did not occur until the 76th minute of the game. The penalty occurred due to Chris Donovan being fouled in the box off of a De Palma pass. Doug Hess went with De Palma at forward who made good on the coach’s decision with a goal.  Four minutes later, the Pride answered thanks to a header by George O’Malley, tying the game at one apiece. Oscar Ramsey started the play off with a corner kick finding Frederik Rieper in the front of the net who then passed it to O’Malley to get the goal. 

Despite going into a second overtime, neither team could gain an edge, as both defenses were too much for the offensive line to capitalize on.  

Statistically, both teams matched up pretty evenly. Both teams attempted 14 shots, with Drexel having eight on target compared to Hofstra’s three.  The one goal the Dragons scored marks the 13th straight game in which the Dragons have scored at least one goal in a game. This marks a career high for Coach Hess. 

Drexel’s next game takes place on Tuesday as they travel across the city to play St. Joseph’s University(4-8-1), marking the first Soccer Six game of the season.