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Despite aggresive play, soccer still struggles on the road | The Triangle

Despite aggresive play, soccer still struggles on the road

As freshman midfielder Annalena O’Reilly ( left) tangles for the ball with a College of Charleston player, junior back Shea Tomlinson(central) runs to the loose ball. Drexel fell to 0-2 in the CAA with a 1-0 loss to the Cougars, and also lost out to the Hofstra University Pride Sept.29.

On Sept. 24, the Drexel men’s soccer team traveled to Princeton University to play the Tigers, the first game of a three game road trip. Coming into the game the Dragons had a record of 3-1-1 and figured to match up well against the Tigers(3-2).  

From the start of the game, the Dragons simply could not keep up with the Tigers. By halftime the Tigers already had a 2-0 advantage. The first goal came in the 38th minute courtesy of Princeton senior Benjamin Martin. 

With less than two minutes before halftime, sophomore Ryan Clare doubled the lead for Princeton. To make things worse for the Dragons, Princeton freshman Spencer Fleurant scored less than three minutes into the second half, giving the Tigers a comfortable 3-0 lead. 

Drexel earned a small bit of consolation in the 87th minute freshman Yassine Elkahloun scored on a beautiful free kick to put the Dragons on the board, albeit too little too late.

The Dragons held their own in the final box score. What hurt the Dragons the most was the four offside calls that killed offensive momentum.  The referee had litle sympathy towards the plight of the visiting Dragons, who found themselves on the recieving end of number of hard tackles. 

While he didn’t score, the Dragons’ leading scorer for the year, sophomore Chris Donovan, was aggressive, attempting three shots, including two on goal. And while redshirt junior Cameron Johnson received his first loss in the net for the Dragons, he was able to make three saves.

The next game for Drexel came on Sept. 28 as they traveled to James Madison University to play the 20th ranked Dukes in a Colonial Athletic Association conference battle. Coming into this game, James Madison had won six games in a row, including a 1-0 routing of Wake Forest University. The Deacons are in the conversation for the NCAA title yearly for the better part of a decade now. They held the No.1 ranking of all Division 1 soccer, so the Dragons knew they were about to experience something serious.  

The first half of the game was a defensive battle, and neither team was able to gain a lead. Drexel stopped 10 shots from the Dukes, and Johnson made three highlight saves to keep both teams scoreless heading into halftime. 

In the second half, James Madison showed why they’rw the 20th ranked team in the country, getting two quick goals just eight minutes into the second half by sophomore Melker Anshelxm and junior Petur Thorsteinsson. 

Four minutes later, James Madison increased the lead to three thanks to a goal by Tyler Clegg. The offensive onslaught and Drexel’s inability to stop it illustrated important areas of growth for the Dragons moving forward.  

While the Dragons lost to James Madison for their second loss ina row, they did manage to avoid being shut out when sophomore Michael Campbell scored his first ever collegiate goal. JMU was simply too overwhelming for Drexel, outshooting them 18-8, and taking seven corners compared to Drexel’s two. The Dragons will look to rebound as they head to North Carolina to face CAA rival Elon(3-5-1).

Drexel’s women’s soccer(4-4-2, 0-1-0) traveled to Long Island, New York to face Hofstra University(7-3-0, 1-0-0) in a CAA showdown. Last year Hofstra were the winners of the CAA tournament.

Drexel got off to a quick start as junior Melissa Lyon gave the Dragons the lead just four minutes into the game. Amazingly, that was Drexel’s only shot attempt in the first half out of four total shots attempted in the game. It’s safe to say Lyon made the most of her opportunity.  

Despite not scoring in the first half, the Pride kept Drexel senior Keeper Libby Baeza busy, as she made six saves. In the second half the aggressive offense from Hofstra paid off for them as  Brianna Doran was able to score a goal in the 57th minute. Drexel was able to fight off Hofstra the rest of the half, forcing overtime with the game tied at one. However, the tie didn’t last very long as Hofstra’s Mira Taylor scored just 63 seconds in, giving the Pride the victory.

Drexel was able to hang with Hofstra the whole game but eventually all the shot attempts from the Pride paid off. The Pride outshot the Dragons 23 to 4. The Pride also had nine corner attempts compared to the Dragons’ zero.

The Dragons looked to rebound from their loss when they hosted CAA rival College of Charleston (7-3-0, 2-0-0) on September 29th. Throughout the majority of the game it was a seesaw battle, as neither team was able to gain an advantage.

Not until the 80th minute was there a goal scored. That goal was scored by Charleston freshman Olivia Freitas, which ended up being the game winner. This marks the third time this season where Freitas has scored a game winner.

Despite the loss, the Dragons showed more aggressiveness offensively against Charleston then they did against Hofstra. Drexel outshot Charleston 17 shots to 8, including 5 that were on goal.

The next game for the Dragons comes against University of Delaware on Thursday at Vidas field. The game will most likely determine Drexel’s postseason fate, as it would be heard for the Dragons to come back from three staright league loses.