The Drexel women’s soccer team defeated the Elon University Phoenix on Oct. 10 and The College of William & Mary Tribe on Oct. 12. With the wins, the Dragons improve their record 4-0-1 within the conference and 7-5-2 overall.
Going into the weekend, the Dragons had tried to stay focused on the task ahead and not be distracted by being on the road, according to head coach Ray Goon.
“The approach going into the Elon/WM weekend was, and will be, the same for all conference weekends. That is to say, we expect each game to be a hard fought battle because teams are fighting for points to make the play-offs, so we need to be ready mentally as well as physically. This is especially challenging when you play away from your home field because of the distractions and unfamiliar conditions being on the road can present.”
And they certainly did stay focused.
Following a 90-minute weather delay, Drexel took the field and defeated new conference opponent Elon, 1-0. This was the first meeting between the two teams in the history of the women’s soccer program.
Drexel dominated in the first half, recording six shots, while the Phoenix recorded two. However, the game went into halftime scoreless.
In 68th minute of the game, Megan Hammaker was able to score the only and winning goal of the game. Hammaker fired the ball into the left corner of the net from 20 yards away. Hammaker now has three goals on the season.
Drexel keeper Kelsie Fye had one save in the win and Elon’s Sydney Branson recorded eight. The game was the Dragons’ sixth consecutive shutout, extending Fye’s program record to 639 minutes of play without allowing a goal.
Overall, Drexel had 11 shots to Elon’s five. The Phoenix’s record moves to 4-9 and 0-5 within Colonial Athletic Association games.
Between games, the team didn’t do much to bolster the offense, but tried to focus on William & Mary and combating their defense.
“We did not make any changes leading into the W&M match. We just discussed some of the tactical things W&M might employ, reminded the team what we needed to do, and then we let the chess match unfold,” coach Goon said.
“It’s a game of risk and reward with moves and counter moves and you try to keep the odds in your favor, but it’s a fine line balancing those odds versus the risk of the plays needed to help you win. We scored three goals against a W&M team that had only let in two goals in conference play, so I guess that means the team did a good job balancing the two.”
The Dragons fought hard to secure a victory on the road in overtime at William & Mary. Drexel defeated the Tribe 3-2. This victory is the first time in program history that Drexel has defeated William & Mary on the road.
Drexel tallied four shots while William & Mary had seven, in the first half. The game remained scoreless after one half of play.
In the 59th minute of the game, William & Mary got on the board first when Emory Camper scored on a shot directed to the lower right part of the goal. However, Drexel was not down for long, just seconds later, the Dragons got possession of the ball and moved toward the Tribe’s goal. Civanni Moss passed the ball to Jacki Sieder, who found Madison Dunn in the box. Dunn sent a header into the net to tie the game at 1-1.
The game stayed tied at 1-1 until the 87th minute when Moss kicked the ball to Lauren Stollar, who then scored on a wide open net. This goal gives her four on the season. The Dragons now had a 2-1 lead with minutes left in regulation time.
As time expired, the Dragons attempted to remain in possession of the ball. Despite their efforts, William & Mary took control and made a final try with under a minute of play to go. The Tribe took the ball towards the Drexel net and Camper got off a shot with one second remaining. Camper’s shot got past Fye and found the lower right corner of the net, tying the game at 2-2 and forcing overtime.
The Dragons were able to secure the victory in the 99th minute of the game. The Tribe committed a foul, setting up a Dragon free kick. The kick was taken by Alyssa Findlay, who sent the ball into the box. Dunn got a touch on the ball, then Melissa Chapman found it and delivered a shot to score and win the game.
William & Mary outshot the Dragons, 19-10. Fye had five saves and the Tribe’s Caroline Casey had three. The Tribe’s record moves to 10-3-1 overall and 4-2 in inter-conference play.
Melissa Chapman summed up how she feels about the wins and her game winning goal.
“The team is definitely feeling confident but we know that we still have four huge games left that we need to produce results in. Every CAA game is a battle and we have to continue to work hard in practice this week in preparation for [James Madison University] and Towson [University] this upcoming weekend.”
“When we were awarded the free kick I told Alyssa Findlay, ‘This is it.’ I knew that it was going to be one of our last opportunities before the first overtime was over so we had to give it our all. Alyssa played a great ball into the box and Maddy Dunn did a great job winning the ball to flick it on. I knew there was a defender waiting to clear the ball out of the box so I just dove to try and get my head on it first. The post goal celebration with my team was awesome. We were all beyond excited. I was extremely proud of my team because throughout the game we continued to battle back.”
Drexel returns to action at Vidas Field on Friday, Oct. 17 at 7:00 p.m. to face off against James Madison University.