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Drake Thwarted In Upset Bid At MVC Tournament, Falls 2-0 To Missouri State

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
Release: November 11, 2011
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NOVEMBER 11, 2011

OMAHA, Neb. - Propelled by a pair of first-half goals, Missouri State thwarted Drake's bid to reach the finals of the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Men's Soccer Championship as the Bears (9-7-2) registered a 2-0 victory over the Bulldogs (11-8-1) in the semifinals on Friday (Nov. 11) at Morrison Stadium.

"I thought we made big mistakes in the first half that cost us dearly and in the second half we responded, but it was a case of too little, too late," Drake head coach Sean Holmes commented.  "Missouri State was tenacious and capitalized on their opportunities. Soccer games are very much about seizing the moment and Missouri State did that today."

"We faced the challenge of having played two games in three days, beating Central Arkansas on Wednesday, 3-0, and that might have contributed to today's play, but we had enough opportunities to make a difference and we didn't."

Senior Charles Schwartz (Bettendorf, Iowa/Bettendorf) nearly got Drake off to a fast start as his shot from the top of the box at the 1:11 mark sliced through Missouri State's defensive line before being plucked out of the air at the last second by goalkeeper Trevor Spangenberg.

A defensive giveaway at midfield by Drake at the 19:48 mark enabled Jordan Hoffman to get 1v1 with senior goalkeeper Jordan Kadlec (Hiawatha, Iowa/Kennedy), and he capitalized to provide the Bears an early 1-0 advantage.

The Bulldogs had a strong scoring opportunity in the 35th minute (34:18), but freshman Thomas Schermoly's (Olathe, Kan./St. Thomas Aquinas) header struck the post and was deflected out.

"Thomas (Schermoly) had a chance off a post at 1-0 and had that gone in it might have altered the course of the game," said Holmes.

After a foul at the 40:16 mark, Danny Frid struck a free kick that hit the post and was redirected by Andrew Turner and blocked, before Heath Melugin knocked in the rebound at the 40:14 mark for his sixth goal of the season providing Missouri State a 2-0 lead.

The Bears registered a 9-3 advantage in shots in the initial stanza.

"I was disappointed in general by the results in the first half, but more so on how tentatively we played," Holmes explained.  "At halftime, we attempted to inject a little energy and enthusiasm into the team and I think we did that, but at 2-0 it was a tough hole to climb out of."

The Bulldogs came out firing in the final 45 minutes recording seven of the half's first 10 shots. 

Senior Thomas Ostrander (Fort Dodge, Iowa/St. Edmond Catholic) nearly cut the deficit in half at the 64:18 mark as his shot came up just short after senior Matt Kuhn's (Raytown, Mo./Raytown South) cross into the box.

Jared Gain's strike in the 68th minute (67:37) hit the crossbar for Missouri State and bounded out to prevent the Bears from taking a 3-0 lead.

Aiming to get Drake on the scoreboard and in the process record his 12th goal of the season, Kuhn struck a strong ball in the box at the 78:31 mark that was stopped with a save by Spangenberg.

Despite the Bulldogs outshooting Missouri State, 9-7, in the second half, the Bears finished the contest owning a 16-12 advantage in shots.

Ostrander led all players with a game-high four shots, while Schwartz chipped in three shots for Drake.  Melugin directed the Missouri State attack with four shots.

"The effects of Hunter (Kennedy) being out with a concussion created a big difference, but on the balance of things, programs such as ours have to surmount obstacles like that," Holmes discussed

Finishing with a game-best five saves was Kadlec, while Spangenberg pulled in three stops.

Kuhn surpassed Luke Gorczyca playing in his school-record 83rd game against Missouri State.

The game marked the final contest for Drake's 11 seniors in Kadlec, Hunter Kennedy (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Washington), Kuhn, Colin Lawter (Wichita, Kan./Wichita Southeast), Michael Noonan (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Xavier), Ostrander, David Parato (St. Louis, Mo./Chaminade Prep), Matt Prather (Lee's Summit, Mo./Lee's Summit North), Matt Reindl (Batavia, Ill./Batavia), Jordan Stanley (Roscoe, Ill./Harlem) and Schwartz.

"This ends a chapter in the lives of our seniors and on Monday we'll begin to prepare our program for August 2012," Holmes stated.

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