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The Weekend of the Dragon September 25, 2012

Posted by Sam Angell in Field Hockey, General, Men's Soccer, Women's Soccer.
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While it was a tough weekend around town for the Philadelphia professional teams, it was quite the opposite out at the Vidas Athletic Complex at Drexel. Drexel’s three field sports, field hockey and men’s and women’s soccer went 4-0-1 this weekend and after all was said and done, all three were ranked regionally and one was in the national top 25.

It all started on Friday afternoon when the 23rd-ranked field hockey team got the ball rolling. Drexel gave up a goal in the first half, but tallied twice in the second half to edge James Madison, 2-1, its first Colonial Athletic Association game of the season at Vidas Field. Sophomore Christina Conrad scored the game-winning goal with just under seven minutes remaining in the game as the Dragons improved to 6-3 on the season. Amanda Fleischut scored the team’s other goal.

After field hockey, it was alumni night for the women’s soccer program. Approximately 20 former players showed up at the Kopp Lounge at the field house for a reception prior to the match between the Dragons, ranked sixth in the region, and George Mason. The Patriots stunned the crowd with a goal in the opening minutes, taking the early lead. It stayed that way until late in the match when sophomore Melissa Chapman’s header off a corner kick from Christine Stevenson evened it up at 1-1. The teams went to overtime before finishing the contest in a deadlock. With the tie, Drexel extended its unbeaten streak to eight matches, the longest streak in school history.

Saturday was a new day and the men’s soccer team had a daunting task in front of it. Not only was it the start of conference play, but Old Dominion would be making its last appearance as a CAA member at Vidas Field. The Monarchs, ranked as high as fourth in the nation entering the match, came in with a gaudy resume of six wins in six matches. Among their victims were No. 25 Navy, Seton Hall and Central Florida. But their most impressive win was a 2-1 victory at No. 2 Creighton in front of 6,800 rowdy fans. The Dragons felt good about themselves going in, but even the most confident fan couldn’t have seen this coming. Drexel scored two goals in the first 34 minutes on their way to a convincing 4-1 win.

Sophomore midfielder Michele Pataia had his first career multi-goal match with two scores. Mark Donohue and Fabio Machado also had goals, while Tim Washam made six stops in giving the Dragons their second win over a top-20 team in its last three home matches dating back to last year. With the win, the Dragons moved to 4-2-1 and entered the regional rankings for the first time this year at No. 9.

The Dragons capped off the weekend with two more games, two more wins and a pair of shutouts on Sunday. The field hockey team once again got it started at Buckley Field, this time with a 1-0 blanking of VCU. Junior forward Elise DiDonato scored the game-winning goal in the opening minutes of the second half for Coach Zelenak’s team and the defense held the Rams off the board the rest of the way. Sophomore Jantien Gunter recorded a career-best nine saves and her fourth shutout as Drexel picked up its seventh win of the season and handed VCU its first loss (7-1).

Just a few hundred yards away at the bottom of the hill on Vidas Field, the women’s soccer team was ready to try and duplicate field hockey’s success, and the Dragons did just that. It took a while as the visiting Towson Tigers bent but didn’t break in the first half as the teams went to intermission scoreless. The second half was a whole different story, as Drexel scored four times to remain unbeaten at home over the last two seasons. Chapman had another header for what proved to be the game-winner. After that the flood gates opened as Caitlin Gottier, Alex Vazquez and Jess Sarkisian scored for Coach Goon’s club. Eve Badana picked up her fifth shutout of the season, and the weekend at Vidas was complete.

For the first time since joining the league, Drexel had both a men’s and women’s CAA Player of the Week. Chapman got the award for the women, while Pataia got the award for the men. He was also named to the College Soccer News.com National Team of the Week. All three teams opened the CAA seasons with wins, but all know that one weekend at Vidas doesn’t make a season. There will be more battles ahead in conference play this weekend as field hockey travels to Towson, women’s soccer goes to both UNCW and Georgia State, while Coach Hess and his men travel to William & Mary.


Here Comes the Story of the Hurricane August 25, 2011

Posted by Sam Angell in Field Hockey, Women's Soccer.
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Friday’s home opener women’s soccer and season opener for field hockey are still on as scheduled, but Sunday’s home games for both teams have been pushed back a day due to the impending threat of bad weather caused by Hurricane Irene. The field hockey game against Fairfield will now be on Monday at 3:00 p.m., while women’s soccer will host Delaware State at 6:00 p.m.

Everyone in Philly has already survived one natural disaster this week. If a second one comes, stay safe over the weekend so we can see all you Dragons fans back at Vidas for Monday’s games. In the meantime, here’s something to get you started with your stormy weather playlists: