Although the Dragons (6-3) did come up three goals short, the competitive spirit they displayed in the game shows just how much they have improved over the past year. Drexel played the Blue Jays at a similar point in their schedule past season, but were run out of Baltimore, Md. in a 12-1 route.
“I feel that we did we really well compared to last year — we lost 12-1 — and this year was 10-7 … we’re a lot more confident going into the game,” junior attack Charlotte Wood said.
The team’s confidence is carrying the Dragons through this early season, especially at Vidas, where they are 4-2 thus far. Sophomore attack Alyse Maiden echoed Wood’s feelings regarding the team’s close loss to Johns Hopkins.
“I feel that we came out really confident and knowing that they were just another team and that we had the potential to beat them,” Maiden said. “We worked really hard during the game and we didn’t give up.”
“I think confidence is the overall theme, and there is just really good chemistry between everybody,” head coach Anna Marie Vesco said. “They’re sharing the ball and really working hard together. Like Alyse said, [Johns Hopkins is] just another team, and everyone played really well.”
With the loss to the Blue Jays, Drexel completes its non-conference season and now prepares to begin Colonial Athletic Association action. According to Vesco, the team is working on their techniques to prepare for their upcoming game.
“Since Hopkins, we’ve been really concentrating on our fast breaks,” Vesco said. “Especially [against] Towson and coming into conference play, we feel like some of the upcoming CAA teams are a little weaker on fast breaks.
“We’ve been pushing them in practice; we’re going to push the ball up a little bit more in these upcoming games, but then still have the composer to hold onto the ball and keep the tempo as well,” Vesco continued.
Up to this point, the Dragons have been successful, with their three losses coming against three of the top programs in the nation— University of Pennsylvania, California and Johns Hopkins.
According to Wood and Maiden, Drexel’s top two scorers, the non-conference schedule was a perfect warm up for this year’s CAA schedule.
Wood noted that there was a definite distinction in skill level between the teams the Dragons faced.Maiden felt that playing some of the weaker teams did benefit her team in that they built up confidence and had the opportunity to practice some fundamentals.
Heading into CAA play, everyone has the same expectation — to make it to the CAA championship.
“We need to make it into the top four [in the conference] and as I told the team, the Towson game is going to be really important since they just beat Delaware, and they’re in that middle group that could potentially be in the third or fourth spot, so it’s a big head to head win for us,” Vesco said.
The Dragons will open up in the CAA on the road April 8 in Towson, Md.