The Drexel Women’s soccer team has struggled as of late, losing three of its last four games, including a recent 2-1 defeat at hands of Monmouth University Sept. 8.
Drexel’s last win came on the road against La Salle University Aug. 31. Drexel’s senior goalkeeper Christiana Ogunsami played brilliantly, saving a season high eight shots.
While Ogunsami was able to keep the La Salle Explorers off the board, the Dragons scrapped and clawed to get a goal of their own. Finally, in the 75th minute, senior Wilhelmina Hauch-Fausboll found the back of the net off of an assist from senior Madison Dunn, and the Dragons took a 1-0 lead.
That score would hold until the final whistle, giving the Dragons their third victory of the season. It is interesting enough to note that all three of Drexel’s victories this season have been shutout wins. Ogunsami picked up a clean sheet for her effort, which was her third on the young season.
However, after their victory against La Salle, the Dragons had to travel to New Jersey for their next two games, the first against Rutgers University Sept. 3 and the second against Monmouth University Sept. 8.
Rutgers, a perennial power, came into the game ranked as the 16th best team in the nation, and they played as advertised.
In the 37th minute, Brittany LaPlant scored for the Scarlet Knights, giving them an early lead. Then, just three minutes out of halftime, Rutgers scored again when Colby Ciarrocca headed in a corner kick.
Throughout the 90 minutes of regulation, the Dragons managed just five shot attempts, none of which were on goal. Rutgers came away with a 2-0 win.
Next on the schedule was Monmouth. Drexel junior Shaelyn McCarty recovered a loose ball in Monmouth’s box and fired it into the upper 90 for a goal in the 60th minute, which broke the games scoreless tie.
Despite the defensive lapse, the Hawks clawed their way back into the game when Lexie Palladino scored an equalizer in the 68th minute. In the four minutes that followed Palladino’s goal, the Dragons managed to get four shot attempts. Unfortunately for the Dragons, two of the shots were saved, and the other two hit the crossbar.
With the score still knotted at zero as the game entered its final minute, it appeared as if the two teams were destined for overtime. Yet, in heartbreaking fashion for Drexel, Rachelle Ross scored a goal for the Hawks with just five seconds remaining, giving Monmouth a crushing 2-1 victory over the Dragons. With the loss, Drexel fell to 3-4 on the season.
Their loss against Monmouth was the final contest of a five game road stand, which began Aug. 25 against Loyola University in Chicago.
While they were in Chicago, the Dragons not only faced Loyola, but they also took on DePaul University Aug. 27. Against DePaul, the Dragons lost 3-0.
In their game against Depaul, the Dragons managed to take 10 shots, including four on goal. However, Drexel was unable to find the back of the net, and Depaul’s balanced scoring attack managed to put three shots past the Dragons’ senior Christiana Ogunsami.
It was a rare off day from Ogunsami, the reigning CAA Co-Defensive Player of the Year Winner, and the Drexel defense. Just two days earlier, the Dragons managed to hold Loyola University scoreless in a game that came down to the wire.
With the score even at 0-0, Drexel junior Shaelyn McCarty scored her first goal of the season and gave the Dragons a 1-0 lead in the 80th minute. Drexel’s defensive held Loyola off the board, and the Dragons came away with a shutout victory and their first road win of the fall.
It wasn’t Drexel’s first shutout this season, however. In their home opener Aug. 21, the Dragons defeated the Quinnipiac University Bobcats by a score of 3-0.
Drexel entered the game at 0-1 on the year and needed a win on its home turf in order to rebound from a road loss to the University of Maryland. The Dragons came out strong, scoring twice in the first half.
Freshman Raenah Campbell got the party started for the Dragons in the 22nd minute when a loose ball took a high bounce over the head of the Bobcats’ goalkeeper. Campbell dashed past the keeper and headed the ball into the net for the first goal of the game and the first score of her career.
“I just saw it go over the keeper’s head, and she was a little on the short side so once I had it I was like, alright, I’m gonna get this in the back of the net and that’s going to be the end of this play,” Campbell said after the game against Quinnipiac.
Ten minutes later, Drexel freshman Melissa Lyon, who happens to be Campbell’s roommate, snuck a shot past the outstretched hands of Quinnipiac’s keeper and into the bottom left corner of the net. Not only did the goal double Drexel’s lead, it it also happened to be the first goal of Lyon’s career as well.
“It was crazy fun, especially since we’re roommates. We were both so excited and the emotions were just going crazy. It was awesome,” Lyon said after the game.
A 2-0 lead would be more than enough for Drexel’s defense, which dominated the Bobcats from start to finish. Quinnipiac managed just five shot attempts over the course of the game, and only three of them were on target enough to even challenge Ogunsami.
Junior Vanessa Kara put the cherry on top in the 63rd minute when she scored Drexel’s third goal of the game and her second of the season. It also happened to be the 19th score of Kara’s career, which moved her into sole possession of third place on Drexel’s all-time goal list.
Quinnipiac never had an answer for the Dragons, and Drexel cruised to a 3-0 win.
“They came to our home field. It’s our home field. We protect our home field,” Campbell said.
Drexel is hoping to protect its home field as often as possible this season. Coming off a year in which they lost in the CAA Championship game, the Dragons have their eyes set on the conference title.