Men's soccer wins @ #14 New Mexico (and other results)


Men's soccer wins @ #14 New Mexico (and other results)

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Lime
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A late goal gave Coach Holmes and co. a 1-0 win down in Albuquerque. They've had a rough start against a stacked early schedule, but this was a nice win to have before two winnable OOC games and Valley play.



Congratulations to that squad.
hamlox
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Congrats! Big step!! Really good win for a program relying on underclassmen.
Lime
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With that win, they've moved up to #70 in the Massey ratings, tops in the Valley despite being the only team with a losing record. Playing Cal Poly (6-2-0, #22), Tulsa (5-1-1, #19), Milwaukee (5-0-1, #25), Marquette (4-2-1, #39), and New Mexico (3-2-1, #32) will do that. Still early for computer polls, but there's a good reason to think Drake can contend to win the Valley (was picked tied for 2nd in preseason).



They get the top three other teams in Massey right now (Bradley- 81, Missouri State- 94, preseason favorites SIUE- 101) at home. I'm not sleeping on Evansville- picked co-#2, as a road game--- Aces are 5-2-1 with a win over Saint Louis, who is usually pretty tough.



They're at home on Saturday....I haven't made it out to a game yet, but I am going to try to. Their first three crowds were over 400 (plus over 800 for an exhibition with Notre Dame) which is well above their usual numbers (although game #4, DePaul on a Tuesday night, was back below 200)...hoping for a decent turnout after the nice win.



(For perspective, New Mexico had 3k on Friday...yikes.)
TennisDog2013
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I wonder what could increase attendance with Drake soccer. I mean, it's not like having it be on campus would help. Our student body doesn't exactly come out in droves for sporting events (NOT YET, BUT THEY WILL ONE DAY FOR BASKETBALL!) so that doesn't matter.



Is Des Moines just not a very soccer friendly town? Maybe not a lot of the marketing budget goes to soccer because it doesn't exactly bring in much money. So... bummer.



Lime
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Des Moines has the best-supported PDL (amateur, a bit like single-A baseball) in the country. I think location is a factor (for the public at large and students).



College soccer generally doesn't draw. Drake averaged 278 last year which is not good and was 6th in the MVC, but only departed Creighton was above 1k. There are usually ~25 programs that average over 1k, maybe 10 over 2k, and 3-5 over 3k. Most of the well-supported programs play on-campus and have a strong history (Drake has two NCAA appearances, the one Elite Eight run, and zero conference titles) and MLS alumni. Drake doesn't have that. Maybe someday.
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Ezra Hendrickson is a D and MLS alum

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Yes, and Kirk Wilson and Matt Nickell played a handful of games...and a couple more guys have been drafted or played USL...but Drake's overall history is pretty average relative to those that get legit support.



I think if you moved the games to a more accessible location the attendance would probably creep up to 500 or so...which is basically MVC average but still not really a notable bump to me.
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I haven't lived in Des Moines for a long time, so someone more in the know can tell me. Obviously soccer isn't a big revenue producing sport. However, in the Midwest, not a lot of the power conference schools field teams. I live in KC, and UMKC has their own soccer stadium, and it's pretty nice. I know they don't have fb, so maybe that's why they have on site soccer. When Drake was renovating the stadium for the relays, why couldn't they expand the fb field for soccer? And if not, why wouldn't they build one on campus? It certainly would make a difference if they played on campus. Being able to walk to a game vs getting into a car and driving over to that complex in the middle of nowhere on a week night has to make a difference.
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zman2 (9/26/2013)
I haven't lived in Des Moines for a long time, so someone more in the know can tell me. Obviously soccer isn't a big revenue producing sport. However, in the Midwest, not a lot of the power conference schools field teams. I live in KC, and UMKC has their own soccer stadium, and it's pretty nice. I know they don't have fb, so maybe that's why they have on site soccer. When Drake was renovating the stadium for the relays, why couldn't they expand the fb field for soccer? And if not, why wouldn't they build one on campus? It certainly would make a difference if they played on campus. Being able to walk to a game vs getting into a car and driving over to that complex in the middle of nowhere on a week night has to make a difference.




I don't think a regulation soccer field will fit inside a 400 meter oval track.
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DUBulldog (9/26/2013)
zman2 (9/26/2013)
I haven't lived in Des Moines for a long time, so someone more in the know can tell me. Obviously soccer isn't a big revenue producing sport. However, in the Midwest, not a lot of the power conference schools field teams. I live in KC, and UMKC has their own soccer stadium, and it's pretty nice. I know they don't have fb, so maybe that's why they have on site soccer. When Drake was renovating the stadium for the relays, why couldn't they expand the fb field for soccer? And if not, why wouldn't they build one on campus? It certainly would make a difference if they played on campus. Being able to walk to a game vs getting into a car and driving over to that complex in the middle of nowhere on a week night has to make a difference.
I don't think a regulation soccer field will fit inside a 400 meter oval track.




The NCAA requires the field be 65 yards wide. Google Earth shows that Drake Stadium's field is ~67 yards wide (the soccer line markings are there and are just tucked inside the curves of the track). It isn't really wide enough, and I'm not sure that the team wants to play on turf (this is another issue in itself WRT to field events) or in a huge stadium.



Money is the thing. UMKC's stadium, which seats 850, cost $9M. ISU's soccer/track/softball complex, which seats 1,500, cost $13M. Creighton's stadium, which seats 2,000 with hillside seating for 4,000, cost $16M (in 2013 dollars). Louisville is building a 5,300-seat stadium for $18M.



It's pretty clear that athletics priority #1 is (and should be) the basketball practice facility ($7M). #2 is going to be the expansion of the Fieldhouse/indoor warmup facility for another $24M. So, call in $35M between the two that complement the most visible athletics teams (basketball) and events/facility (Relays and Stadium). Now you're trying to find at minimum $10M to build a stadium for two low-profile sports.







Gonna be tough. Just don't see it happening anytime soon.
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The other issue with the football field is that a fb field is "crowned" and soccer pitches are not. Makes it a poor surface to play on as passés are always messed up. I coached high school soccer for 8 years on FB fields and they are terrible.
Lime
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Drake is #52 in the initial RPI. That is the best ranking in the Valley (Central Arkansas #61, Bradley #77, Evansville #120, SIUE #142, Loyola #158, Missouri State #164) although it wouldn't be enough to get an at-large berth unless Drake goes something like 5-0-1 in the Valley and wins non-conference games at Wisconsin and UIC (even that might not be enough). But as the conference season begins, Drake would generally be the favorite.



I think they'll need at least a tie at Evansville on Saturday though.
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Lime (10/1/2013)
Drake is #52 in the initial RPI. That is the best ranking in the Valley (Central Arkansas #61, Bradley #77, Evansville #120, SIUE #142, Loyola #158, Missouri State #164) although it wouldn't be enough to get an at-large berth unless Drake goes something like 5-0-1 in the Valley and wins non-conference games at Wisconsin and UIC (even that might not be enough). But as the conference season begins, Drake would generally be the favorite.







I think they'll need at least a tie at Evansville on Saturday though.




Evansville just beat Butler tonight. I think Butler was #16 or so. No idea how Evansville's RPI is so low. They knocked off #6 SLU! Definitely the biggest challenger in the MVC this year.
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Evansville just beat Butler tonight. I think Butler was #16 or so. No idea how Evansville's RPI is so low. They knocked off #6 SLU! Definitely the biggest challenger in the MVC this year.




because the rest of their schedule has been pretty bad. SLU isn't that great (#42 RPI, #52 Massey). Beating Butler (#13/#28) should be worth a bump, but their schedule otherwise has been filled with the likes of UMass, NJIT, Eastern Illinois, etc. When 50% of your RPI comes from opponents' winning percentage, UMass (1-8-1) and Eastern Illinois (0-6-2) are going to kill it. Western Illinois (1-7) will provide a negative impact to Drake's.
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Big 4-1 for Drake at Evansville. Despite the four-game unbeaten run, the lack of goals (just three in the last four matches with three straight 1-0 wins) was a little concerning so getting four goals is nice to see. I didn't watch so I don't know if getting unshot 21-9 reflected the game or reflected a desperate UE in the 2nd half. Gametracker shows JR forward Thomas Schermoly had a hat trick. Freshman goalkeeper Darrin McLeod finally allowed a goal.
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I think that the Evansville win may even be more impressive to me than the one over New Mexico. Like you said, Lime, the scarcity of goals made me nervous. Can't rely on Darrin to shut them out every time.



Will be in Des Moines for the Bradley game, hopefully they keep getting better and better throughout the season.
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that Bradley game might be for the regular season title.
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Lost 3-2 at a decent Wisconsin team (7-2-1). Unbeaten streak is over, still reason to be optimistic in Valley play.
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Another update:



they followed the loss at Wisconsin with a 2-0 home loss to Missouri State (the only full public school member of the Valley to play men's soccer). I missed the first goal as I arrived in like the sixth minute with MSU already ahead. They added another one later to seal it.



After that, last Tuesday they went to Green Bay and won 2-1. Saturday they came home and got an early goal against SIU-Edwardsville and held on to win 1-0.



Current standings:

Missouri State 3-0

Drake 2-1

Bradley 1-0-1

Edwardsville 1-1

Evansville 1-2

Central Arkansas 0-1-1

Loyola 0-3



will need Missouri State to go 1-1-1 or worse (they have UCA at home, @ Bradley, SIUE at home) to get the #1 seed in the conference tournament, which is at Bradley November 13/15/17 (they can at least get a share by winning out and having MSU lose once, which would be cool since Drake has never actually won a conference regular season title). A win on Saturday at home against the Gargoyles/Braves (assuming they win at Loyola on Wednesday) would basically clinch the #2 seed at worst, which is big since that means a first-round bye. (Assuming they keep the same format as they have the past three years, you'd have #3 vs. #6 and #4 vs. #5 on Wednesday, the semis on Friday, and the final on Sunday. Playing two games in three days is tough enough. Playing three in five is insane.)



I don't think they can make the NCAAs as an at-large, so their fate will probably come down to the tournament. They're currently #42 in the RPI which is good (and a product of that solid OOC SOS), but remember only 48 teams make the NCAAs so that would probably need to be top 25 to have a chance. They probably have to win out pre-tournament (including) at Creighton [#17 RPI but having a down year, three straight 1-0 losses] and UIC [#35, 11-3 and 11-1 after an 0-2 start]) to have a chance.
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So Drake drew with Loyola last night. DU look the lead in the 70th, Loyola equalized in the 85th. Tough break. I caught the OT periods, Drake had two guys alone on the keeper after a weird scramble with about 20 seconds left but sort of rushed it (b/c of the keeper) and put it wide.



With Missouri State's win, the standings:



Missouri State 4-0

Bradley 2-0-1

Drake 2-1-1



so the MVC title isn't going to happen unless Missouri State fails to win both of their last two (0-1-1 would give Drake a share if Drake wins its last two, 0-2 would allow Drake to win it with two more wins, MSU has six straight shutouts so I don't see either happening). Gotta win at home on Saturday vs. Bradley to take 2nd.



BTW, I have underestimated Drake's at-large chances. The NCAA doesn't go strictly by RPI, but if they did Drake would be the last team out. It's not inconceivable that they could get an at-large if they're in the 35-40 range.
GO


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