Drake University recently issued the following announcement.
MACOMB, Ill. – The Drake University men's soccer team earned its second-consecutive victory with a 1-0 result over Western Illinois on Tuesday night in Macomb. The Bulldogs conclude nonconference play having won three of their last four matches.
Istvan Wilhelms scored the decisive goal for the Bulldogs. Oliver Bihuniak found Wilhelms on a corner kick, and Wilhelms delivered a header into the upper left corner for his first goal of the season.
"It was a great delivery from Oliver and a wonderful header from Istvan," said Drake head coach Gareth Smith. "Western Illinois is a difficult place to go and get a result on the road. We continue to show progress on a number of levels."
The Bulldogs' defense was the story of the night. The unit has earned shutouts in back-to-back matches and prevented the Leathernecks from mustering a shot on goal.
"Defensively we were excellent and we are delighted to keep another clean sheet," Smith said. "We were very well organized and compact, and tactically we eliminated the threat of their key players."
Smith singled out Liam Wilson, Scott Misselhorn, Bradan Allen, and Antonio Melendez for their efforts defensively.
"Although defending is always a team effort, a lot of credit goes to our backline, which restricted Western Illinois to few actions around our goal," Smith said. "And credit to Luke Anderson, who has grown significantly over the last few weeks in goal."
Offensively, the Bulldogs generated a season-best nine shots on target, and Wilhelms' goal was the culmination of a thorough team effort.
"We continue to mature in our ability to break teams down in the middle to final third," Smith said. "We showed a higher level of patience in knowing when to counter quickly and when to patiently build. The next level is to convert a higher percentage of the chances we are creating so that we can close out games earlier and not leave the door open for teams to get back into the game."
Drake (3-3-0) concludes its nonconference schedule in strong form on the heels of two convincing wins. The Bulldogs open Missouri Valley Conference play against Bradley at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21 at Cownie Soccer Complex.
"Back-to-back wins, two clean sheets, and another strong performance is a great way to close off the nonconference and set the stage for our conference opener this weekend," Smith said.
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