DES MOINES, Iowa – The Drake University women’s soccer team closes the regular season against Loyola on Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. Drake (12-3-2, 5-0-1 MVC) clinched its sixth Missouri Valley Conference regular season title and second in three seasons with its win over Illinois State on Sunday. The regular season finale at the Cownie Soccer Complex will be broadcast on The Valley on ESPN3. Prior to Thursday’s match, Drake will honor its 2017 senior class of Hurt, Haley Morris (Clive, Iowa), Rebecca Rodgers (Peotone, Ill.), Brooke Salisbury (Kearney, Mo.), Smith, Rachel Wanninger (Johnston, Iowa) and Hannah Wilder (Wheatfield, Ind.). Hurt, a defender, has appeared in 60 career matches with 56 starts, and is fourth all-time in assists with 16. Morris, a goalkeeper, has played in 30 matches with 28 starts. She has tallied eight career shutouts and made 147 saves. Rodgers, the 2015 MVC Player of the Year and three-time All-MVC pick, is the program’s all-time goals leader with 39 and is tied in career points with 92. Her goals total ranks fifth all-time in MVC history. Salisbury has been a stalwart in the Bulldogs’ midfield the past four seasons and earned her first All-MVC honors as a junior. Smith has helped anchor the Bulldogs’ backline all four years of her career, starting 53-straight matches and she earned her first All-MVC honors and was named to the All-MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team last season. Wanninger has played in 57 career matches, including 35 the past two years, and she has scored six goals, including three game winners, and recorded six assists. Wilder has played in 63 career matches and scored four goals, including two important goals in MVC play this season, and recorded six assists. Loyola (12-5-0, 4-2-0 MVC) will be the tournament’s No. 2 seed with a win or a draw on Thursday. The Ramblers held off UNI, 3-2, in their last contest. Junior Jenna Szczesny is tied with Rodgers for the league-lead in goals with 12. The Bulldogs and the Ramblers have played 12 times with Drake holding a 6-3-3 advantage. The two teams have played each other in the MVC Tournament in three of the last four seasons. Print Friendly Version Drake won a wild back-and-forth rain-filled contest against the Redbirds in Normal, Ill. The Bulldogs led 1-0 at halftime until midway through the second period when Illinois State scored a pair of goals in just over three minutes to seize the lead, 2-1. However, junior Alyssa Brand (Skokie, Ill.), who scored the game’s first goal, quickly answered as she headed in her second goal off a cross by junior Linda Fiorito (Overland Park, Kan.) to help force overtime. In extra time, senior Ali Smith (Lenexa, Kan.) headed in the golden goal off a corner kick by senior Kasey Hurt (Ankeny, Iowa) to complete the comeback and clinch the title. The Bulldogs will be the No. 1 seed for the MVC Tournament, Nov. 3-5, in Springfield, Mo., where they will play in the semifinals on Nov. 3 against the winner of No. 3 vs. No. 6. Drake will wait to find out its opponent as quarterfinal games will be played at campus sites on Oct 29. The winner of the tournament earns an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
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- Women’s Soccer Closes Regular Season Against Loyola On Thursday