Can Drake women’s soccer end dream season in NCAA tournament?

Drake women’s soccer is ready as much as full its finest season ever.

Paced by this system’s all-time main goal-scorer and using a 10-game unbeaten streak, the Bulldogs enter the ultimate week of their common season in first place in the Missouri Valley Conference.

And but head coach Lindsey Horner’s squad is aware of the cruel actuality of Division I soccer: The promise of 2017 will likely be unfulfilled except Drake wins the convention match to safe an NCAA postseason spot.

“Two years ago we won the league and didn’t win the tournament and it was a disappointing end,” Horner stated. “You may look again and say, ‘That was a very successful season,’ but it surely didn’t really feel prefer it.

“Our gamers have put far more inventory in the NCAA match than any win streak or getting the No. 1 seed in our personal convention match. They need this.”

The Bulldogs (11-Three-2) have been impressing small Cownie Soccer Complex crowds and ESPN3 audiences all season, enjoying a possession-based type with a roster that blends in-state expertise with former Chicago, Kansas City and St. Louis space membership standouts.

Horner has six senior starters who’ve seen expectations and optimism rise throughout their time on Forest Avenue.

“Even when it’s tied at halftime or heading to overtime, we’re finding ways to leave games on top,” stated Rachel Wanninger, a senior midfielder and Johnston grad.

“That comes from the mentality side of things. And that’s what our class decided on before we started the season. We just have to find a way to get it done.”

Wanninger is one among 4 former Iowa highschool gamers in Drake’s beginning lineup for MVC video games, together with defender Kasey Hurt from Ankeny, goalkeeper Haley Morris from Valley, and true freshman ahead Hannah Bormann out of Clear Creek Amana. They’ve meshed with their Midwestern teammates whereas nonetheless working the offense via senior ahead Rebecca Rodgers.

“The connection up top has improved drastically over my last three years here,” Wanninger stated with fun, “but it really helps when Becca scores a hat trick.”

Rodgers, an athletic 5-foot-Eight striker, is again after incomes MVC participant of the yr honors in 2015 and being compelled to redshirt after a knee damage and surgical procedure in 2016. She tied this system’s single-season objectives report with 12 as a sophomore and entered this season trailing solely Andrea Schmitz — who Horner compares Rodgers to as a playmaker — on the profession chart.

“It’s never easy coming back from a surgery, but I did everything I could going through rehab to get back on the field,” Rodgers stated. “I started feeling better playing with the (Des Moines) Menace over the summer. Then when conference play hit, it was like, ‘Alright, I feel good.’”

After early losses to UNLV, Marquette, and Wisconsin, Rodgers obtained proper again on a scoring tear, topping Schmitz’s mark with a Sept. 24 brace to beat Western Illinois in double extra time. The No. 9 is again to 12 objectives once more for the season, with no less than three video games remaining.

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