PHILADELPHIA, PA. 9/13/2104 – Both teams were knocking on the door, ringing the bell, but no one let a goal in. The result was a scoreless double overtime draw between the Drexel Dragons and the host Saint Joseph’s Hawks at Sweeney Field on Hawk Hill. Saint Joe’s is 3-1-2 this season and has a draw in their first Soccer Six game of the season. Meanwhile, Drexel is 2-2-1 and 1-0-1 in the Soccer Six.
It was a rainy night. Each team had chances, but could not the goal. Despite the lack of scoring, it was still an entertaining game.
“I thought it was a great Soccer Six match,” said Saint Joseph’s Coach Don D’Ambra. “I’m glad we were able to compete and put a good game together. I was proud of our effort. Both teams could have put it away. Both teams had chances. Both teams worked hard. It was a great match. It would have been nice to get a goal on our end.”
Drexel felt the same way.
The Hawks had a the better of the offense in the regulation getting 17 shots to 7 for the Dragons. In the first half the advantage 6 – 1 for the host. However, many of the shots went high for SJU. The best chance for Saint Joseph’s came with 24:28 on the clock in the second half when sophomore midfielder Eric Jordan gathered the ball off a misplay, turned and fired, but the ball went over the crossbar.
Drexel had the best chance to score with 7:28 to play in the second half when junior forward Nico Delgado got open behind the Saint Joe’s defense. Going to the right Delgado stepped around Hawk goal keeper Bobby Edwards. Looking at an open net Delgado fired, but missed to the short side.
“He put himself too far away from the goal,” Drexel Coach Doug Hess said about the Delgado play. “He made the right choice to go around the keeper. He was off-balance. I think he made the right decision to go around the keeper, but got too big of a touch on his foot.”
In the extra periods Drexel got the momentum and out shot Saint Joe’s 4 – 1. The chances were there, but the Dragons did not convert.
“There were many almost moments,” Hess said. “They (SJU) had the better of it in the ninety (minutes), and we had the better of it in the twenty.”
Each team needed to be resilient as the territorial advantage changed. D’Ambra saw a positive for the Saint Joseph’s squad as they withstood the late Drexel charge.
“Drexel ended up getting some momentum in the second overtime,” D’Ambra said. “They had us on our heels. They kept us pinned in our end. Any time you can hold a team off and withstand that type of pressure is really good.”
The same held for Dragons who withstood the early Saint Joe’s attack.
“We’ve shown that during the year,” said Hess. “There hasn’t been a team that scored on us ion the first half of game. We’ve only conceded three goals, but haven’t found a way. It’s always good to have the problem of not conceding.”
Drexel will head to Albuquerque, NM for tournament action against New Mexico and CSU Bakersfield. The Dragons have given up three goals this season, and look to a clean sheet out west.
The Hawks travel to Marist for their next outing.
For the game Saint Joseph’s had an 18 – 11 edge in shots. Drexel had the better of the corner kicks leading 6 -3. Edwards and Drexel sophomore goal keeper Tyler Afflerbach each posted 4 saves. It was the first collegiate shutout for Edwards. Junior forward Emmanuel Temeh had a game-best 5 shots, 3 on goal, and teammate senior forward Mike Glazer had 4 shots for the Hawks. Delgado and senior midfielder John Grosh each had 3 shots for the Dragons.
Bottom Line: a scoreless tie in a local game that is significant for both sides.
“There are not many cities that have rivalries like this, having good programs, the history behind it. ” said D’Ambra. “Philadelphia is unique in this way. The fact that both teams played as well as they did and competed as hard as they did shows that it meant something.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian