MACOMB, Ill. -
The Western Illinois men's soccer team will travel to Drake on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in attempt to snap its six-game winless streak.
The Fighting Leathernecks (2-6-2, 0-1-1 Summit League) are also looking to continue the Bulldogs' (1-7-3, 0-0-1 MVC) winless streak, currently at eight games.
Western Illinois will then return home to take on winless Fort Wayne on Saturday in a 1 p.m. Summit League contest.
A LOOK AT THE BULLDOGS: Drake is currently 1-7-3, with an 0-0-1 record in the Missouri Valley Conference...Keeper Rich Gallagher ranks fifth in the nation in total saves (59) and 23rd in saves per game (5.36)...Gallagher is also the reigning Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Week...Michael Thaden leads the squad with two goals and 21 shots...Addison Eck is tied for the team lead in points, totaling one goal and two assists...Drake is 1-1-1 at home in 2012 after finishing 6-2 in Des Moines last year.
SERIES HISTORY: Drake leads the all-time series 14-7-1 over Western Illinois...The two teams tied their match up last year, 1-1, in late August...Current senior Hilary Esangbedo scored in the 21st minute on an assist from teammate Aaron Appel...Current assistant coach Andy Ryan made five saves in net for the Leathernecks...The Bulldogs won the previous two contests in 2009 and 2010.
LAST TIME OUT: The Leathernecks are coming off a 5-1 loss in The Summit League to Oakland on Saturday...Freshman Ken Tryggestad scored his first collegiate goal on assists from Maclean Johnson and Nathan Bruinsma...Drake tied No. 12 Creighton, 0-0 in its Missouri Valley opener...Rich Gallagher made nine saves in a shutout effort...The Bulldogs were outshot 30-15, but neither team found the back of the net
GRAND ENTRANCE: Ken Tryggestad entered his first game in the Purple & Gold in the 65th minute against Oakland and scored less than 10 minutes later...Maclean Johnson’s assist on the same play also marked his first collegiate point.
IT’S NOT HOW YOU START...: Western Illinois men’s soccer teams that struggled early on in the season have gone on to excel later in the season...Last year, the team started 0-2-1, but went 13-5 the rest of the way en route to a Summit League title...The 2009 conference championship team began the season 0-4 before turning things around.
DIAPER DANDY: Austin Gochneaur leads the Leathernecks in points (5) as just a freshman, scoring a pair of goals in a 2-1 win over DePaul and adding an assist against Omaha...His shots have also been precise to date, with only one of his six shots missing his target, giving him an .833 shot on goal percentage, by far the best on the squad.
SUPER SENIOR: Bruinsma scored his first points of 2012 with his goal against Omaha...The game-tying shot was his 12th of his career in Purple & Gold...He also recently surpassed 100 career shots, standing at 108 over his four years...He has finished either first or second on the team in goals scored each of his first three seasons.
OFFENSIVE DEFENDER: Junior defender and reigning Summit League Defensive Player of the Year Charlie Bales is also an offensive threat in addition to a significant defensive presence...He leads the team in assists (two) and has totaled 12 points and 88 shots in his three-year career as a Leatherneck.
READY TO REBOUND: The Leathernecks are 7-2-3 following a loss in the past two seasons and haven’t suffered a three-game losing streak since 2010.
INJURY RIDDLED: Just six players have stayed healthy and played in all 10 games: Bruinsma, Gochneaur, senior Aaron Appel, sophomores Mario Alvarez, Yves Dietrich and freshman Erick Bloom.