Sept. 12, 2010

NOTRE DAME, IND. - The Drake men's soccer team knew it was going to be tested at the Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament this past weekend and Sunday (Sept. 12) was no exception as the No. 22 Bulldogs came up short in dropping a 2-0 decision to No. 18 Indiana.

The Hoosiers improved to 2-2 on the campaign with the win while dropping Drake to 1-3 overall.

Indiana cracked the scoring column first when Andy Adlard converted a penalty kick at the 33:58 mark to provide the Hoosiers all the offense they ultimately needed en route to claiming the first regular season meeting between the schools since 1994.

"Today was another step in our evolution as a team this year," Drake head coach Sean Holmes commented. "We knew this weekend would be extremely difficult, but these are the games we want to play. Just like on Friday, we had moments of real quality, but as of yet we aren't able to sustain long periods of excellence."

"Against programs like Indiana and Notre Dame you have to take advantage of opportunities and we don't quite have the killer instinct yet."

Nikita Kotlov added an insurance tally for Indiana in the 70th minute (69:26) beating Bulldog redshirt junior goalkeeper Jordan Kadlec (Hiawatha, Iowa/Cedar Rapids Kennedy) short post off a feed from Will Bruin.

Drake was outshot in the tilt, 31-9, with redshirt juniors Charles Schwartz (Bettendorf, Iowa/Bettendorf) and Michael Noonan (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Xavier) and juniors Thomas Ostrander (Fort Dodge, Iowa/St. Edmond Catholic) and Michael Thaden (West Des Moines, Iowa/Valley) each registering two shots to pace the Bulldogs.

Indiana was sparked by a seven-shot performance from Bruin.

Kadlec finished the contest registering a game-high six saves, while redshirt freshman Rich Gallagher (Lake Bluff, Ill./Lake Forest Academy) didn't record a save in playing nearly nine minutes in his collegiate debut.

"Once again Jordan (Kadlec) was exceptional in goal and Nick (Foster) set the tone for our level of competitiveness," said Holmes. "I think to some degree we underestimated how much it would hurt us playing without Kenan (Malicevic), an extremely dangerous senior striker and not easily replaced."

Senior starter Kenan Malicevic (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Cedar Valley) missed his second consecutive contest after injury forced him to leave during the second half of the Bulldogs' contest at Oakland (Sept. 5).

Twenty-three Drake players saw action against the Hoosiers, including 10 true freshmen, and this was not lost on Holmes.

"What was most encouraging was the fact that we played a significant portion of the second half with a team comprised of 11 freshmen and that bodes well for the future," Holmes stated. "The biggest task in the short term is trying to sort out what our best 11 is and how much give we can absorb and still be competitive."

Drake opens its home campaign on Wednesday (Sept. 15) as the Bulldogs host UMKC in a 7:00 p.m. contest at the Cownie Soccer Complex.

"I think the boys will be excited to get back and play a home game after four grueling matches on the road," Holmes explained. "How we respond to UMKC will be an indicator to how the rest of the season will unfold."