PHILADELPHIA, PA 9/30/2012 – An overtime goal in the 79th minute of play by Senior midfielder Amanda Fleischut gave the 20th ranked Drexel Dragons a 3 – 2 victory of #15 New Hampshire at Vidas Field. It was a highly competitive game where neither team could get sustained pressure on the other. The appearance was there from the start that game would come down to a possession that would yield the deciding goal. Fleischut got that goal.
“It was back and forth, both team had great opportunities, and our team never quit,” said Drexel Coach Denise Zelenak about the excitement of the win. “We have a young team that is meshing. This is a big win that we hope will carry over into conference, and give us more confidence as we go into throughout the season.”
Drexel took the first lead in the game when Fleischut scored at the 8:09 mark with assist going to Sophomore Back Rebecca Werner. New Hampshire took a halftime lead on goals by forward Lynne Lehman and back Megan Bozek. The Dragons tied the game in the 41st minute by Junior midfielder Lindsay McArdle. Fleischut picked up the assist.
In the overtime session the Drexel had 3 shots and New Hampshire 2. Finally, Fleischut took the pass, got into the box, and turned around sending her shot into the upper left corner.
“Lindsay (McArdle) made eye contact with me, gave me the ball, and we thought in our heads that this is it, so she gave it to me” said Fleischut. “It was a free ball so I went for it, the defender backed off it. I ended up reversing it into the upper corner.”
Drexel Coach Denise Zelenak was proud of the defensive effort and poise that her team and showed.
“We needed to keep our composure especially in the overtime giving up those penalty corners,” said Zelenak. “It’s always scary but (Assistant Coach) Andrea Grasso has that West Philly bump, make contact with somebody in the circle and box out. They (the backs) should be proud of themselves, they played great.”
Fleischut had 8 shots in the game, McArdle had 6. Drexel outshot New Hampshire 18 – 13, but trailed 13 – 11 in penalty corners. Sophomore goal keeper Jantien Gunter made 6 saves.
With the win Drexel got their second won over a ranked opponent, and improved to 9 – 3 on the season. The Dragons have won four straight games, and are 5 – 0 at Vidas. Zelenak wants her team to remain focused playing one game at a time, and playing the tough non-conference schedule will pay dividends in the future.
“It will be big,” Zelenak said. “Having wins over those teams helps you with the RPI and getting at large bids in the NCAA’s. But these are the games that teach us how to win, how to persevere, and not to get intimidated against teams they don’t know.”
Drexel will take to the road with games at William and Mary and Old Dominion next weekend.
“We have a big road trip coming up at ODU,” said Fleischut. “We have to keep up our intensity. Our coaches prepare us for that, and we have to take that with us.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian