PHILADELPHIA, PA 10/25/2012 – The University of Delaware Blue Hens capitalized on three penalty corner goals to defeat the # 18 Drexel Dragons 4 – 2 in a CAA contest at Buckley Field. The Dragons have given up 120 penalty corners this season. Drexel Coach Denise Zelenak felt it was a situation that would prove costly for her team, and in this game it did.
“We need to keep improving our defensive corners,” said Zelenak. “It seems to be a trend for us. We are reading the corner, but we need to get set sooner and clear the ball out. They have a dangerous corner unit.”
It was a damp evening that followed a day of rain. It proved difficult for both teams to sustain offense. Delaware broke through at the 31st minute on a penalty corner as the Blue Hens executed a perfect penalty corner that gave Kelsey McKee the first of her three goals in the game. The Dragons evened the score in the second half when Junior midfielder Lindsay McArdle scored at 54:31. She has 9 goals this season, tied for the team lead. McArdle took a pass int he box , turned and fired a shot into the right side of the goal.
McKee scored off another penalty corner at the 60 minute mark breaking the tie. Drexel Junior forward Elise DiDonato tied it again at 2 just over 5 minutes later, It was the fourth of the campaign for DiDonato. However, the Hens Michaela Patzner answered just 21 seconds later for what proved to be the game winner. McKee earned the hat trick with another penalty corner as time expired.
Drexel out shot Delaware 16 – 10. However, the Dragons got the ball into the Delaware goal only twice as they did not get sustained offensive pressure for most of the game. The conditions did not help, but the Delaware defense was the real reason why they could not according to Zelenak.
“They protected really well,” Zelenak said. Their goal tender made some big saves. We gave them a lot of respect on how well they stopped us.”
Delaware goal keeper Sarah Scher made 7 saves. Drexel Sophomore goal keeper Jantien Gunter had 4 saves.
The Dragons dropped to 11 – 6 on the season and are 3 – 2 in conference play. This was the first loss at Vidas Field this season for Drexel who is tied for third in the CAA standings. Their next game will be Friday, October 26 at home against Northeastern which is Senior Night. The Dragons are in a good position to make the conference tournament. The focus is to win the conference tournament.
“This point of the season builds for conference,” said Zelenak. “There is still room. It’s not over. If we have to get kicked, I’d rather get kicked now than in the conference championships. We have two games left. and anything can happen on a given day.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian