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Drexel slipping, winless in four conference matches after overtime defeat

A 96th-minute goal from Delaware freshman Jake Steinberg gave the Dragons their fourth conference loss of the season

Photo by Matt Ralph

After starting the season unbeaten in five, Drexel’s conference schedule has not been kind. Their latest defeat on a 96th-minute goal against local rival Delaware at home on Wednesday night was their fourth in the Colonial Athletic Association this season.

The game started off so well too with Conestoga grad Chris Donovan opening the scoring just 45 seconds in with his third of the year off a quick counter started by goalkeeper Stephen Kopsachilis. Kwesi Allen also had an assist on the play, but it was mostly the Blue Hens forcing their way back into the game the rest of the way, out-shooting the Dragons 19-2 for the match.

Fede Prieto tied the game less than 10 minutes before halftime when he scored on his own penalty kick miss Kopsachilis got a hand on to deflect off the post. The spot kick was the result of a handball in the box. Philadelphia Union Academy grads John Schroeder and Rob Campbell were dangerous down the right flank on the night and it was Schroeder’s assist that set up Jake Steinberg’s overtime winner in the 96th minute.

Drexel also had the lead on Saturday through a fourth minute own goal only to concede twice in a two-minute span late to lose to UNC Wilmington at home. Offense, which has carried them through much of the season — the Dragons have scored two or more times in their seven wins — has been hard to come by in conference play with shutouts coming in three of their four conference losses.

But all hope is not lost. The Dragons head to Boston to face Northeastern tomorrow night and close out conference play against William & Mary a week later. If they can maintain sixth place or higher they’ll have a shot at the conference postseason. They last made the postseason in 2013 when they posted a 4-1-2 conference record and beat Delaware and William & Mary to win the conference tournament and book a place in the NCAA Tournament.

Looking elsewhere among the Philadelphia Soccer Six, Drexel is still one of the teams in better position for postseason.

After two more conference losses to Saint Louis (4-2) and George Mason (3-0), La Salle is last in the Atlantic 10 with four conference matches remaining.

Saint Joseph’s is fairing significantly better in seventh place (eight teams make postseason) with a 1-1-2 record. But the Hawks are coming off a 6-2 loss at Davidson and will need to get things back on track with their last four conference games at George Mason and Rhode Island and home against St. Bonaventure and Saint Louis.

Temple is tied on points with Memphis and SMU for fourth place in the eight-team American Athletic Conference after posting a 1-1 draw with Memphis at home last Saturday. Jalen Campbell scored his second of the season off an assist from Lukas Fernandes, but the Owls weren’t able to keep the Tigers off the board and settled for a point from their fifth overtime game of the season. They’re in Tampa to play South Florida tonight and have trips to Storrs and Dallas still left to take and a conference home game against Tulsa.

Villanova is near the bottom of the standings in the Big East at 1-3-0, but still has five conference games remaining, including a match at Georgetown tomorrow. Three of their last four Big East games will be played at home, where they are 5-1-0 this season.

Offense continues to be the Achilles heel for Penn. Shutouts against Columbia (2-0 loss) and UMBC (scoreless draw) ran their shutout streak to six games. The Quakers offense has scored just four times all season, three of those goals in the season opener against Monmouth. They have plenty of time left on their season though to battle for the Ivy League title with seven league games remaining after an 0-2-0 start in conference. They visit defending champs Dartmouth tomorrow.