PHILADELPHIA – The Drexel men's soccer team came into Saturday afternoon's game against UNCW looking to rebound from its first conference loss earlier in the week. They did so perfectly, scoring twice in the second half off rebounded shots that the Seahawks could not clear to take home a 2-0 victory on Alumni Day at Vidas Field. Michele Pataia put two shots on goal that led to scores by Ken Tribbett and Nathan Page, and Tim Washam put together his fourth shutout to improve the Dragons to 7-3-1 overall, 3-1-0 in the Colonial Athletic Association.
It was a strong defensive effort all around for the Dragons, as Washam had seven saves to earn the clean sheet. However, they got some luck early on as a shot by the Seahawks' Jamie Dell in the 60th minute. From Washam's left, Dell curled in a shot from 25 yards out, the ball tracking right towards the far post. With a strong wind at his back, Dell hit the inside of the post, but the ball bounced out of the net, never crossing the goal mouth and keeping the game scoreless.
Six minutes later, Drexel struck. Coming out of a chaotic scrap for the ball, Michele Pataia got control near the top of the box to the left of UNCW goalkeeper Brad Newman. He had a good look, but could not make solid contact as he popped a shot 20 yards in the air. The shot dropped near the front of the goal, with Newman going up to push the ball out. He too, however, was unable to get much on the ball as he punched it right to Ken Tribbett at the top of the box. With defenders descending on him, Tribbett gathered himself and roped a shot past the scrambling Newman to give the Dragons a 1-0 lead.
In the 78th minute, the Dragons put the game away. Again, it was Pataia finding himself with a look at the goal. This time coming from the right, Pataia ripped a shot that forced Newman to dive to his right. The Drexel sophomore beat Newman, but could not get it inside the post as the ball caromed off the near post and right to Nathan Page on the other side of the goal. Page knew what to do, finishing the goal to put Drexel up 2-0.
Washam had two more saves to keep the Seahawks off the board, as they tried to get back in the game but was not successful.
After a two-game home swing, the Dragons will now hit the road for its next two games, starting next Wednesday at George Mason. That game kicks off at 7:00 p.m. They will then head to Towson for an 11:00 a.m. contest next Saturday.