WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – The Drexel men's soccer team has spent the early part of this season showing that they should be taken seriously. They have spent this week exorcising some demons. After earning their second-ever win over Old Dominion last Saturday, they defeated Penn for the first time since 1990 on Wednesday. Then tonight, the Dragons went to William & Mary and earned their second win in program history over the Tribe, 3-0. Guido Pena and John Grosh scored off set pieces for the Dragons, while Nathan Page sealed the game away with his third score in six games this season.
The win was the first for Drexel (6-2-1, 2-0-0) over William & Mary (2-6-2, 0-1-1) since November 2, 2007, when they held off the Tribe 1-0 at Vidas Field. Senior Tim Washam won his third straight (and his third shutout of the season), recording six saves. The Drexel defense kept a lot of the heat off him, as they blocked eight second-half shots, including four in the final 10 minutes of the game.
The Dragons had trouble of their own beating a tough William & Mary defensive unit, but they made up for it by scoring on two of their first three shots on net.
In the 31st minute, Drexel earned a free kick above the top of the box. Guido Pena took it, and tapped the ball to Brandon Zeller standing just off to the side of him. Zeller quickly returned the short touch pass, and Pena laced a ball hard off his left foot, beating Tribe goalkeeper Bennett Jones for the game's first goal.
Although Drexel wasn't able to get much through to Jones, it was not for lack of trying. The Dragons had three shots blocked in the first half, and another shot by Zeller saved by Jones. Two shots came Washam's way in the first period, but he was able to collect both and keep a clean sheet.
Ten minutes into the second half, the Dragons got an insurance goal. Again, it came off a free kick as John Grosh took the set piece 22 yards out in the center of the field. He connected with his right foot and smashed a ball past Jones. The goal was the culmination of some early Drexel pressure in the second half, which had seen Mark Donohue get a shot blocked and Nathan Page see a try go just wide after a corner kick.
Trailing 2-0, William & Mary put up a flurry following Grosh's goal, but Washam and the Drexel defense stood tall. The senior keeper had two saves as the Dragons blocked away another Tribe shot, keeping the shutout intact. In the 70th minute, Washam withstood another charge as Drexel could not control the rebound after blocking yet another shot, but Washam had an answer for Marcus Luster's shot.
Things stayed stable until the 82nd minute, when another William & Mary barrage began. Roshan Patel, Ben Anderson and Chris Perez fired four shots in 52 seconds, but none of them made it as far as Washam as the Drexel defensive unit, which has played such stellar ball over the past several weeks, got in front of all four and blocked them away.
After surviving that, the Dragons put away any lingering doubt. In the 88th minute, Nathan Page matched Michele Pataia with his team-best third goal of the season, an unassisted marker that saw him dribble through the defense and beat Jones one-on-one.
There would be one more save for Washam, but he kept the Tribe off the board one more time as he earned his third shutout of the season.
Friday's game did not begin until 8:25, one hour and 25 minutes after its scheduled start time, due to intense lightning storms in the area.
Now 2-0-0 in the Colonial Athletic Association, the Dragons return home for their next two games. They begin the homestand by hosting Northeastern on Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m.