Photo courtesy Drake Athletics
You're invited to "Menace Night" on Tuesday (Sept. 28) when the Drake men's soccer team hosts Western Illinois in a 7 p.m. rematch from the 2009 NCAA Tournament.
The teams reunite at Cownie Stadium, returning to the site of Drake's 2-1 first-round victory over the Fighting Leathernecks last November. It was the start of the Bulldogs' Cinderella run to the Elite Eight.
Des Moines Menace fans will see several familiar faces on Tuesday. Drake's roster boasts 10 players who have suited up for the Menace's Premier Development League team; Western Illinois brings Husref Jupic (2010 Menace PDL) and Darryl Odom (2009 Menace).
The trip gives Jupic another chance to play in front of his hometown fans after scoring WIU's lone goal here last November as a freshman. Jupic, a graduate of the Menace Academy and Hoover High School, was the 2009 Iowa High School Player of the Year.
Tuesday's match also features the state's 2008 player of the year, Hunter Kennedy from Cedar Rapids Washington -- a member of the 2009 and 2010 Menace. On the Drake side, Kennedy is joined by former Menace players Nick Foster, Jodan Kadlec, Matt Kuhn (sitting out this season with an injury), Joe Lyons, Kenan Malicevic, Michael Noonan, Thomas Ostrander, Jordan Stanley and Michael Thaden. The Bulldogs also feature the state's Player of the Year selections from 2007 (Charles Schwartz, Bettendorf) and 2010 (Erik Boyer, Cedar Rapids Kennedy).
Drake is 3-4 entering the weekend. A member of the Summit League, Western Illinois (2-3-2) is coming off a 3-1 win over Evansville, the team Drake defeated last November for the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship and the 2010 preseason favorite to win the MVC. Jupic and Odom scored in Sunday's home win over the Purple Aces.
Tickets to Drake's home soccer matches are $2 for youth (18 year and under) and $5 for adults. Drake is offering a special Soccer Scarf Season Pass. For just $20, you get a Drake Soccer Scarf and season tickets to all 2010 home matches for the Drake men's and women's teams.
All youth soccer-club players are part of the 2010 Drake Soccer Club Pass program presented by Scheel's: Wear a piece of club soccer gear to any Drake home match for free admission.