Kansas City, Mo. Lawrence High alumna Skylar Drum has stepped right in as a starting center back on the back line of the University of Central Missouri women’s soccer, and she had the chance to showcase her skills on the national stage on Thursday at Swope Soccer Village.
The freshman defender was one of only two Jennies to play all 90 minutes in UCM’s 3-0 victory over Mercy College (N.Y.) in the NCAA Division II national semifinals. With the win, Drum and the Jennies advanced to the national title game against Carson-Newman (Tenn.).
“It’s a great experience," Drum said. "I’m glad I’ve gotten the opportunity, and that’s why I came here is because they’re a great program (with) a great coach and a great team. This is where we wanted to end up.”
The Jennies built an early lead with goals from Megan Woolley and Makayla Toth in the 14th and 19th minute, respectively, which took some pressure off the back line. While Drum admitted that she did get nervous at times, she didn’t show it. Drum had a couple of clearances to help the Jennies secure their 21st shutout of the season The Jennies are not only unbeaten with a record of 25-0, but have outscored their opponents, 88-4.
“She gave us a really different dimension than what we’ve had in the past," UCM head coach Lewis Theobald said of Drum. "Really we talk about team defending, so defending from the front — so not just the back line and the goalkeeper.”
After taking the 2-0 lead into the break, Jada Scott added an insurance goal on a penalty kick in the 57th minute.
The Jennies will go for their first national championship and an undefeated season against Carson-Newman, who defeated the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, 2-1, in the other semifinal. The national title match will kick off at noon Saturday at Swope Soccer Village.
“It’s the best experience ever,” Drum said of the opportunity to play for a national title. “It’s just life-changing and getting to do it with this group of girls is just amazing.”