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Forbes and Stingy Defense Take DePaul for a Ride
Zach Forbes redirected a Simon Megally corner kick in Sunday's 1-0 exhibition victory over Western Illinois.


Zach Forbes redirected a Simon Megally corner kick in Sunday's 1-0 exhibition victory over Western Illinois.

Aug 18, 2013

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MACOMB, Ill. - It was a happy bus ride home to Lincoln Park on Sunday night.

Tight defense and an opportunistic play sent DePaul onto a 1-0 victory over 2012 NCAA tournament team Western Illinois in the Blue Demons' exhibition season opener.

Zach Forbes got DePaul off to a fast start with his goal in the 13th minute of the first half off an assist from heady freshman Simon Megally.

The Blue Demon offense earned a corner kick with Megally's service leading to the Forbes score. Following up the goal, Megally fired a shot on net and DePaul picked up two more corner kicks.

On defense---DePaul coach Craig Blazer's top priority---senior goalkeeper Eric Sorby and freshman Philip Huang teamed up for the shutout.

A back line featuring newcomer Koray Yesilli, Jalen Harvey, Kyle Gustafson and Art Garza held the reigning Summit League to one shot on goal and four shots overall.

Yesilli, Harvey, Gustafson and Forbes played all 90 minutes. Harvey is fresh off leading the Bermuda National Team to the NatWest Island Games gold medal last month.

"It was a solid performance, and the defense did a great job," Blazer said. "Anytime you can go on the road and record a shutout against a high-quality opponent like Western Illinois is a good accomplishment.

"There was the leadership and poise from Jalen and Koray along with the steady play of Art and Kyle. In just five days of preseason training, these guys are becoming committed to working for each other. In goal, Sorby provided a lot of communication and energy."

On the winning goal, Megally served up a well-placed corner kick that the athletic 6-foot, 4-inch Forbes redirected into the Leatherneck net.

"We've been working on that a lot, and we got a good service from Simon," Blazer said. "We did a good job of playing the ball forward today, and a solid possession game led to some offensive chances.

"There is still a lot we need to work on in the coming week. But for the first time out, getting the result is a bonus for these guys' confidence."

Forbes and Megally each had a shot on goal while freshman Pat Flynn and Eastern Illinois transfer Brandon Loncar each took two shots. Anthony Hunter had one shot.

DePaul returns to the pitch and closes out the preseason with a noon match Saturday at Michigan.