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Blue Demons Celebrate 'Freshman Day' at Wish Field
Koray Yesilli led a stingy back line that held Lewis scoreless in DePaul's 2-0 win Saturday at Wish Field.

Koray Yesilli led a stingy back line that held Lewis scoreless in DePaul's 2-0 win Saturday at Wish Field.

Aug. 23, 2014

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CHICAGO - Everyone has heard of Senior Day---but what about "Freshman Day?"

That's what it felt like Saturday when four DePaul rookies led their team to a 2-0 victory over Lewis in the final exhibition match of the preseason.

The match was called off with 26 minutes and 37 seconds left in the second half when the skies opened up above Wish Field. A 30-minute lightning delay was followed by cancellation.

In the 16th minute of the match, freshman Philipp Koenigstein streaked down the right wing and played the ball to fellow freshman Alessandro Thomas who found the back of the Flyers' net from 10 yards out.

"When our winger makes his move, I'm supposed to hit the first post," Thomas said. "But I saw there wasn't a defender in the middle, so I dropped back a little and Philipp saw me.

"When the pass came to me, I was thinking that I couldn't ask for a better opportunity than this. I hit it with my left foot into the middle left of the net.

"Yes, I wish this was a regular-season game, but I'll take it. We were held scoreless against Michigan last Tuesday (1-0 loss), and it was good to get that first goal behind us."

DePaul's insurance goal came in the 39th minute as freshman Robert Ljubic set up freshman George Moushi in the center of the attacking third, 15 yards away. Moushi delivered the finishing touch.

"There was a broken play off the throw-in," said Moushi who scored in his first game at DePaul. "Robert and I played a little give-and-go. I ran to space, the pass came right to me and I shot it in.

"When coach (Craig Blazer) told me to go in, I was really pumped. I was looking to make a difference in the game."

As a whole, the freshman class is ready to make a difference.

"Our class has talent at forward, midfielder and defender," Moushi said. "Everyone believes we can start having the kind of success that will continue over the next four years. There's no pressure on us, and we are ready to turn this program around."

Thomas nodded his head in agreement.

"The freshman class has a lot to offer the team," Thomas said. "We speak among ourselves and talk about developing a belief in what we can become. Let's work real hard, fight four our position and one day bring this team to the NCAA tournament."

The Blue Demons were in control the entire first half. A back line of Koray Yesilli, Brian Hindle, Kevin Beyer and freshman Caleb Pothast played well in front of goalkeeper Mack Robinson. There wasn't a dangerous chance all game.

"This was a good game, and our team raised its standard of how we want to defend and attack," Blazer said. "I was pleased that we scored two goals and were able to keep the zero for 64 minutes.

"Our back four and goalkeeper continue to develop and are getting the necessary playing time and experience together that is so important."

After finishing the preseason 1-1, the Blue Demons open the regular season with a 7 p.m. match Friday at Milwaukee.

NOTES: DePaul and Lewis each took six shots... the Blue Demons had four shots on goal and Lewis had two... the Flyers came away with a 3-1 edge in corner kicks... Thomas had two shots with one on goal... Moushi's only shot found the back of the net... Jalen Harvey and Jake Douglas each had one shot on goal.