Defensive Prowess Results in 0-0 Tie Saturday at Michigan
Aug 24, 2013
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Everything starts with the defense, and DePaul is getting pretty good at protecting the net.
The Blue Demons came away with a 0-0 tie Saturday against 2012 NCAA tournament second-round qualifier Michigan in both teams' final exhibition match.
Last week's 1-0 victory against NCAA tournament qualifier Western Illinois gave coach Craig Blazer's team a clean sheet for the preseason.
"It was good to see our consistency on defense carry over from last week," Blazer said. "We showed some resilience in the face of Michigan's attack."
In the 18th minute, goalkeeper Eric Sorby made a nice stop on a hard shot from 20 yards headed to the top left off the foot of Michigan star Tyler Arnone. Sorby made another excellent save in the 78th minute, denying T.J. VanSlooten from inside the 18.
"That was a crucial save," Blazer said about VanSlooten's attempt. "They had good transition, and the Michigan player had a one-on-one chance that Sorby stopped. This shutout is a positive result derived from a collective team effort."
The Wolverines outshot DePaul 16-6 (10-2 in the second half) and had a 6-3 advantage in shots on goal.
The Blue Demons' best scoring chances both came in the second half. Freshman Pat Flynn hit a left-footed shot from 12 yards out that hit the side netting. Later in the half, junior Brandon Loncar had a one-on-one opportunity from 15 yards and drove a shot that was saved by Adam Grinwis.
"We did a good job of putting pressure on the ball," Blazer said. "We generated some offense off our possession which led to our six corner kicks."
The DePaul defense stood firm in the first half against the Wolverines' athleticism and came away with a scoreless tie after the first 45 minutes. Michigan did own a 6-4 advantage in shots heading into the second half and a 3-1 edge in corner kicks.
In the 56th minute, Thiago Ganancio had an opportunity inside the 18 but his shot went wide left.
"Our guys have really absorbed a collective defensive accountability," Blazer said. "You can see they believe in each other and in what they're doing."
DePaul opens the regular season with a 4 p.m. match Friday against Green Bay at Wish Field.