DePaul Battles No. 5/4 Creighton to Bitter End
Sept. 11, 2011
Blue Tube - Highlights
CHICAGO - Craig Blazer stood on Wish Field Sunday searching in vain for an answer.
Was there anything else the DePaul coach could have done during a valiantly played 1-0, double overtime loss to No. 5/4 Creighton?
Could he have positioned standout goalkeeper Joe Ferrari differently during Bruno Castro's direct free kick right outside the box in the 109th minute of play that resulted in the game's only goal?
Should the Blue Demon wall been set up another way?
In the end, Blazer could only shake his head and admire the way his players had come within 1:35 of earning a draw against one of the nation's top five teams.
"I'm proud of the way our guys played," Blazer said. "We could've won this game. Antonio Aguilar had a great chance near the end of the second overtime.
"This really shows that we're getting close. We keep taking these little steps to get better."
DePaul (1-3-0) took a big step up in credibility holding Creighton (5-0-0) scoreless until Castro was awarded that direct free kick after a foul on the Blue Demons.
"We put really good pressure on Creighton in the midfield and made it difficult for them," Blazer said. "There was pressure up high that took them out of their rhythm and made it easier for our back line.
"With Creighton's services out wide, we prevented their forwards from making runs in the box. We did a lot of good things defensively to frustrate them."
"Joe made the saves and showed good judgment with his distribution," Blazer said. "It totally clicked for him today.
"There wasn't a lot Joe could've done on that free kick. Their guy (Castro) did well, and it was a well-taken restart."
Blazer realizes it is an uphill struggle trying to level the playing field against a highly ranked opponent. "It's so bittersweet when you're so close to coming away with a result," Blazer said. "You've got to do things twice as hard and you have to be that much more disciplined against the top teams in the country.
"Our back four and Brian Lunar off the bench did so well defensively. Our guys can build from this performance."
DePaul would like to duplicate this effort in its 7 p.m. match Wednesday at Loyola-Chicago.
NOTES: After Creighton outshot DePaul 6-1 in the first half, the Blue Demons had six shots after halftime to nine for the Bluejays... Creighton had eight shots on goal for the game and DePaul had three... Aguilar led the Blue Demons with four shots, two on goal... David Selvaggi had two shots, one on goal... Michael Stankiewicz had one shot... Creighton had a 5-1 edge in corner kicks... in a physical match, Creighton was whistled for 24 fouls and DePaul committed 23... Creighton has not given up a goal this season.