Sept. 20, 2017
CHICAGO - Playing on a sunbaked Wish Field that experienced 92-degree heat on late September Wednesday afternoon, the DePaul men's soccer team fell to in-state rival Bradley 1-0.
Sparked by a standout performance by Bradley's goalkeeper Brandon Barnes and his 11 saves on 19 of DePaul's shots, the Braves narrowly edged the Blue Demons on their home turf. The Blue Demons, who are 2-2 at Wish Field in 2017, had multiple opportunities to land the potential tying and game-winning goals often but came up just shy of scoring throughout the contest.
The Blue Demons (3-4-1) first threatened in the 13th minute, when senior midfielder Philipp Konigstein received the ball from a goal kick interception and made a run up the right sideline before firing his first of two attempts on the afternoon. Konigstein's shot from just inside the box was blocked by a Bradley defender before it reached the Braves' goalkeeper.
In the 18th minute, defender Caleb Pothast supplied the Blue Demons with their best chance of the first half. Making a run across the keeper's face, Pothast's one-time shot off a cross was handled by Barnes on a point-blank effort.
Bradley (6-3-0) broke the silence just before halftime, scoring in the 42nd minute off a throw-in. Jacob Taylor's throw crossed through the box finding Alex Ciaramitaro back post for his first goal of the season. Ciaramitaro tipped the bouncer with a right-footed touch to the middle of the frame for the score.
In the final minute of the first half, freshman Istvan Wilhelms wriggled free atop the goal box, giving him enough space to unleash a right-footed blast on goal. However, another sprawling save by Barnes kept the Blue Demons off the scoresheet. DePaul took a 7-4 shot lead into the intermission after controlling possession for the majority of the first half.
Bryan Simons gave the Blue Demons their first tying chance of the second half in the 51st minute. After a corner from Konigstein squibbed out to the top of the box, Simons transferred the ball from his thigh to the volley, striking the ball on target with power.
In the 56th minute, Konigstein gave DePaul its best chance of the afternoon, striking the crossbar on a free kick from two yards outside the box.
DePaul made a late stab at an equalizer in the 80th minute when Zach El-Shafei made a one-on-one charge at goal where Barnes came up big again for the Braves, stopping DePaul's final scoring chance of the afternoon.
Bradley would hold on in the closing minutes for the win, taking the victory despite losing the corners battle 4-2 and being outshot 19-9 by the Blue Demons.
DePaul's three-match homestand continues on Saturday as the Blue Demons host BIG EAST rival Georgetown at 3 p.m.
*Six out of DePaul's eight matches have been decided by one goal.
*The Royal Blue and Scarlet carries a 3-2-1 record in September.
*Three of DePaul's matches in 2017 have seen overtime play.
*The Blue Demons are now 2-2-0 at Wish Field in 2017.