Stankiewicz, Rodriguez Lead DePaul Past SIU-Edwardsville 2-0
Sept. 21, 2013
CHICAGO - In a span of just 63 seconds on Saturday, it was smiles all around at DePaul's Wish Field.
First, it was Rodriguez, a talented freshman anxious to make his mark on the DePaul soccer program. Stankiewicz and Joe Brinckwirth connected on passes that found Rodriguez open in the middle of the box.
"Those guys set me up and I hit a shot past their goalkeeper," Rodriguez said about his first collegiate goal that came in the 28th minute. "Man, it was one of the best feelings I've ever had.
"We've been focusing on having more patience in the attacking third. Getting that first goal was important, and it was looking like we were headed for a good game."
Good got even better in the 29th minute when Stankiewicz hit a backward shot from about eight yards out into the far post. That was his first collegiate goal.
"There was a throw-in and a flick by Kyle Gustafson," Stankiewicz said. "I saw the goalkeeper standing in place giving me the near post and the far post. The backwards kick, I was just trying to kick it away from the keeper.
"It was really good for us to get our first home win."
Stellar goalkeeping by Eric Sorby, who is second in the nation in total saves, made certain the two goals held up. There was also some sparkling defensive play by Jalen Harvey, Koray Yesilli, Jake Douglas, Jared Blincow and Gustafson.
"Southern Illinois-Edwardsville (4-3-0) is an outstanding team, and our guys executed the game plan as well as they could," said DePaul coach Craig Blazer. "To be up 2-0 at halftime was a tribute to our guys' determination.
"We know our team is growing and that we're coming close. Sometimes it takes a while for everything to come together---and today, it did."
The stirring result on Saturday followed up a scoreless tie at Drake last Tuesday. Wearing those same black uniforms with blue numbers has now resulted in back-to-back shutouts.
"The guys wanted to do something different," Blazer said about his players. "Let's keep it going. We'll show up in black for our next game."
Rodriguez is hoping this can reverse the team's fortunes.
"There have been some unlucky losses that were tough on us," Rodriguez said about three overtime setbacks. "This win today might be a season-changer. This might change everything around going into BIG EAST play."
DePaul (2-4-1) has a 3 p.m. nonconference match against Eastern Illinois Wednesday at Wish Field before welcoming St. John's to Lincoln Park for the BIG EAST opener next Saturday.
NOTES: Along with Rodriguez and Stankiewicz, there was another first on Saturday as freshman Jake Rawlings made his first collegiate start... Anthony Hunter led DePaul with three shots and Stankiewicz fired off two... Rodriguez, Stankiewicz and Hunter had the Blue Demons' three shots on goal... SIUE outshot DePaul 9-8 and had a 6-3 edge in shots on goal... Sorby made five saves---including a timely deflection of a Cougar shot ticketed for the upper 90... DePaul was also credited with a team save.