DePaul's 'Men In Black' Tie No. 9/7 St. John's in BIG EAST Opener
Sept. 28, 2013
CHICAGO - Things are definitely headed in the right direction for the DePaul men's soccer team.
Koray Yesilli and Jake Rawlings headed in the first collegiate goals of their respective careers on Saturday and the Blue Demons rose up to tie No. 9/7 St. John's 2-2 in double overtime at Wish Field.
The hard-earned result extended their unbeaten streak to four games and improved their record to 3-4-2, 0-0-1 in the BIG EAST.
You could certainly say DePaul's debut in the new BIG EAST Conference was an eye-opener for the Red Storm and the rest of the league.
"In the preseason coaches' poll, we were picked to finish 10th out of 10 teams," said Yesilli, who scored in the 18th minute off a well-placed free kick from Kevin Beyer. "The way we played today shows we deserve a little more respect.
"Kevin made a great service and all I had to do was put my head on the end of it. It was my first goal, and I was so happy to help the team."
St. John's (5-2-1, 0-1-1) had taken a 1-0 lead on Sean Sepe's goal from six yards out into the center of the net.
But Yesilli responded and then celebrated as Rawlings put the home team in front 2-1 in the 44th minute with his header to the center of the net off a classic corner kick from Art Garza.
"I give a lot of credit to Art for the corner kick," Rawlings said. "It came near the end of the first half and gave us the lead at halftime.
"I wish we could have held on for the win, but this is still a great result against a top 10 team."
DePaul coach Craig Blazer realized there wasn't much his team could do about the tying goal by Daniel Herrera in the 79th minute. The Red Storm junior hit a rocket shot from 30 yards out into the upper 90 that even talented Blue Demon goalkeeper Eric Sorby could not reach.
"Sorby has been our MVP keeping us in every game, and our defense played very well," Blazer said. "But their second goal was just a fantastic shot.
"The guys gave us a huge effort today. Anytime you can get a point in the BIG EAST off a very good team like St. John's is a big plus.
"On both of our goals, you needed good service and good runs. We had a little of both."
Ever since DePaul began wearing their black jerseys for both home and away matches, the team is 2-0-2. They will be the "Men in Black" once again on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. match against North Side rival Loyola at Loyola Soccer Park.
NOTES: In addition to Yesilli and Rawlings notching their first collegiate goals, Beyer picked up his first collegiate assist... Sorby made six saves and went into the match fourth in the nation in total saves... he now has 54 saves on the season... a balanced Blue Demon attack now has 10 different players who have scored at least one goal... St. John's outshot DePaul 13-11 and had an 8-4 edge in shots on goal... the Blue Demons held a 5-3 advantage in corner kicks... Yesilli, Beyer and Simon Megally each took two shots... those three and Rawlings had DePaul's four shots on goal.