Ferrari Saves the Day for DePaul
Sept. 29, 2010
CHICAGO - Leave it to a guy named Joe Ferrari to come up with a classic performance on Wednesday.
DePaul's sophomore goalkeeper staved off a 27-shot assault from Northern Illinois in preserving a scoreless, double-overtime deadlock at Wish Field at Cacciatore Stadium.
Among his seven stops, one stood out as Ferrari's save of the day.
"I saw a Northern Illinois guy breaking to my left and Matt Leinauer closed him off," Ferrari said abut the close call in the second half. "I saw the ball coming across the box and sprinted to the back post.
"As soon as the other Northern guy hit the shot, I just dove and got a hand on it."
Ferrari foiled the attempt that came from just a few yards out.
"Joe kept us in the game with an outstanding performance," said DePaul coach Craig Blazer, whose team is 3-4-2 on the season. "We definitely came out and played a lot better than our last game."
The coach was referring to last Friday's 5-0 loss at West Virginia.
What made the difference for DePaul from giving up five goals to a shutout?
"We came out and played with more heart," Ferrari said. "It was all about being tougher, both mentally and physically.
DePaul's defense blocked a total of nine shots and forced others wide of the net.
"After what happened last Friday, we worked hard on our defense this week in practice," Ferrari said. "The back four and I focused on staying connected and always communicating.
"Northern Illinois (4-2-2) is a high-pressure type of team. They get a ton of touches and hit a lot of shots.
"But we didn't have any lapses today."
Although DePaul only took 11 shots, there were some scoring opportunities.
Antonio Aguilar had a close-in attempt that was saved by Huskie goalkeeper Jordan Godsey.
Ray De Leon had a clear shot at the NIU net from just outside the penalty box but struck it too hard and it sailed high.
Alex Mangan was positioned in front of the NIU goal just before halftime but couldn't get his foot on the ball.
"This was a Northern Illinois team that had scored seven goals in the last four games before today and had given up just one goal in that span," Blazer said. "And while we're a little disappointed in the tie, we did give ourselves a chance to win the game."
The Blue Demons will go for the "W" on Saturday in a 1 p.m. BIG EAST Conference showdown against Villanova.
There will be a special dedication ceremony before the game at the new Wish Field at Cacciatore Stadium to honor Vic and Char Cacciatore and their family.
NOTES: Besides Aguilar, Charlie Mancuso, Leinauer and Willy Lara each had a shot on goal... Aguilar, Mangan and De Leon each had two shots... Mancuso made his first start of the season and gave the team a physical presence in the midfield according to Blazer... this was Ferrari's third shutout of the season... the Blue Demon goalie has made 34 saves in 2010 and has a 1.38 goals-against average... in the two overtimes, NIU had nine total shots to one for DePaul.