Rough Finish for DePaul on Dedication Day
Oct. 2, 2010
CHICAGO - So long as Saturday's soccer match was played on a finesse level, DePaul was fine.
But the moment Villanova turned it into a physical struggle, things got ugly for the Blue Demons.
That's pretty much how DePaul went from a one-goal lead to a 3-1 loss on Saturday when the university conducted a formal dedication ceremony for the new Cacciatore Stadium.
With the sun occasionally peeking through the clouds in the first half, DePaul (3-5-2, 0-2-0 in the BIG EAST Conference) took the lead in the 27th minute on a nice play by Antonio Aguilar.
The sophomore midfielder made a move in the middle of the penalty box and fired a shot into the Villanova net.
Aguilar's third goal of the season set off hopes that DePaul could come away with its first BIG EAST victory.
But as the clouds thickened and rain pelted the stadium turf at the outset of the second half, Villanova (6-3-1, 2-0-0) launched its new offensive.
"We were trying to go for the second goal while also understanding that good defense was required," said De Paul coach Craig Blazer. "But we just didn't match their intensity.
"They got more physical, and we did not match up well."
The rough stuff showed up in the final stats with Villanova being whistled for 18 fouls to six for DePaul.
In the 67th minute, Ryan Whalen fired a shot from 25 yards out that sailed into the upper right of the Blue Demon net.
"That first goal was a hopeful shot that found the back of the net," Blazer said. "You could feel a huge momentum switch.
"We did not respond to the challenge of getting that momentum back."
Instead, the Wildcats continued their physical play.
A Blue Demon foul led to Villanova's second goal. Joseph Schmid struck a free kick from 30 yards and watched his shot elude goalkeeper Joe Ferrari as another Wildcat ran across the goal mouth.
"That's a tough one for Joe," Blazer said. "They put it on frame, and he has to make a quick decision whether to play the man or the ball. That's how we take free kicks."
Schmid's goal came at 81:25. At the 84:26 mark, Dylan Renna scored his third goal of the season on a 20-yard shot into the right side of the net.
"It's disappointing not to be able to manage the various challenges of the game after playing so well in the first half," Blazer said. "We need to do a better job of being disciplined."
Villanova fired 11 shots on goal, and Ferrari made eight saves. Two of the stops came on purely instinctive moves that robbed the Wildcats of two more goals.
"I thought he played well," Blazer said. "We can't expect Joe to make all of the saves."
DePaul's next challenge comes Wednesday with a 7 p.m. match at Northwestern.
NOTES: Aguilar scored on his only shot of the game... Alex Mangan led the Blue Demons with two shots... DePaul only had two shots on goal compared to 11 for the Wildcats... Villanova goalkeeper Chris Bresnahan made one save... the Blue Demons have been outscored 10-3 in their last five games... on the season, DePaul has been outscored 16-8 and outshot 141-95... opponents have 148 fouls to 96 for Blazer's ballclub... Mangan leads the Blue Demons with four goals and Aguilar is second with three... the other goal belongs to Matt Leinauer.