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Gustafson's Game-Changer Sends DePaul onto a 2-0 Win Over Loyola
Kyle Gustafson's first goal of the season sparked DePaul to a 2-0 victory Wednesday night at Loyola.

Kyle Gustafson's first goal of the season sparked DePaul to a 2-0 victory Wednesday night at Loyola.

Oct. 2, 2013

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CHICAGO - Lately, it seems like there's a different hero every match for DePaul, and Wednesday night it was Kyle Gustafson's turn to keep the momentum going.

Gustafson's first goal of the season headed into the far post in the 78th minute off a cross from Jared Blincow paved the way to a 2-0 road victory over North Side rival Loyola.

In the 88th minute, freshman Erik Rodriguez knocked in the insurance goal from 12 yards off an assist from freshman Pat Flynn as the Blue Demons extended their unbeaten streak to five games.

DePaul is now 8-3-2 in this "Red Line Rivalry" under coach Craig Blazer and improved its overall record this season to 4-4-2.

"We don't have a big individual scorer to carry us," Gustafson said. "But every match during this five-game point streak, a different player has stepped up. We have so many guys who are offensive weapons and can score---you never know who it's going to be.

"Tonight, I was in the right spot and it felt good. Jared did all the work and sent in a great back-six service. I just had to get my head on it and send it far post."

Rodriguez's clincher came after Flynn flicked the ball onto the talented rookie.

"Erik did a nice job one-on-one in that situation," Blazer said. "He struck a solid left-footed shot from 12 yards. Our team is definitely gaining consistency."

Kevin Beyer was in attack mode right from the start, and the freshman's header in the fourth minute was saved by Loyola goalkeeper Zachary Brown.

A corner kick from Rodriguez was headed towards the Rambler net by Koray Yesilli in the fifth minute, only to be turned away by Brown. In the 12th minute, Rodriguez's header was stopped by the Loyola keeper.

DePaul kept up the attack, and in the 40th minute Jalen Harvey's header was foiled by Brown. DePaul finished a scoreless first half with a 7-1 advantage in shots and a 4-0 lead in shots on goal. Loyola didn't get off its first shot until the 27th minute and its first shot on goal until the 61st minute.

"We took it to a good Loyola team in the first 45 minutes," Blazer said. "But Loyola (3-5-0) had us on our heels the first 25 minutes of the second half. "I give our guys credit for maintaining emotional patience and composure, and they did well to withstand a good Loyola attack."

Next up for the Blue Demons is a 6 p.m. match at No. 16/17 Butler on Saturday. It will be the fourth time DePaul has faced a Top 25 team this season.

NOTES: In the five-game unbeaten streak, DePaul is 3-0-2... the streak began with a 0-0 double overtime tie at Drake and was followed by a 2-0 win over SIU-Edwardsville, a 4-1 victory over Eastern Illinois and a 2-2, double OT tie with No. 9/7 St. John's... the Blue Demons came into Loyola Soccer Park No. 25 in the nation in total goals and second in the BIG EAST... goalkeeper Eric Sorby, who is No. 5 in the nation in saves, didn't face a shot on goal until the 61st minute and made three saves against the Ramblers... this was his third shutout of the season... Blincow and Flynn picked up their first collegiate assists... DePaul outshot Loyola 11-7 and had an 8-3 advantage in shots on goal... Rodriguez led his team with three shots and two on goal while Harvey had two shots on goal... Yesilli had two shots with one on frame... Gustafson, Brinckwirth and Beyer each had a shot on goal.