DePaul Falls Just Short of No. 2/5 Louisville
Oct. 20, 2010
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - There's something about Cardinal Park in Muhammad Ali's hometown that seems to bring out the best in DePaul.
Putting on its best performance of the season, the Blue Demons battled the second-ranked team in the country to a virtual stalemate before succumbing to Louisville 2-1 Wednesday night in double overtime.
St. John's victory over Rutgers on Wednesday provides three points and lifts the Red Storm into fifth place in the Red Division with five points. Syracuse is in sixth---the final playoff spot---with three points. DePaul (3-8-4, 0-4-2 in the BIG EAST) falls into seventh, one point out of a playoff spot with three games to go.
In last year's BIG EAST Conference tournament quarterfinals, DePaul tied No. 5 Louisville 1-1 in two overtimes before the Cardinals advanced on penalty kicks.
It was an eerily similar scenario on Wednesday with Louisville once again launching a barrage of shots (29) while the Blue Demons (nine shots) played tight defense and made the most of their opportunities.
"Antonio showed his brilliance on that play," DePaul coach Craig Blazer said of his sophomore forward maneuvering through the Cardinal defense to fire a shot that was deflected by goalkeeper Andre Boudreaux.
"Then, Alex Mangan did well with the finish."
The rebound goal in the 76th minute was Mangan's sixth score of the season and sent this BIG EAST Conference showdown into overtime.
The Blue Demons battled toe-to-toe with undefeated Louisville until the 105th minute when Nick Deleon's rebound shot from the left side from six yards away eluded goalkeeper John Michael Kulnig. Paolo Delpiccolo received the assist.
"I know the guys are greatly disappointed, but we played at a very high level tonight," Blazer said. "Unfortunately, we didn't get what we deserved."
Louisville (11-0-2, 6-0-0 in the BIG EAST) would finish with those 29 shots with nine on goal. Of DePaul's nine shots, four were on goal.
The Cardinals scored in the 16th minute on a header by Dylan Mares, his seventh goal of the season. Austin Berry and Colin Rolfe were credited with assists on the shot Mares flicked past Kulnig.
"We had some very good performances by the guys," Blazer said. "That was a first-class goal, and John Michael (seven saves) made a lot of good saves look routine.
"After the way we played tonight, I'm encouraged that we can win our next three games. We want to play at this level again, only next time come away with the win."
That next time could be Saturday when the Blue Demons return to Wish Field at Cacciatore Stadium to take on St. John's in a 1 p.m. match with all kinds of playoff implications.
NOTES: Right after Mangan scored the tying goal, Louisville ripped off four shots in a five-minute span, forcing Kulnig to make saves on three of them... Mangan's goal was the 26th of his career, tying him for fifth all-time with Cedric Thompson... Mangan's next goal will tie him for third with Mark Suda (1993-94) and Chris Greer (1998-2001)... he is two goals away from equaling the all-time record of 28 set by Jason Cohen (1986-89) and Joe Owerko (1983-85)... Mangan's 56 career points ties him for seventh with Thompson, one behind Peter Mokran (1985-86)... Mangan (six goals, two assists) and Aguilar (four goals, two assists) have accounted for 10 of the Blue Demons' 12 goals and 24 of the team's 34 points... Mangan took four shots against Louisville with three on goal while Aguilar had three shots with one on goal... Art Garza and Ray De Leon each had one shot... Kulnig finished with seven saves... Mangan, Aguilar, Freundlich, Kulnig, Garza, Lara, Gutierrez, Mancuso, Matt Leinauer and Austin Toth all played the entire 104 minutes.