DePaul Loses Heartbreaker With 37 Seconds Left
Oct. 26, 2011
Blue Tube - Highlights
CHICAGO - For 89 minutes and 22 seconds on Wednesday, DePaul battled No. 22/22 Louisville to a standstill with a defensive performance that ranks right up there among the best of this season.
But with just 37 seconds left, Alexander Obbey scored his first goal of the season after a skirmish in front of the net in a heart-breaking 1-0 BIG EAST Conference loss at Wish Field.
By virtue of the win, Louisville (9-5-2, 2-4-2) moves ahead of DePaul (5-10-2, 2-5-1) by one point in the BIG EAST playoff race.
The Blue Demons are tied with Villanova for fifth place with seven points, pending the outcome of Villanova's 6 p.m. match at Syracuse---which is seventh with four points.
"The defense was outstanding, and Eric Sorby came up with some huge saves," said DePaul coach Craig Blazer. "We put a team out there today that was more defensive-minded, and they all did a very good job.
"We're disappointed about giving up a goal at that point in the game. Guys held the ball too long, took too many touches---and when that happens, you're going to get countered.
"Our team needs to be more mature to get to the next level, and that would be taking Louisville to overtime."
DePaul's best chance to score came in the 83rd minute.
Curtis Weir had broken through the Cardinal defense with a run up the middle and fired a shot a step inside the box that forced goalkeeper Andre Boudreaux to make a diving save.
"I was pleased we had opportunities to win the game," Blazer said. "Weir's shot could have been a game-winner, but their goalie made an outstanding save."
There was no letup in the Blue Demons' defensive intensity after a scoreless first half. That was critical against a Louisville team that has outscored its opponents 18-4 in the second half this season.
Jared Blincow headed up a back line with Austin Toth, Matt Leinauer and Brian Lunar that kept the Cardinals at bay. Time and again, Blincow stood his ground in front of the net and cleared out one cross after another.
"I was happy with the defensive effort of our entire team," Blazer said. "If we play this well on Saturday, we'll be in good shape."
It all comes down to the final game of the regular season with Syracuse stepping onto Wish Field for a 1 p.m. match.
DePaul's quest to make the BIG EAST Championship tournament for the sixth year in a row will hinge on the outcome of the Senior Day match.
NOTES: DePaul, Louisville, Villanova, Syracuse and Cincinnati are fighting for the final three playoff spots in the BIG EAST Red Division... No. 6/7 USF, Rutgers and No. 18/11 St. John's have clinched postseason berths... last season, DePaul clinched a playoff spot on the last day of the season with a road win over Rutgers... the last time Louisville played at Wish Field was in 2009... bus transportation issues had the Cardinals hustling onto Wish Field 20 minutes before kickoff, and then proceeding to score four goals in the first half of a 6-0 victory... on Wednesday, DePaul was outshot by Louisville 14-10 and had four shots on goal to eight for the Cardinals... Sorby made six saves and DePaul had one team save... David Leverentz led the Blue Demons with four shots and two shots on goal... Aguilar had three shots with one on goal... Weir took one shot, and it was right on target... David Selvaggi and Gustafson each took one shot... Louisville had a 7-2 advantage in corner kicks... Chicago Fire technical director and interim head coach Frank Klopas attended Wednesday's match... Joe Ferrari, John Jandl and Matt Leinauer will be honored during a special ceremony Saturday on Senior Day.