Chicago Cup Highlights Spring Soccer Season
April 18, 2012
CHICAGO - DePaul kicked off its men's soccer spring schedule with a pair of matches April 1st at Notre Dame against Valparaiso and Western Michigan.
But the highlight of the Blue Demons' eight-match spring season is the Third Annual Chicago Cup on Saturday, April 21 hosted by Northwestern. The Blue Demons will face the host Wildcats at 3:30 p.m. at Lakeside Field while Loyola Chicago and Illinois-Chicago meet in the other match.
The winners advance to the 7:15 p.m. title game and the losers to the 6 p.m. consolation match. The Blue Demons won this event last year and UIC won the inaugural Chicago Cup in 2010.
"Our athletes look forward to playing the other local teams," said DePaul coach Craig Blazer. "It's an event that resonates within the Chicago college soccer culture and is developing rivalries. It's fun for the coaches, and I know the players enjoy the tournament.
"Playing at Northwestern will allow our guys to get acclimated to that facility. We'll play there in the fall, and we also have both UIC and Loyola coming to Wish Field in the regular season."
Blazer said the match against Northwestern has been dubbed the "Plotkin Cup" in honor of DePaul's new assistant coach and former Blue Demon midfielder Mark Plotkin who spent the last two years as Director of Operations for Northwestern's soccer program.
Strategy-wise, Plotkin knows a little about the NU team.
"Yes, that should give us an advantage," Blazer said with a smile.
Overall, the spring season will give Blazer, Plotkin and assistant coach Craig Reynolds a chance to evaluate their returning players, including All-BIG EAST First Team selection Antonio Aguilar and All-BIG EAST Rookie Team selection David Selvaggi.
"We'll learn more about our team going against quality competition this spring," Blazer said. "It also provides some of our guys with the game experience they might not have gotten last fall."
(To follow results of the Blue Demons this spring, log onto depaulbluedemons.com and bring up the Men's Soccer page. On the left-hand side in the SPORT LINKS section, click on Spring Schedule.)