Blue Demons Optimistic After Successful Spring Season
June 3, 2014
CHICAGO - A good start and a rewarding finish aptly describe the results of the spring exhibition season for the DePaul men's soccer team.
From early March to early May, these Blue Demons found out a good deal about themselves and how that fits into the team's style of play.
"Opening up the spring season with a result over Lindsey Wilson University was a good start," said DePaul coach Craig Blazer about the 3-2 victory. "We found out that our guys are very capable of playing well against a good soccer team.
"As we went through the spring with starts and stops and spring break, we put together some good performances. We finished up the spring with a good feeling and understanding of how we want to play."
Simon Megally had two goals and an assist in the spring opener while Art Garza found the back of the net on assists from Megally and Erik Rodriguez. Anthony Hunter assisted on Megally's first score. Later that evening, Rodriguez scored off a feed from Hunter in DePaul's 2-1 loss to 2012 NCAA champion Indiana on its home field.
After a 1-0 loss to Valparaiso on April 6, Art Garza scored in a 1-1 tie with Western Michigan. Beginning with that result, the Blue Demons were 2-1-2 to close out the exhibition season.
Garza scored again in a 1-1 tie with Illinois-Chicago in which DePaul advanced on penalty kicks to the title game of the April 12 Chicago Cup at Northwestern. Blazer's team dropped a 1-0 decision to the host Wildcats.
Finishing up strong, Rodriguez scored the game-winner on an assist from Kevin Beyer in a 1-0 win over Roosevelt University on April 27. One week later, Megally tallied the only goal of the match on assists from Rodriguez and Jake Rawlings in a 1-0 victory over the University of Chicago.
"Our group's objective in the spring was to be successful with an overall team effort, and we achieved that in different ways," Blazer said. "It was encouraging that the guys learned about themselves and the dynamics they bring along with the responsibilities they have for the team.
"We were successful in getting more and more specific about how we want to play, and the guys really responded well. It was exciting to see our players really coming together. When things didn't go right, they had the ability to tackle the challenge and get it back on track.
"The next step is to get our incoming freshmen and new players acclimated and continue to cultivate this belief and understanding."
One other result solidified the Blue Demons heading into the 2014 season.
"Congratulations to our three captains voted upon by the team---Koray Yesilli, Art Garza and Brian Hindle," Blazer said. "These three young men have demonstrated tremendous accountability and leadership."