DePaul Men's Soccer Announces 2011 Schedule
July 8, 2011
CHICAGO - Five teams that competed in the NCAA Championship tournament headline the 2011 DePaul Men's Soccer schedule announced by coach Craig Blazer on Friday.
The greatest challenge for a young Blue Demon team could come from Louisville, which finished second to Akron in last year's NCAA Championship.
A DePaul ballclub featuring 13 freshmen and 10 sophomores will also tangle with Creighton and Georgetown---both of whom advanced to the NCAA second round. BIG EAST rival USF and Summit League champion Oakland also qualified for the NCAA tournament.
The Blue Demons open with an exhibition match Aug. 14 at Eastern Illinois. They confront Oakland in the regular-season opener Aug. 27 at Wish Field.
DePaul will be looking to earn a berth in the BIG EAST Championship for the sixth year in a row, and Blazer was encouraged by the way his young guys performed in the spring exhibition season.
"We wanted to develop a winning attitude, and they responded well going 5-2-2 in the spring," Blazer said. "We were successful with that winning attitude, learning how we are going to defend and attack, and improving on our restarts.
"The players have taken ownership of this team and are holding themselves accountable. We know spring competition is not the same pressure as in the fall, but our guys are headed in the right direction."
Blazer & Co. came away with victories over Butler, Illinois-Chicago, Loyola-Chicago, University of Chicago and Oakton in the spring.
The leadership for this young team will come from its only seniors---Leinauer and John Jandl--- along with juniors Aguilar and Ferrari.
"Our biggest challenge is going to be our inexperience," Blazer said. "But it's a group of guys that is having fun as they learn to improve. They get along very well and are willing to put the overall interest of the team ahead of everything else.
"That's how I know they'll come back in August with a high degree of fitness.
"They won't want to let their fellow teammates down."