Men's Soccer Concludes Preseason Schedule at Western Michigan
Exhibition Match #2
CHICAGO – Head coach Craig Blazer and the DePaul men’s soccer team travel to Kalamazoo, Mich., for their second exhibition game of the 2006 season. Following Sunday’s preseason match, the Blue Demons open the regular-season schedule at Valparaiso on Friday afternoon.
Warm-Ups: DePaul dropped a 2-1 decision in the first exhibition match on Tuesday afternoon against Northern Illinois. The Blue Demons tied the match at 1-1 with a Nathan Feltz goal in the 82nd minute before the Huskies knocked in the game-winner at 83:09.
Noting the Blue Demons: In his sixth season, head coach Craig Blazer returns 16 players and seven starters from a year ago... DePaul is scheduled to play 18 regular-season matches with nine games at Wish Field in 2006... Jeff DeGroot is the top returning scorer with six points on three goals in 2005... Julian Chille led the team with four assists last season while Brian Visser totaled 67 saves and three shutouts in his freshman campaign... the Blue Demons are 16-10-5 in the last four seasons in matches at Wish Field.
Checking Out Western Michigan: The Broncos posted a record of 9-9-2 overall and and reached the Mid-American Conference semifinals last season... the team was picked fourth in the MAC preseason coaches poll… head coach Chris Karwoski is in his ninth season in Kalamazoo and returns five starters and nine letterwinners from a year ago... leading scorer Tom Oatley returns after totaling 12 goals in 2005 while Nashir Carabali accumulated 19 points on six goals and seven assists last season… Western Michigan defeated NAIA Davenport University of Grand Rapids, Mich., 2-1, in their first exhibition match.
Looking Forward: Following the second preseason tune-up at Western Michigan on Sunday, DePaul opens the 2006 campaign at Valparaiso on Friday, Aug. 25. The early-season local flavor continues as DePaul hosts Loyola-Chicago on Sunday, Aug. 27, and travels three miles down Halsted Ave. to play Illinois-Chicago on Wednesday, Aug. 30.
Preseason Picks: In the annual preseason BIG EAST coaches poll and all-conference teams, the Blue Demons were picked to finish eighth in the Red Division. USF edged St. John's in the Red Division as the favorite while Connecticut narrowly topped Notre Dame as the Blue Division preseason pick.
2006 BIG EAST Championship: The semifinals and championship of the 2006 BIG EAST Men's Soccer Championship will take place in Piscataway, N.J. on the campus of Rutgers. The first round and quarterfinals matches will be hosted by the higher-seeded team beginning on Oct. 24. The champion receives the league's automatic bid to the 48-team NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship. College Sports Television (CSTV) is set to air both semifinal matches with the championship game broadcast live on select BIG EAST regional outlets.