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Men's Soccer Starts Season at Valparaiso

DePaul at Valparaiso
Friday, Aug. 25, 2006
Eastgate Field - 5 p.m.

DePaul vs. Loyola-Chicago
Sunday, Aug. 27, 2006
Wish Field - 4 p.m.

Weekly Notes  | Valparaiso WebCast

CHICAGO - The DePaul men’s soccer team opens the 2006 slate with a pair of weekend non-conference matches.  DePaul travels to Valparaiso for a Friday evening game before hosting Loyola-Chicago on Sunday afternoon.  Sunday’s match is the second game of a DePaul soccer doubleheader with the women’s team opening the action at Wish Field against Eastern Washington at 1 p.m.

Looking at the Blue Demons: The 2006 season is the 25th in DePaul men’s soccer history... 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 Chill 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... 17 student-athletes on the 24-player roster are either sophomores or freshmen... DePaul has lost 20 consecutive road matches since a 2-0 victory at UW-Green Bay on Oct. 15, 2003... the Blue Demons played in five overtime matches (0-3-2) in 2005 and eight games were decided by one goal (3-5).

Noting Valparaiso: The Crusaders return 16 players and seven starters from last season’s team... overall, Valparaiso was 6-10-2 and posted a 3-2-1 record in the Mid-Continent Conference... D.J. Catrow is the top returning scorer with team-high’s of 18 points on six goals and six assists... head coach Mis’ Mrak is in his 16th season at Valparaiso.

Checking On Loyola-Chicago: Loyola-Chicago welcomes back eight starters and 21 letterwinners from a 2005 squad that posted a 7-9-2 overall record... the Ramblers finished in a tie for fourth in the Horizon League with a 4-3-0 mark in league play... Keum Sung Kim is the top returning scorer after leading the Ramblers last season with 17 points on six goals and five assists... head coach Brendan Eitz is in his second season at Loyola-Chicago.

Warm-Ups: The Blue Demons split a pair of exhibition matches in preparation for the 2006 season.  DePaul dropped a 2-1 decision in the first exhibition match on Aug. 15 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.  On Aug. 20, DePaul topped Western Michigan, 1-0, behind a goal from Julian Chill in the 38th minute.  DePaul outshot the Broncos, 19-12, in the 90 minute match.

Looking Forward: Following this weekend’s action, DePaul plays the next five matches away from Wish Field.  The Blue Demons travel three miles down Halsted Ave. to play Illinois-Chicago on Wednesday, Aug. 30, before heading to Cincinnati for the Xavier Tournament next weekend.  DePaul plays host Xavier on Sept. 1 and Marshall on Sept. 3.

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.