Blue Demons Host Dolphins in 2007 Opener
DePaul vs. Jacksonville
CHICAGO - The DePaul men’s soccer team lifts the lid on the 2007 campaign against the Jacksonville Dolphins. The match is set for a 4 p.m. start at Wish Field. Friday’s match is the first of six straight at home for the Blue Demons to start the 2007 campaign.
Wish Field Openers a Rarity: DePaul’s season-opening match at home is just the second time the Blue Demons have started the season on Wish Field since the 2004 campaign. Since 2000, Friday’s match is just the second home game to begin a season. The Blue Demons started the 2004 season with a 2-0 win over Loyola-Chicago at Wish Field. A year ago, DePaul opened the season with a 2-1 defeat at Valparaiso.
Noting the Blue Demons: DePaul returns 21 players from last season’s team that qualified for the 2006 BIG EAST Championship... the 2006 tournament appearance was the first for DePaul since the 1998 Conference USA Tournament... DePaul looks to continue the program’s improvement in BIG EAST play as the 2005 squad totaled seven points on a 2-8-1 record before last season’s team finished sixth in the Red Division with 12 points on a 4-7-0 record... after playing in 18 of 19 games last season with nine of the 11 starters as freshmen and sophomores, the Blue Demons return 10 starters this year... 10 of the 13 goals in 2006 were scored by a freshman or sophomore... Alex Mangan led the team with five goals while Julian Chill is back for his senior season after totaling six points on two goals and two assists in 2006... Chill needs four assists to move into the program’s all-time top five in career helpers... goalkeeper Brian Visser has totaled seven shutouts in 35 career matches while accumulating 153 saves... last season, he started all 19 matches, making 86 saves and allowing 26 goals... in his two-year career he has played in 3,277 of a possible 3,389 minutes in the net... his totals account for just under 97 percent of the minutes played in goal in the last two seasons.
Blazer Begins Seventh Season: Head coach Craig Blazer enters his seventh season with DePaul. He begins the 2007 campaign with a career record of 31-70-11 in his six seasons. In the last five years under Blazer, the Blue Demons have posted a 19-16-5 record at Wish Field. Last season the Blue Demons went 3-6-0 at Wish Field with wins over No. 11 USF and St. John’s.
Scouting Jacksonville: The Dolphins begin the 2007 season after posting a 7-11-1 record last season... Anton Axelsson leads 14 returning players after totaling 21 points on eight goals and five assists in 2006... the Dolphins were picked to finish third in the preseason Atlantic Sun poll... head coach Mike Johnson begins his fifth season with the Dolphins... Jacksonville defeated North Florida, 4-2, before being rained out against Central Florida in its exhibition season.
Exhibition Recap: DePaul won two exhibition matches over Northern Illinois and Western Michigan. The Blue Demons were victorious in both warm-ups by identical 2-0 scores. DePaul’s third exhibition match was cancelled after two attempts to play the game were postponed because of heavy rain.
Preseason Picks: The Blue Demons were picked to finish eighth in the Red Division by the league’s 16 coaches. DePaul was picked to finish eighth in 2006 before placing sixth and advancing to the BIG EAST Championship. Connecticut was selected to win the Blue Division while St. John’s was picked as the Red Division preseason favorite.
2007 BIG EAST Championship: The semifinals and championship of the 2007 BIG EAST Men’s Soccer Championship will take place in Storrs, Conn., on the campus of the University of Connecticut. The first round and quarterfinal matches will be hosted by the higher-seeded team on Nov. 7 and Nov. 10. The champion receives the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship.