Blue Demons Drop Opener to Valparaiso
CHICAGO Patrick Hopkins' bid for a game-tying goal in the 86th minute was knocked out of the frame by a Valparaiso defender and the visiting Crusaders held on for a 1-0 win over DePaul. The match was the season opener for the Blue Demons.
Trailing 1-0 with just under five minutes left in regulation, Willy Lara set up a corner kick that found Hopkins at the mouth of the goal. Hopkins headed the pass for what was thought to be the equalizer, but a Valparaiso defender was at the back post to head it out and it was cleared by the Crusaders.
The two teams played even throughout the warm afternoon as the Blue Demons totaled 14 shots to a dozen for Valparaiso. Early in the second half, Jon Obial was able to get the match's only goal as he fired a low, rolling shot from 40 yards that beat DePaul's Brian Visser to the right corner. His first goal of the season came at 52:55.
DePaul (0-1-0) was on the offensive early in the match as Matt Leinauer's shot from the left side hit the far post less than two minutes into play. Fifteen minutes later, Lara started one of the 10 Blue Demon corner kicks and found Hopkins. Hopkins headed the ball back over to an open Peter Sterbenz and his liner was stopped by Crusader goalkeeper Kyle Zobeck.
Visser finished the match with five saves for DePaul and also stopped a number of Valparaiso (2-0-0) attacks inside the 18-yard box. Zobeck also totaled five stops in the net.
The Blue Demons head to Milwaukee next weekend as one of four teams playing in the Marquette Invitational. DePaul takes on Columbia on Friday evening before playing Penn on Sunday afternoon.
Game Notes: DePaul's Wish Field winning streak dating back to last season was ended at five games... DePaul leads the all-time series, 11-7-3.