Two Late Goals Spoil DePaul's Season Opener at Drake
DES MOINES, IOWA - For nearly 80 minutes, DePaul's defense withstood the offensive barrage from one of the top men's soccer teams in the country.
Drake had taken eight shots to none for DePaul in the second half when the ninth one eluded Blue Demon goalkeeper Eric Sorby and led to a 2-0 defeat Tuesday night in the season opener at the Cownie Soccer Complex.
Drake's Garrett Webb notched his first goal of the season with a shot from the top of the box that beat Sorby to the upper right corner at the 79-minute, 39-second mark. At 88:04, Webb scored again right in front of the net after a centering pass from Thomas Ostrander.
``They definitely brought a tremendous effort in the second half,'' DePaul coach Craig Blazer said about the Bulldogs. ``We did a great job defensively for practically 80 minutes.
``On the disappointing side, Drake was able to change the way we play. We ended up defending way too much.''
DePaul managed just one shot in the second half, an on-goal attempt from Alex Mangan, who entered the game at the 59:24 mark. Steffen Vroom and Peter Sterbenz each had a shot in the first half. Drake wound up outshooting the Blue Demons 12-3, including 9-1 in the second half.
``Our guys like to play a possession style of soccer,'' Blazer said. ``We can usually hold the ball, move it forward and break down teams. But we couldn't hold the ball tonight. We would turn the ball over and lose our offensive rhythm.
``I was extremely pleased with the first half, but we need to follow up with a quality second half. We held a good Drake team to 0-0 for almost 80 miinutes. But we can do better in possessing the ball and attacking.
``It goes hand-in-hand. The more attacking we do, the less pressure there is on the defense.''
They will look to go on the attack Saturday when Green Bay comes to Wish Field for DePaul's 4 p.m.home opener. The Blue Demons are ready to replace the memory of a disappointing 1-0 loss to Valparaiso in last year's home opener.
NOTES: Freshman goalkeeper Sorby had one save against Drake... Drake's Webb only took two shots, and both found the net... Sterbenz was assessed a yellow card in the second half, and the Blue Demons were tagged with a team yellow card at 80:34.