CHICAGO - Blue Demons set to take on host UW-Milwaukee on Saturday and UW-Green Bay on Sunday in nation's oldest collegiate soccer tournament.
CHICAGO - The DePaul men's soccer team travels to Milwaukee for the 30th annual Coca-Cola Panther Invitational. The Blue Demons play host UW-Milwaukee on Saturday at 2 p.m. before playing UW-Green Bay on Sunday at noon. DePaul stands at 0-1-1 after a 6-0 loss to No. 15 Portland and a 1-1 tie against No. 7 Washington in the NIKE Portland Invitational last weekend.
Nothing But the Best
A quick look at the 2002 schedule shows that the Blue Demons have their work cut out for them. Consider this, five opponents (No. 7 Washington, No. 10 UAB, No. 11 Saint Louis, No. 15 Portland, No. 17 UW-Milwaukee) were ranked in the preseason top 25 by Soccer America. Of those five, the Blue Demons open their season at three ranked squads. DePaul doesn't play a home match until Oct. 5 against Memphis, a span of nine consecutive games.
Looking at the Blue Demons
DePaul returns 10 players and welcomes 12 newcomers to the 2002 roster... of those 10 returners, two are seniors, three are juniors and there are five sophomores... offensively, the Blue Demons return seven players that scored at least one goal... senior Ed Kiefer is the top returning scorer for DePaul... he finished last season second on the club with nine points on three goals and three assists... sophomore Luke Rojo was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman team after tallying three assists and scoring a goal his rookie year... junior Jonathan Foley and Bob Kruse will serve as team captains in 2002... after opening the season with nine straight road matches, the Blue Demons play seven of the remaining 10 regular-season matches at Wish Field... head coach Craig Blazer is in his first season without the "Interim" tag... he was named interim coach a day before the first exhibition game last season after Tom Secco resigned... following this weekend's action, the Blue Demons will play at Northern Illinois on Sept. 15 and open Conference USA play at East Carolina on Sept. 20.
Looking at the Opponents
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee - The host Panthers stand at 0-1-1 after opening-weekend matches at Tulsa (L, 2-1 OT) and at SMU (1-1, T)... a year ago they posted an 18-5 record and earned a NCAA Tournament berth... the Panthers are currently ranked 23rd in the latest collegesoccernews.com top 30... head coach Louis Bennett is in his 10th season with the UWM program... the Panthers lead the all-time series, 4-0, including a 4-1 win over the Blue Demons last year in Milwaukee.
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay - The Phoenix stand at 0-2 heading into this weekend... they dropped matches against Loyola Marymount (3-0) and Cal-State Northridge (3-0) last weekend... last season UW-Green Bay posted a 4-10-3 record... head coach Simon Boddison is in his seventh season with the Phoenix... DePaul trails in the all-time series, 2-0... this will be the first meeting since the two schools met in 1987 and 1988.
Recapping the NIKE Portland Invitational
The 15th-ranked Portland Pilots were too much for the visiting Blue Demons as they won, 6-0, in the Saturday opener. DePaul was able to get off only five shots compared to 18 for the Pilots. The first half saw Portland's Sheldin Maistry score two goals. In the 20th minute, he scored off of a indirect free kick and followed that with a score at 31:10 off of a pass from Jarrod Weis. It was the first of four assists on the day for Weis. Portland put the match out of reach in the first 10 minutes of the second half as Nate Jaqua scored at 50:47 and Alejandro Salazar scored in the 55th minute. Less than three minutes later at 57:33, Patrick Mooney scored Portland's fifth goal while Jaqua tallied the match's final score in the 85th minute.
On Monday, the Blue Demons bounced back and salvaged a 1-1 tie against the seventh-ranked Washington Huskies. With the Blue Demons trailing 1-0, Edwin Arreola headed in a cross from Bob Kruse to tie the match. The Arreola goal came at 67:26 and followed the Washington goal by Patrick Tanner in the 60th minute. From that point, the two teams played to a draw over the end of regulation and two overtime periods. DePaul keeper Michael Timlin finished the match with five saves while facing 20 shots.