Road Matches Open BIG EAST Schedule
DePaul at Marquette
DePaul at #8/11 Notre Dame
CHICAGO - DePaul jumps into BIG EAST play with a pair of road games at Marquette and Notre Dame this weekend. The Blue Demons begin the weekend on Friday night in Milwaukee against the Golden Eagles and close the conference weekend at Notre Dame on Sunday. A year ago, the Blue Demons posted a 2-8-1 record in the first season of BIG EAST action.
Looking at the Blue Demons: The 2006 season is the 25th in DePaul men’s soccer history... in 21 career matches, goalkeeper Brian Visser has totaled five shutouts... he notched two last week against Illinois-Chicago and Marshall... both games were double-overtime 0-0 ties... the 0-0 tie at UIC ended a 21-match losing streak on the road... however, the Blue Demons are still winless in their last 22 road games following the 2-1 loss at Xavier on Sept. 1... DePaul is 0-21-1 during the run... prior to last week, DePaul had just one 0-0 tie since the start of the 2001 season (98 matches)... the Blue Demons tallied two 0-0 ties in the span of five days at Illinois-Chicago on Aug. 30 and against Marshall on Sept. 3... 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 Visser totaled 67 saves and three shutouts in his freshman campaign... freshmen have scored all three goals this season... Alex Mangan scored two goals against Loyola-Chicago and Patrick Hopkins found the net against Xavier... Mangan’s two-goal effort against Loyola-Chicago was the first DePaul multi-goal game since Patrick Vyncke’s two scores against Evansville on Sept. 17, 2004 in the Dayton Marriott Flyer Classic (31 matches)... the Blue Demons are 17-10-5 in the last four-plus seasons in matches at Wish Field... 17 student-athletes on the 24-player roster are either sophomores or freshmen... in the season-opener at Valparaiso, nine of the 11 starters were either freshman or sophomores... the Blue Demons played in five overtime matches (0-3-2) in 2005 and eight games were decided by one goal (3-5).
Noting Marquette: The Golden Eagles enter BIG EAST play at 1-2-1... they topped Loyola-Chicago to start the season followed by a tie with Denver and losses to Loyola Marymount and UW-Green Bay... Dan Addis has scored twice to lead the team while goalkeeper Matt Pyzdrowski has totaled 14 saves... head coach Louis Bennett is in his first season with the Golden Eagles.
Checking Out Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish begin the weekend at 2-1-1 and host USF on Friday night... they are ranked eighth in this week’s NSCAA/adidas Top 25 and No. 11 in the Soccer America national rankings... after dropping a season-opening 1-0 overtime loss to UAB, Notre Dame defeated No. 8 Creighton, tied Saint Louis and knocked off No. 12 Indiana... Joseph Lapira has scored five goals for 10 points to lead the offense while goalkeepers Andrew Quinn and Chris Cahill have split time to combine for 12 saves... head coach Bobby Clark is in his sixth season at Notre Dame.
Looking Forward: Following this week’s action, DePaul closes the five-game road swing with a pair of BIG EAST matches. The Blue Demons head to Milwaukee on Sept. 8 for a Friday night match at Marquette followed by a Sunday afternoon game at Notre Dame on Sept. 10. DePaul returns to Wish Field the weekend of Sept. 15 for conference matches against Pittsburgh and West Virginia.
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.