DePaul Striving for an Encore Performance
Sept. 13, 2011
CHICAGO - What DePaul does for an encore Wednesday night will speak volumes about the growth of a young soccer program.
The Blue Demons travel up Lake Shore Drive to face Loyola-Chicago in a 7 p.m. match fresh off its most impressive performance of the early season.
DePaul battled No. 3/3 Creighton to a scoreless tie for 108 minutes before succumbing 1-0 in double overtime last Sunday.
"The performance against Creighton is our new standard for energy and commitment," said DePaul coach Craig Blazer. "There is no reason our players and coaches shouldn't bring that to every game.
"The commitment to defense that we demonstrated on Sunday is now our starting point. So, how are we going to follow up the Creighton performance?"
For starters, the Blue Demon coach would enjoy seeing a few shots finding the back of the Loyola net.
"Our defense is getting better. Now, we need to put together a consistent offensive and defensive effort."
A key component in the DePaul defense is the high press that has been disrupting opposing attacks. Towards the end of the second overtime on Sunday, the press led to a couple of scoring chances and some runs in the box.
Loyola and DePaul will take the field at Loyola Soccer Park with identical 1-3-0 records, and both have scored four goals. The Ramblers have beaten Portland and lost to Drake, Washington and Western Michigan.
Freshman forward Brian Bement leads Loyola with two goals while seniors Tanner Nebia and Justin Koehler each have one goal.
The Blue Demons opened the season with a 3-1 victory over 2010 NCAA tournament qualifier Oakland, but lost to Illinois-Chicago, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville and Creighton.
"The lessons we take away from the Creighton game is that we have to be more disciplined on every play and work ahead of the other team on every play," Blazer said. "We put up a fight and made it difficult for Creighton with our best defensive effort of the season.
"I'd like to see us build off that game and come out Wednesday with the same energy we brought on Sunday. Let's execute better offensively and defensively and be in control of the match."
Blue Demon Quick Kicks
Leading scorer Aguilar is tied for fifth in the BIG EAST Conference on goals and third in points per game.
Aguilar is fifth in overall points in the BIG EAST and tied for eighth in total shots.
The Blue Demons topped Loyola 2-1 last year at Wish Field and tied the Ramblers 2-2 in double overtime in 2009 at Loyola Soccer Park.
DePaul is nearly even in shots with 49 in 2011 while opponents have taken 51 shots.
DePaul has 19 shots on goal and its opponents have 25.
Aguilar leads the Blue Demons with 15 shots and seven on goal.
Selvaggi has taken nine shots with two on goal.
Thiago Ganancio has one goal and has taken six shots with two on goal.
After Loyola-Chicago, the Blue Demons travel to Macomb, Ill. for a 1 p.m. match against Western Illinois (2-3-1).