DePaul Hoping to Finish Strong Against Drake on Tuesday
Sept. 16, 2013
CHICAGO – The Blue Demons are looking for a finishing kick as they head to Des Moines, Iowa for a 7 p.m. nonconference match Tuesday against Drake.
Coach Craig Blazer’s team has displayed a fighting spirit and competed aggressively throughout their early-season matches but come up a little short at the end. DePaul (1-4-0) has lost twice in overtime and once in double overtime to then-No. 19/22 Northwestern.
“The team framework is in place,” Blazer said. “Now, the individual and collective parts have to execute for 90 minutes or 110 minutes or whatever it takes to get the result.
“We are playing well, but we need to do a better job of finishing a game. There are a lot of positives in place, and we have to continue building on those things.”
The biggest plus DePaul has going is the tremendous play of senior goalkeeper Eric Sorby. His 11 saves kept the Blue Demons in the game at last Friday’s 2-1 overtime loss against Milwaukee. He was able to stop the Panthers five times in 1v1 situations.
Sorby enters the week leading the BIG EAST Conference in saves with 31 and is ranked No. 8 in the country in saves. He is also the BIG EAST leader in saves per game and ranks No. 10 in the nation.
Another positive is the emergence of junior forward Anthony Hunter in the first five matches. Hunter has two goals and one assist to lead the team with five points. Freshman Pat Flynn is right behind him with two goals and four points.
The center-back tandem of sophomore Jalen Harvey and junior Koray Yesilli has solidified the middle of the Blue Demon defense. Harvey scored his first collegiate goal in a 3-1 win over Illinois-Chicago and Yesilli recorded his first collegiate assist on a Hunter goal in a 3-2 overtime loss at Wisconsin.
DePaul will encounter a Drake team that has opened the season 1-3-1. The Bulldogs got into the win column last Friday with a 4-3 result over Nebraska-Omaha. They have lost to then-No. 14 Tulsa, Cal Poly and Marquette and tied Milwaukee. Drake has been outscored 15-8 on the season and been outshot 90-65.
Sophomore forward Danton Irelan leads the Bulldogs with three goals and one assist for seven points while junior midfielder Jarred Arde has two goals and two assists.
“Now is the time that we’ve got to find a way to close out games,” Blazer said. “It’s a situation where you have to keep doing all the little things.
“Once you’re doing that at the end of games, you give yourself an opportunity to win. If something doesn’t work in one game, find a way to make an improvement for the next game.”