Men's Soccer Starts BIG EAST Play on the Road
CHICAGO - The Blue Demons start BIG EAST play on the road this weekend with a two-game trip that takes them to Seton Hall and Georgetown. DePaul plays at Seton Hall on Friday afternoon before a Sunday matinee at Georgetown.
DePaul begins league play as the defending BIG EAST Red Division champions. Seton Hall and Georgetown are two of four BIG EAST Blue Division teams that DePaul faces before closing the league slate with Red Division foes.
DePaul stands at 1-2-2 on the season after playing to a pair of scoreless ties last weekend. The Blue Demons played 110 minutes at Green Bay on Friday night before a 110-minute match in heavy rain on Sunday against Butler. Seton Hall is 4-2-0 overall while the Hoyas stand at 5-1-0 and 0-1-0 in BIG EAST action.
Noting the Blue Demons: DePaul is now 4-0-2 in the last six overtime matches dating back to last season... the Blue Demons entered the 2008 season with a five-match win streak at Wish Field... the loss 1-0 loss to Valparaiso on Aug. 31 ended the win streak... Alex Mangan has scored 12 goals in 36 career matches... eight of his 12 career goals have been game-winners... he is tied for 19th all-time with 25 points (12G/1A)... in 59 career matches, Brian Visser has played in 5,416 of a possible 5,631 minutes in the net... his totals account for just over 96 percent of the minutes played in goal in the last three-plus seasons... the 0-0 tie against Butler marked the 20th career shutout for Visser... DePaul is now 28-17-6 in the last six-plus seasons at Wish Field.
BIG EAST Improvement: DePaul has improved in each of its three BIG EAST campaigns. The 2005 squad totaled seven points on a 2-8-1 record before the 2006 team finished sixth in the Red Division with 12 points on a 4-7-0 record. A year ago, the Blue Demons were picked to finish eighth in the preseason coaches poll and surprised the entire BIG EAST by winning the Red Division with 21 points and a 7-4-0 league record.
Checking on Seton Hall: The Pirates are 4-2-0 entering the start of conference play... Seton Hall opened the season with four straight victories before suffering a pair of defeats at the Princeton Invitational last weekend... the Pirates to Penn, 2-0, and Princeton, 3-1... Penn also defeated DePaul, 2-0, at the Marquette Invitational on Sept. 7... Samuel Petrone leads the team and BIG EAST with eight goals this season... head coach Manfred Schellscheidt is in his 22nd season at Seton Hall.
Looking at Georgetown: The Hoyas are 5-1-0 overall and 0-1-0 in BIG EAST action... a 1-0 loss to Providence on Sept. 13 ended a season-opening five-match win streak... Georgetown hosts USF on Friday before playing the Blue Demons on Sunday... Chandler Diggs leads the team with five points on two goals and an assist... head coach Brian Wiese is in his third season at Georgetown.
Marquette Invitational Recap: The Blue Demons finished second in the four-team Marquette Invitational with three players earning All-Tournament Team recognition. DePaul’s 1-1-0 record for three points was second to Penn with four points (1-0-1). Willy Lara, John Kornfeld and Steffen Vroom were named to the All-Tournament Team.
Steffen Vroom scored in the 23rd minute against Columbia to lead DePaul past the Lions, 1-0. The Blue Demons outshot Columbia, 13-5, while Brian Visser was credited with one save in the shutouts. DePaul followed the win with a 2-0 loss to Penn. The Blue Demons had chances as Penn was able to thwart a penalty kick opportunity in the 63rd minute and a DePaul shot hit the crossbar in the 78th minute. DePaul outshot the Quakers, 12-7, and held a 7-4 advantage in corner kicks.
Preseason Picks: The Blue Demons were picked to finish fourth, and picked up two first-place votes, in the Red Division by the league’s 16 coaches. Connecticut was selected to win the Blue Division while USF was picked as the Red Division preseason favorite. O’Brian White from Connecticut was named the preseason Offensive Player of the Year while USF’s Yohance Marshall received the Defensive Player of the Year nod and DePaul’s Brian Visser was the pick for preseason Goalkeeper of the Year. Visser is the first DePaul player to be named a conference player of the year honoree.
Blazer In Eighth Season: Head coach Craig Blazer is in his eighth season with DePaul. He holds a career record of 44-80-13 in his seven-plus seasons. In the last six-plus years under Blazer, the Blue Demons have posted a 28-17-6 record at Wish Field. Last season the Blue Demons went a program-best 9-1-0 at Wish Field with wins over No. 2 Connecticut and No. 21 Louisville.
2008 BIG EAST Championship: The semifinals and championship of the 2007 BIG EAST Men’s Soccer Championship will take place in Tampa, Fla., on the campus of the University of South Florida on Nov. 14 and 16. The first round and quarterfinal matches will be hosted by the higher-seeded team on Nov. 5 and Nov. 8. The champion receives the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship.
Wish Field Openers: DePaul’s season-opening match at home against Valparaiso marked the second straight year beginning the season at Wish Field, but just the second time overall since the 2004 campaign. Since 2000, Sunday’s match was just the third home game to begin a season. The Blue Demons started the 2004 season with a 2-0 win over Loyola-Chicago at Wish Field. A year ago, DePaul opened the season with a 2-0 victory against Jacksonville at Wish Field.
DePaul hosts nine matches at Wish Field this season after posting a school-record 9-1-0 mark last year. The Blue Demons defended the home turf in dominating fashion as they allowed just three goals in the 10 home matches and scored a total of 13 times. A 1-0 win over No. 2 Connecticut highlighted the home-field slate in 2007 while DePaul also dispatched No. 21 Louisville in Lincoln Park.