Men's Soccer Hosts USF and Villanova This Week
DePaul vs. #16/11 USF
DePaul vs. Villanova
Weekly Notes | USF: Demons Live | Villanova: Demons Live
CHICAGO - DePaul hosts a pair of BIG EAST foes at Wish Field this week starting on Wednesday against No. 16/11 USF followed by Villanova on Saturday. Following a conference-opening 2-0 win at Marquette, the Blue Demons have dropped four straight BIG EAST matches to Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Rutgers.
Taking the Tough Road: Wednesday’s opponent, USF, marks the fourth ranked opponent in a span of six matches. In addition to playing nationally-ranked at game time No. 8/11 Notre Dame, No. 8/14 West Virginia and No. 14/23 Northwestern, the Blue Demons played Illinois-Chicago to a 0-0 tie. The Flames entered the top 25 polls following the match against the Blue Demons and are currently ranked No. 7 in the NSCAA/adidas national poll and No. 9 in this week’s Soccer America top 25.
Rated G: In addition to the tough schedule this season, the Blue Demons are learning under fire as they regularly start nine players that are either freshman or sophomores. The 24-player roster features 17 student-athletes that are either sophomores or freshmen. In 10 of the 11 games this season, nine of the 11 starters have been freshmen or sophomores. Five of DePaul’s six goals have been scored by rookies, including four scores by Alex Mangan. Patrick Hopkins tallied his first collegiate goal at Xavier in the Marriott Kingsgate Xavier Challenge while junior Julian Chill notched his first score at Rutgers. Of the 97 Blue Demon shots attempted this season, 78 (80.4 percent) have been taken by a freshman or sophomore.
Looking at the Blue Demons: The 2006 season is the 25th in DePaul men’s soccer history... the 2-0 win at Marquette on Sept. 8 ended a 22-match winless streak on the road... in 27 career matches, goalkeeper Brian Visser has totaled six shutouts... he notched three in a four-game stretch against Illinois-Chicago, Marshall and Marquette... the UIC and Marshall games were double-overtime 0-0 ties... prior to the 0-0 ties at UIC and Marshall, DePaul had just one 0-0 tie since the start of the 2001 season (98 matches)... in his sixth season, head coach Craig Blazer returns 16 players and seven starters from a year ago... freshmen have scored five of the six goals this season... Alex Mangan leads the team with four goals while Patrick Hopkins found the net against Xavier and Julian Chill scored at Rutgers... Mangan has scored two goals in games against Loyola-Chicago and Marquette... 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)... DePaul is scheduled to play 18 regular-season matches with nine games at Wish Field in 2006... the Blue Demons are 17-12-5 in the last four-plus seasons in matches at Wish Field... the Blue Demons played in five overtime matches (0-3-2) in 2005 and eight games were decided by one goal (3-5)... the 2006 campaign has seen two overtime games (0-0-2) and four one-goal matches (1-3).
Noting USF: The Bulls, ranked No. 16 in the NSCAA/adidas national poll and No. 11 in this week’s Soccer America top 25, enter the match at 5-2-2 overall and 3-0-2 in BIG EAST play... last weekend, USF posted a 1-0 win at Villanova after playing West Virginia and Pittsburgh to a pair of ties... Rodrigo Hildago and Jordan Seabrook lead the team with seven points apiece on three goals and as assist... goalkeeper Dane Brenner has tallied four shutouts this season while holding a 0.74 goals against average... head coach George Kiefer is in his fifth season in Tampa. The Series: Wednesday is the 13th all-time meeting between the two programs with Bulls holding an 11-1 series advantage... USF posted a 3-1 win in Tampa last season.
Checking Out Villanova: The Wildcats host Rutgers on Wednesday before making the trip to Chicago this weekend... they enter play at 4-6-1 overall and 0-5-0 in BIG EAST matches... Michael Seamon leads the team with six points on four assists and a goal... three other players have scored twice while keeper Jason Friel has played 972 of 1034 minutes with three shutouts and a goals against average of 1.20... head coach Larry Sullivan is in his 16th year at Villanova. The Series: Saturday is the second meeting between the two schools... the Wildcats opened the series with a 3-1 decision in Philadelphia last year.
Marriott Kingsgate Honors: Patrick Hopkins and John Partyka were named to the All-Tournament team following games against Xavier and Marshall in the Marriott Kingsgate Xavier Challenge. Partyka led the DePaul defense in the shutout against Marshall and assisted Hopkins’ goal against Xavier.
Previously: Rutgers (Sept. 24) - Julian Chill scored his first career goal to tie the match midway through the first half. However, the Scarlet Knights added the go-ahead goal just before halftime followed by a second-half insurance goal for a 3-1 decision at Yurcak Field. Rutgers scored goals in the 27th, 42nd and 68th minutes while Chill’s score came at 27:02. Northwestern (Sept. 20) - A goal in the 73rd minute broke a scoreless tie and sent Northwestern to a 1-0 victory over DePaul at Wish Field. The Blue Demons outshot the Wildcats, 10-9, and Erich Reichmann’s bid for the equalizer hit the crossbar with five minute left in regulation. West Virginia (Sept. 17) - West Virginia scored goals in the fourth, 63rd and 89th minutes to take a 3-0 BIG EAST decision at Wish Field. The Mountaineers outshot the Blue Demons, 13-7, while Brian Visser finished the game with four saves. Pittsburgh (Sept. 15) - Keeyan Young scored the match’s only goal at 89:59 to give the visiting Panthers a 1-0 win. The two teams played scoreless soccer until Pittsburgh’s corner kick opportunity with nine seconds left in regulation was converted into a goal. Notre Dame (Sept. 10) - The Irish scored a goal in each half and an own goal late in the match for a 3-0 win in BIG EAST play. Notre Dame outshot the Blue Demons, 26-4, and scored goals in the second minute, 66th minute, and the own goal in the 72nd minute. Brian Visser totaled a career-high nine saves. Marquette (Sept. 8) - DePaul ended a 22-match winless streak on the road with a 2-0 win at Marquette. Freshman Alex Mangan scored two goals in a span of just over three minutes in the first half. His first score came off an assist from Erich Reichmann at 23:02 followed by a goal at 26:12 off an assist from Patrick Hopkins. Brian Visser tallied his third shutout of the season with four saves. Marshall (Sept. 3) - The Blue Demons played to their second scoreless tie in three games. The 20 shots for DePaul was a season high while Brian Visser finished with seven saves. Xavier (Sept. 1) - Freshman Patrick Hopkins tied the match in the 52nd minute with his first collegiate goal, but the host Musketeers knocked in the game-winner 10 minutes later for the 2-1 decision. DePaul attempted six shots while Xavier got off seven attempts. Illinois-Chicago (Aug. 30) - Despite being outshot, 15-0, the Blue Demon defense held UIC scoreless in a 0-0 tie at Flames Field. Brian Visser totaled three saves for the Blue Demons in the first night game in UIC soccer history. Loyola-Chicago (Aug. 27) - Freshman Alex Mangan scored two goals to erase a 1-0 deficit for a 2-1 win over the Ramblers. Following a Rambler goal in the ninth minute, Julian Chill’s serve from the right sideline found a wide-open Mangan with a header at 10:38. Midway through the second half, Mangan headed home another goal off a midfield free kick from John Partyka at 65:02. Valparaiso (Aug. 25) - DePaul opened the 2006 season with a 2-0 loss at Valparaiso. The Blue Demons outshot the Crusaders, 18-9, but couldn’t find the net as the home team scored a goal in each half.
Looking Forward: The regular season finishes with three of five matches at home. The five-game run starts at Louisville on Oct. 7 before Western Kentucky, St. John’s and Cincinnati visit Wish Field. Following the Cincinnati match on Oct. 18, the regular-season campaign wraps up at Syracuse on Oct. 21. The 2006 BIG EAST Championship begins on Oct. 24.
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. College Sports Television (CSTV) is set to air both semifinal matches with the championship game broadcast live on select BIG EAST regional outlets.