Vroom, Ferrari Enough for a Pitt Stop
PITTSBURGH - There was a lot going on in this western Pennsylvania locale on Friday with President Barack Obama and other world leaders convening for the G20 summit.
Despite all the commotion, detours and distractions, DePaul never lost its focus in coming away with a 1-0 victory over Pittsburgh for its second-straight BIG EAST Conference victory.
"There were roadblocks everywhere, and we had to take a detour to the game," said DePaul coach Craig Blazer. "There were all kinds of policemen and security forces in the streets.
"Some of the leaders from Germany and their delegation were staying in our hotel. There were SWAT teams in our hotel.
"Our coaching staff and school administration did a great job working around all of this. I'd also like to give special thanks to Pittsburgh for their accomodations."
Blazer gave credit to the seven seniors on his team for displaying their maturity in this unique situation.
One of those seniors, Steffen Vroom, also came through with the winning goal in the 56th minute.
"Antonio Aguilar did a great job playing a very specific ball to Vroom on a cross from the left side," Blazer said. "Vroom was able to position himself into a one-on-one opportunity against a Pitt defender. He was able to hold his position, got up above the defender and headed the ball in."
Some brilliant goaltending by Joe Ferrari saved the Blue Demons in the beginning. Pittsburgh (1-7-0, 0-3-0) came out determined to end a six-game losing streak and had unleashed five shots at DePaul by the 18th minute.
Ferrari made three saves, including one that appeared headed for the back of the net. DePaul (5-3-0, 2-1-0) eventually recovered and fired its first shot in the 21st minute.
"They were all over us," Blazer said. "It was difficult to get our passing game going because of all the pressure we were under. It took us a little while to get adjusted. When we brought Vroom into the game, that took some pressure off the backs.
"Our defense and goalkeeping were outstanding. Ferrari gets better and better with each game. That's saying something to get a shutout on the road in the BIG EAST."
NOTES: This was the first shutout for Ferrari in his collegiate career, and he came away with five saves against Pittsburgh... Aguilar, the talented freshman, led the Blue Demons in shots with four while Vroom and Alex Mangan each had three and Mark Plotkin launched two... DePaul out shot Pitt 12-11, with seven of Pitt's shots coming in the first half... Vroom's game-winner gives him the team lead in goals with four and points with nine... right behind him is Aguilar with three goals and eight points... up next is another road test, Sunday at West Virginia.