Blue Demons Want to Rock on Field Trip Day
Sept. 27, 2011
CHICAGO - There will be nearly 500 screaming school children packing the Cacciatore Stadium stands at noon on Wednesday, and DePaul would like to put on an entertaining show.
The Blue Demons take on local rival Northwestern (3-3-2) in the annual Field Trip Day soccer match, looking to build on the momentum from last Saturday's 2-1 victory over Seton Hall in their BIG EAST Conference opener.
"It's always great to have a lot of people in the stands cheering us on," said DePaul coach Craig Blazer, whose team will also have the vocal support of the Blue Demons women's soccer players. "There's nothing like a loud home crowd to get you fired up."
Heading up Blazer's attack are preseason All-BIG EAST Conference selection Antonio Aguilar and David Selvaggi, who was named to the BIG EAST Honor Roll after scoring three goals in two games last week.
"Tony is the guy everybody marks, and with good reason," Blazer said. "He is a very dangerous scorer.
"David is a very talented, offensive-minded player who was one of the top recruits coming out of the Chicago area last year.
"For his position as a forward, he has an outstanding shot and a knack for scoring. We want to continue putting Tony and David in goal-scoring opportunities."
Blazer is also looking to shore up the DePaul defense against Northwestern.
"We're trying to make corrections on defense so that we're more in control of the game," Blazer said. "We want to do a better job of managing tempo and getting into a rhythm.
"We have a number of talented offensive players, but we haven't developed an identity on defense or an understanding of how to win games through defending."
With such a young team, the Blue Demons are forced to learn through on-the-job training.
"We are starting to gain an overall awareness of how to defend," Blazer said. "Right now, our younger guys are getting a tremendous education of the game that you can only attain by playing.
"You learn to improve by eliminating mistakes."
Northwestern is led by 6-foot, 3-inch forward Oliver Kupe with a team-high three goals. The Wildcats' 6-4 goalkeeper Tyler Miller has four shutouts this season and a goals-against average of 0.54.
"This is a well-organized, physical team," Blazer said. "They are very direct and will use their athleticism to create scoring chances."
DePaul (2-5-1, 1-0-0) will be in Washington, D.C. on Saturday for a BIG EAST showdown at noon against No. 17 Georgetown (5-1-2).
"Georgetown made large strides last year in qualifying for the NCAA tournament," Blazer said. "They are having an outstanding season so far with a well-balanced attack.
"This is going to be one of the toughest teams we will face this season."
The Hoyas have outscored opponents 13-5 and outpointed them 36-15. Goalkeeper Tomas Gomez has four shutouts and a 0.53 GAA.
Staying close in the first half is critical as Georgetown has outscored opponents 6-1 in the first 45 minutes of play.
Blue Demon Quick Kicks
Chicagoland Soccer News selected Selvaggi as its Men's College Soccer Player of the Week.
Mark Plotkin, a standout on the 2009 Blue Demon team and a DePaul graduate, is the Director of Operations for NU's soccer program.
Selvaggi is tied for eighth in the BIG EAST in goals.
Aguilar is tied for 10th in the BIG EAST in shots.
Selvaggi leads DePaul in goals with four.
Aguilar is second on the team in goals with three and is tied with Selvaggi in points with eight.
Aguilar leads DePaul in shots with 24 and shots on goal with 13
Selvaggi is second in shots with 21 and second in shots on goal with 11.
This will be the 23rd meeting of DePaul and Northwestern with the Wildcats holding a 14-7-1 edge in the series.
The Blue Demons lost to NU 3-2 last year at Lakeside Field in Evanston.
The first of three Faculty & Staff Days celebrations kicks off with a tailgate party at 2:15 p.m. Friday prior to the women's soccer match against Providence at 3 p.m. The "Tailgate Zone" is located in the parking lot next to Cacciatore Stadium.
Faculty and staff can reserve their complimentary ticket and tailgate pass by calling the DePaul ticket office at 773-325-7526.
The remaining Faculty & Staff Days celebrations are Oct. 5th before the men's soccer game against Green Bay and Oct. 14th before the volleyball match against Notre Dame.