Men's Soccer Falls in Overtime to Villanova
CHICAGO – Saturday afternoon's BIG EAST soccer match saw a little bit of everything with lightning halting play for 45 minutes and a sudden-victory overtime goal to give the visiting Villanova Wildcats a 2-1 win over the DePaul Blue Demons. With the win, Villanova moved into a tie with DePaul for one of the Red Division's top six spots that advance to the BIG EAST Championship at the end of October.
DePaul (3-8-2, 2-5-0 BIG EAST) applied early pressure as Julian Chill nearly capitalized with a blast from the top of the penalty box off a pass from Nathan Feltz. Villanova keeper Jason Friel got a hand on the ball and knocked it just wide of the left post with 10 minutes ticked off the first-half clock.
Five minutes later, Erich Reichmann tallied his first collegiate goal to give the Blue Demons their first lead of the afternoon. Following a Wildcat foul, Reichmann lined up the free kick from 20 yards and fired a liner through the Villanova wall that caromed off the right post at 15:27.
With four minutes left in the first half, strong thunderstorms move through the area forcing the match to be halted and the field cleared. After a delay of 45 minutes, the action was resumed under sunny skies.
Midway through the second half, Villanova (6-6-1, 2-5-0 BIG EAST) found the equalizer in a flurry of action in front of the DePaul net. Farris Fakhoury eventually put the ball to the back of the net after a Wildcat shot went off the post. Fakhoury's third goal of the season tied the match at 64:56.
The Blue Demons just missed on a pair of opportunities late in regulation. With 15 minutes left, an Alex Mangan header was tipped by Friel and sent just over crossbar. Patrick Hopkins, who owned the air in midfield all afternoon, saw his header just creep over the crossbar with seven minutes left on the clock.
Following 90 minutes of action, DePaul outshot Villanova, 16-10, and took nine corner kicks to five for the visitors. As the first overtime period got under way, neither team able to put together an offensive opportunity. Following a DePaul foul, Dan DeMasters lied up a free kick from 35 yards on the right flank. He sent a serve into the box that found a streaking Mike Del Guercio and his one-timer beat DePaul keeper Brian Visser for the game-winner at 96:56.
DePaul opens the final month of the regular-season at Louisville on Oct. 7. Kickoff between the Blue Demons and Cardinals is set for 7 p.m. Eastern time at Cardinal Park. Following that match, DePaul returns to Wish Field for the final three regular-season home matches before the regular-season finale at Syracuse on Oct. 21.
Match Notes: DePaul has now played in three overtime matches this season… they are 0-1-2 in those games… the Blue Demons are also 2-4 this season in matches decided by one goal… all four players to score a goal this season for DePaul entered the season with zero collegiate goals… Saturday was the second all-time meeting between the two programs… Villanova has won both meetings.