Blue Demons Come Up Short Against Western Kentucky
CHICAGO – Visiting Western Kentucky scored two second-half goals and held off a late charge by the Blue Demons in a 2-1 decision at Wish Field on Tuesday. Peter Sterbenz scored his first collegiate goal late in the match to cut the deficit, but the Blue Demons couldn’t find the equalizer as time expired.
A scoreless first half saw the Blue Demons outshoot the Hilltoppers, 7-4, with DePaul’s best opportunity coming with 10 minutes on the clock before halftime. Patrick Hopkins sent in a shot that Western Kentucky goalkeeper Pat Rickman thought was going wide, but the shot ended up hitting the right post and bouncing back into play. However, Rickman gathered the rebound and prevented any further chances for DePaul.
Western Kentucky (4-6-3) broke through in the 67th minute on a goal by Alex Holmes. Cal Long sent in a cross from the right side that Holmes headed from the near post to give the visitors a 1-0 advantage at 66:13.
The score remained at 1-0 until Brad Magnuson give the Hilltoppers the insurance score as Holmes dribbled through the DePaul defense and fed Magnuson with a pass at the top of the box. Magnuson beat his defender and pushed the ball past DePaul keeper Brian Visser at 86:05 for the 2-0 advantage.
Sterbenz got the Blue Demons on the board with just over a minute left off an assist from John Partyka. Following a Western Kentucky foul, Partyka launched the ball into the box from midfield where Sterbenz headed it past Rickman at 88:52 for his first career goal.
DePaul (4-9-2) finished the match with 14 shots while Western Kentucky was able to get off a dozen attempts. Visser totaled three saves as did Rickman while the Hilltoppers took five corner kicks compared to three for the Blue Demons.
The Blue Demons return to BIG EAST action this weekend as they host St. John’s. Kickoff on Sunday is set for 1 p.m. and DePaul’s seniors will be honored prior to the match.
Match Notes: Nine of the 11 DePaul goals this season have been scored by freshmen… Western Kentucky now leads the all-time series, 3-0-0… DePaul finished the non-conference portion of the regular season with a 1-4-2 record… in the last four-plus seasons, the Blue Demons are 18-14-5 at Wish Field… DePaul is now 3-5 this season in matches decided by one goal… Tuesday was the first meeting since 1988.