Blue Demons Travel to USF Before Hosting Rutgers
CHICAGO - The DePaul men’s soccer team travels to South Florida for a Wednesday evening match before hosting Rutgers at Wish Field on Saturday. With last Saturday’s postponement at Villanova, the game at USF is the first DePaul since a 1-0 win against Syracuse on Oct. 1. The Blue Demons play their next four matches in an 11-day span from Oct. 12-22. The team is tied for seventh in the Red Division with the top six teams qualifying for the BIG EAST Tournament.
Make-Ups: Saturday’s match at Villanova was postponed due to poor field conditions after the Philadelphia area was hit with torrential rain over the weekend. A date to play that match has not been determined.
Looking at the Blue Demons: The 1-0 win over Syracuse snapped a four-match streak without a victory for the Blue Demons... the victory over the Orange was also the first DePaul in BIG EAST play... Jeff DeGroot and Adam Hermsen lead the club with three goals apiece... the back-to-back shutouts on the road at Pittsburgh and West Virginia marked the first time this season that the team has been blanked in two straight matches... the 4-3 overtime loss to then-No. 21 Georgetown on Sept. 16 snapped a three-match unbeaten streak... it was the longest since a pair of three-game runs without a lost in 2003... the three goals against the Hoyas were the most in a match for the Blue Demons since a 3-1 win against UW-Green Bay on Sept. 8, 2002... the five combined goals in the two matches against Georgetown and Seton Hall are the highest two-game total in the Craig Blazer era... it marks the most in back-to-back matches since seven goals were scored at Northwestern (W, 3-1) and at Memphis (W, 4-3) on Oct. 13 and 17, 1999... the program’s last four-match unbeaten streak occurred with four wins in 1995... the longest unbeaten streak in school history was in 1994 with eight straight games... the five players that have scored a goal this season did not score in 2004... 15 of the student-athletes are either sophomores or freshmen... John Partyka and Brian Visser were named to the Holiday Inn City Centre Classic All-Tournament team... the Blue Demons played in eight overtime matches (1-4-3) in 2004 and 12 games were decided by one goal (2-10)... the 2005 season has seen two overtime matches (0-1-1) and four games decided by a goal (2-2)... head coach Craig Blazer is in his fifth season at DePaul.
Best for Last: Adam Hermsen shares the team lead with three goals and an assist after totaling a goal and an assist against Georgetown and Seton Hall. Hermsen scored in dramatic fashion in both games with headers off passes from the opposite sideline to tie each match in the final minutes of regulation. The senior midfielder did not score a goal in 2004 and entered his senior season with three career goal and five assists.
Noting USF: The Bulls stand at 6-4-0 overall and 5-1-0 in BIG EAST action. A 1-0 loss at Syracuse on Sunday ended a five-match winning streak. The Bulls have totaled 15 points and are second in the Red Division. Overall, they have scored 21 goals this season while allowing their opponents to find the net on 15 occasions. Jordan Seabrook leads the team with 18 points on seven goals and four assists while Rodrigo Hidalgo has totaled 12 points on two goals and eight helpers. Dane Brenner has played all 909 minutes in goal with two shutouts and a 1.49 goals against average. Head coach George Kiefer is in his fourth season as head coach of the Bulls.
Checking On Rutgers: Rutgers hosts Bucknell in non-conference action on Wednesday before traveling to Chicago this weekend. The Scarlet Knights are 3-7-2 overall and 2-4-1 in league play. Their seven points are tied for fifth in the Red Division, just ahead of DePaul. Nick LaBrocca leads the club with eight points on three goals and two assists. Chris Moore adds seven points with three goals and an assists while Lubos Ancin and Matt Vanoekel have combined for a 1.75 goals against average. Head coach Bob Reasso is in his 25th seasons with the Scarlet Knights.
Record Book Watch: DePaul senior Luke Rojo is closing in on the all-time top 10 scoring list. Rojo, who missed last season with an injury, has scored two goals this season for 38 career points on 15 goals and 10 assists. He is tied for 11th all-time with Kevin Jennings (18G/2A - 1989-92). He needs six points to pass 10th-ranked Dusan Colakovic and tie Shane Hudson for ninth all-time. On the goals chart, Rojo needs 10 goals to move into a tie for sixth and four more assists to tie the fifth spot all-time. The senior has played in 60 career matches.
Preseason Picks: The Blue Demons were picked to finish eighth in the Red Division of the BIG EAST Preseason Poll. The BIG EAST Conference features a pair of eight-team divisions with the top 12 overall teams advancing to the league tournament. St. John’s was chosen as the favorite to win the Red Division while Connecticut earned the preseason nod from the coaches for the eight-team Blue Division.
Looking Forward: DePaul finishes the regular season with three of the final five matches at home against Rutgers, Illinois-Chicago and Louisville. The Blue Demons host Rutgers on Oct. 15 and Illinois-Chicago on Oct. 19 before traveling to St. John’s (Oct. 22) and Cincinnati (Oct. 26). The regular-season finale and Senior Day is set for Oct. 29 at Wish Field against the Louisville Cardinals. The pending make-up date at Villanova is to be determined.