Streak is Over in Blue Demons' Loss to Villanova
ST. DAVIDS, Pa. - Until Saturday, DePaul had not lost a game this season when Steffen Vroom had a goal or an assist.
Well, Vroom had both against Villanova, but that wasn't enough in a 4-2 BIG EAST Conference loss.
Villanova wasted little time in grabbing the lead as the Wildcats scored just 5 minutes, 35 seconds into the match.
Will Ogden scored on a header after assists from Anthony Griffith and Nick Rouzier.
"That was a nice play on their first goal," said DePaul coach Craig Blazer. "Our goalkeeper Joe Ferrari came close to saving it, but it looped under the crossbar."
Instead of a save, DePaul (7-6-1, 4-4-0 in the BIG EAST) did the next-best thing. The Blue Demons retaliated at the 17:50 mark when Vroom headed in his team-high seventh goal after a textbook crossing pass from Nathan Feltz.
That assist gave Feltz a goal and two assists in his last two games.
"Feltz followed up a good game on Wednesday (goal and assist in 2-2 tie with Loyola), and I challenged him to do it again," Blazer said. "On that play, Feltz was able to drive all the way to the goal line and then get off a good cross to Vroom."
Villanova (7-5-2, 4-3-1) took full advantage of DePaul fouls to score twice more before halftime. Less than three minutes after Vroom's goal, Chris Christian scored on a free kick about 28 yards from the goal.
At the 36:08 mark, Kyle Soroka deposited another free kick into the DePaul net.
"Villanova did exactly what you want to do on free kicks---force the goalkeeper to make a decision," Blazer said. "In that first free kick, the shot got up and over the wall and Joe got a bad read on it.
"On the second free kick, Soroka slotted the ball to make it dangerous. Joe played it as a cross and it snuck in the back post."
Early in the second half, an offensive-minded DePaul crowded the box in front of Villanova goalie Chris Bresnahan and created a number of dangerous situations.
But that left the Blue Demons susceptible to a counter attack, and sure enough, Griffith and Mike Seamon initiated a fast break that resulted in Ogden's second goal at 55:01.
At 65:15, Patrick Hopkins scored on a give-and-go with Vroom.
"It was a tough day at the BIG EAST office," Blazer said. "We'll get back home and get ready for a tough Butler ballclub on Wednesday."
NOTES: Rainfall had made the soccer field at the VU Soccer Complex unplayable, so Saturday's match was moved to nearby Eastern College in St. Davids, Pa. and the starting time moved back from noon (Chicago time) to 2 p.m... Eastern has an artificial turf field... In a wide-open clash, Villanova fired off 18 shots and DePaul nearly matched the Wildcats with 17 of its own... Alex Mangan led the Blue Demons with four shots (three on goal) while Hopkins had three and Vroom, Feltz, Antonio Aguilar and Scott Freundlich each had two... Villanova had nine shots on goal to DePaul's eight... the Blue Demons forced Bresnahan to make six saves while Ferrari made five... Ogden led Villanova with five shots, including four on goal... Vroom leads DePaul in goals with seven and points with 17... Mangan is second with five goals and one assist for 11 points... Aguilar has eight points (three goals, two assists), Mark Plotkin seven points (two goals, three assists) and Feltz has six points (two goals, two assists)... Plotkin had to leave the game in the first half with an injury.