Cincinnati Tops DePaul
CHICAGO – Cincinnati temporarily derailed DePaul’s run into the BIG EAST Tournament with a 1-0 defeat on Wednesday at Wish Field. Omar Cummings scored for the Bearcats in the second half to keep the Blue Demons at 12 points in the BIG EAST Red Division standings.
A scoreless first half saw Cincinnati (10-4-2, 6-3-1 BIG EAST) outshoot DePaul, 9-3. The second period played even with the Bearcats holding a slim 6-5 advantage with Cummings’ goal occurring in the 64th minute.
Kenny Anaba and Patrick Baxter set up the play that finished with Cummings firing a 20-yard shot from the top of the penalty box over DePaul goalkeeper Brian Visser. Visser dove for the ball as it banked off the left post and into the net at 63:33. The goal was the sixth of the season for the preseason BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year.
DePaul (5-10-2, 4-6-0 BIG EAST) nearly knotted the match in the final minute off a corner kick opportunity. Julian Chill’s serve into the box was one-timed by Patrick Hopkins, but Bearcat goalkeeper Mike Vessells was there to stop the point-blank shot.
Despite taking just eight shots in the match, the Blue Demons put together opportunities with six corner kick chances. Visser finished the match with four saves while Vessells made his only save on the potential equalizer in the final minute.
The Blue Demons travel to Syracuse to conclude the regular-season schedule. DePaul could enter that match already in the conference tournament as a loss by Villanova will secure a spot for the Blue Demons in Red Division’s top six. A win over the Orange on Saturday night for DePaul would enhance their chances of hosting a first-round mach next Wednesday at Wish Field. Kickoff in Syracuse is set for 7 p.m. EST.
Match Notes: The shutout ended a streak of six consecutive matches with at least one goal… the Blue Demons are now 19-15-5 in the last five seasons at Wish Field… in 2006, the team is 4-6 in matches decided by one goal… Cincinnati now leads the series, 13-6-3… DePaul last win in the series was in the 2002 season.