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Ball Bounces the Right Way for Blue Demons

VILLANOVA, Pa. A fortunate bounce in favor of the DePaul men’s soccer team led to a 1-0 victory for the Blue Demons in overtime at Villanova on Saturday. Following 90 minutes of scoreless play, the two teams ventured into the first extra frame where a deflected clearing attempt by the Villanova defense found its way to the back of the net to secure the win for the Blue Demons in the 94th minute.

Neither team could score throughout regulation, but both sides generated chances. Patrick Hopkins’ attempt early in the match was saved by Villanova’s Jason Friel in the 18th minute before a header by Alex Mangan in the 30th minutes was also stopped by the Wildcat keeper.

At the other end of the field, Villanova (9-6-0, 4-4-0 BIG EAST) hit the crossbar in each half with the first carom in the 40th minute followed by a ricochet off the bar in the 78th minute.

Following a cross by the Blue Demons, the Wildcats attempted to clear the ball. However, the kick hit the back of another Villanova defender and ended up in the upper left corner at 93:07 to bring the match to a halt in DePaul’s favor.

DePaul (8-5-0, 4-4-0 BIG EAST) finished the afternoon with 20 shots while Villanova took 13 attempts. Erik Sorenson started for DePaul in goal and finished with three saves in just over 80 minutes of action. Brian Visser played the final 18:01 with a single stop. Friel totaled seven saves for Villanova while DePaul took six corner kicks to five for the Wildcats.

The Blue Demons return to Wish Field on Wednesday afternoon against Louisville. With three BIG EAST matches remaining, DePaul sits in the thick of the Red Division race with 12 points. Kickoff with the Cardinals at Wish Field is set for 3 p.m.

Match Notes: DePaul is 3-0-0 in overtime games this season... all three overtime wins have been by a 1-0 score... the four conference wins match last season’s total in BIG EAST play... the eight overall victories tie for the most in the Craig Blazer era at DePaul... the 2002 and 2003 teams won eight games each season... Erik Sorenson made his first start in a DePaul uniform... the win was the first for DePaul against Villanova... the Wildcats now lead the series, 2-1-0.