No Follow-Up for DePaul Against No. 16 Butler
INDIANAPOLIS - From the way this game started, it looked like DePaul was going to unleash another tremor along the national soccer fault line.
Willy Lara's first goal of the season---just 1 minute, 59 seconds into the match---caught No. 16 Butler a little off-guard.
After all, Butler had only given up seven goals in its first 11 matches.
But the Blue Demons couldn't capitalize on Lara's jump-start and succumbed 3-1 Wednesday at the Butler Bowl.
This was the fifth nationally ranked team DePaul has encountered this season. The Blue Demons began with back-to-back upsets of then-No. 9 Northwestern and then-No. 8 UC-Irvine that helped earn coach Craig Blazer's ballclub an impressive rating of 18 in the NCAA's Ratings Percentage Index (RPI).
Losses to then-No. 21 Notre Dame and then-No. 17 Louisville didn't discourage the Blue Demons from attacking a talented Butler team.
"It's very encouraging to take a 1-0 lead, and it shows you the quality players we have in this program" aid Blazer of Lara's shot right down the middle from 25 yards out after a nice feed from Antonio Aguilar.
"Now, we have to decide whether to take up a defensive posture to protect that lead or continue to attack and score more goals. It seems like the last couple of games, we didn't do quite enough of either one."
Butler (10-1-1), ranked No. 16 by Soccer America and No. 23 by the NSCAA, retaliated at the 5:55 mark when Jacob Capito tapped one in from in front of the Blue Demon net after a pass from Brett Heinz.
At 22:42, Julian Cardona staked out a spot in front of DePaul goalkeeper Joe Ferrari and headed in a long pass from Heinz.
"We needed to make it more difficult for Butler to score," Blazer said. "Recently, we've been giving up too many easy goals. The opportunities they did have, they connected.
"I thought we could find that 2-2 goal."
DePaul's leading scorer Steffen Vroom was wide on a shot early in the second half. DePaul (7-7-1) also could not capitalize on four corner kicks early in the second half.
At 78:22, a failed Blue Demon clearance game Butler's top scorer Boris Gatzky a one-on-one opportunity against Ferrari, and the Bulldog bumped it in over the DePaul goalie.
"Butler's a good team, but our guys kept fighting right to the end," Blazer said. "We'll get back home and get ready for a critical BIG EAST match on Saturday against Syracuse."
NOTES: DePaul was outshot 11-6 by Butler as Aguilar and Alex Mangan each had two shots... both of Aguilar's shots were on goal... Ferrari gave up the three goals and had two saves while Butler goalkeeper Fabian Knopfler only needed to make one save... Aguilar's assist gives the freshman from Mt. Carmel nine points on the season---third on the team behind Vroom's 17 and Mangan's 11... the Blue Demons are now 2-3 against Top 25 teams this season... Mangan leads DePaul in shots with 30 followed by Aguilar with 26 and Vroom with 21... leader of the midfield Mark Plotkin was sidelined with an injury, and Erich Reichmann moved into the starting lineup.