Blue Demons Host Louisville Before Traveling to St. John's
DePaul vs. Louisville
DePaul at St. John's
CHICAGO - With the regular season winding down and teams jockeying for BIG EAST Championship berths and seeds, the DePaul men’s soccer team hosts Louisville and travels to St. John’s. The division-leading Cardinals visiting Wish Field on Wednesday followed by a Saturday night game at St. John’s.
Just four points separate the top six teams in the Red Division with the Cardinals in first place with 16 points. St. John’s stands in second with 14 points followed by USF in third with 13 points and DePaul, Villanova and Rutgers in a tie for fourth with a dozen points apiece.
DePaul is 8-5-0 overall, 4-4-0 in BIG EAST play and ranked seventh in the NSCAA/adidas Great Lakes Region rankings. Louisville is ranked sixth in the region and No. 21 in this week’s Soccer America national top 25. The Cardinals are 9-4-1 overall and 5-2-1 in league play while St. John’s is 4-1-2 in the BIG EAST and 7-4-4 overall.
Finishing the Tough Stretch: The Northwestern match marked the end of a five-game stretch that saw DePaul play three teams ranked in the top eight nationally. The 1-0 win over then-No. 2/2 Connecticut on Sept. 23 started the stretch followed by a 1-0 loss at then-No. 8/14 West Virginia. This week’s NSCAA/adidas poll sees Connecticut at No. 2, Northwestern at No. 9 and West Virginia at No. 20. The Soccer America top 25 has Connecticut at No. 3 followed by the Wildcats at No. 17 and the Mountaineers at No. 19. Wednesday’s game against Louisville marks the fifth ranked opponent in the last nine matches as the Cardinals are ranked No. 21 in the Soccer America poll. Last week, the Blue Demons dropped a 2-0 match to USF who is ranked 22nd in the NSCAA poll.
A Season of Firsts: Thirteen matches into the 2007 campaign, the DePaul men’s soccer team has set a number of program firsts:
Last Defense Standing: Through the early portion of the 2007 schedule, the DePaul men’s soccer team stood as the only program in the nation to not allow a goal. The Blue Demons posted four straight shutouts to start the season over Jacksonville, UW-Green Bay, Xavier and Valparaiso. Providence ended the streak the with a 2-0 decision over the Blue Demons on Sept. 21. Shutouts is the theme of 2007 as each of DePaul’s nine games have been decided by a shutout.
Noting the Blue Demons: DePaul’s 6-1-0 record at Wish Field matches the program’s best home record set in 2002... the Blue Demons are 3-0-0 in overtime matches this season... the 1-0 overtime victory at Pittsburgh on Sept. 30 was the first overtime win since a 2-1 victory against Marquette on Oct. 20, 2004... since the win over the Golden Eagles, the Blue Demons were 0-4-4 in matches with extra play... DePaul’s 1-0 win over No. 2/2 Connecticut on Sept. 23 marked the second straight win over a ranked team at Wish Field... DePaul defeated No. 16/11 USF last season by a 2-1 score... the Blue Demons opened the season at 4-0-0 for the first time in program history... DePaul returns 21 players from last season’s team that qualified for the 2006 BIG EAST Championship... the 2006 tournament appearance was the first for DePaul since the 1998 Conference USA Tournament... DePaul looks to continue the program’s improvement in BIG EAST play as the 2005 squad totaled seven points on a 2-8-1 record before last season’s team finished sixth in the Red Division with 12 points on a 4-7-0 record... after playing in 18 of 19 games last season with nine of the 11 starters as freshmen and sophomores, the Blue Demons return 10 starters this year... Alex Mangan has scored 10 goals in 28 career matches... four of his five goals this season have been game-winners... his goal against Rutgers on Oct. 13 moved him into a tie for 25th all-time with 21 points... Brian Visser tallied his 11th career shutout against Valparaiso on Sept. 14 to set a new career mark... he broke the previous record of 10 held by Terry Paulus (1983-84)... in 48 career matches, he has played in 4,366 of a possible 4,581 minutes in the net... his totals account for just over 95 percent of the minutes played in goal in the last two-plus seasons... Visser’s four straight shutouts to start the 2007 season is also a new single-season record for consecutive shutouts... Julian Chill needs one assist to move into the program’s all-time top five in career helpers... he is tied for fifth all-time after assisting DePaul’s goal at Northwestern on Oct. 10... DePaul is now 25-17-5 in the last five-plus seasons at Wish Field.
Deuces Wild: DePaul opened the season by posting three consecutive wins by a score of 2-0. The Blue Demons blanked Jacksonville, UW-Green Bay and Xavier while scoring twice in each match. Additionally, DePaul also won a pair of exhibition matches over Northern Illinois and Western Michigan by the score of 2-0 in each match. Overall, four of the 11 regular-season matches have been decided by a 2-0 score. Providence defeated the Blue Demons by the two-goal margin of 2-0 on Sept. 21.
Vroom, Hopkins and Visser Named to BIG EAST Honor Roll: Four times this season a DePaul player has been named to the BIG EAST Honor Roll. Steffen Vroom was named list following the win over Jacksonville while Patrick Hopkins was selected after wins over UW-Green Bay and Xavier. Brian Visser was named to the honor roll after leading the Blue Demons to a shutout of Valparaiso and also picked up honor roll honors after setting the season shutout record against Rutgers.
Wish Field Openers a Rarity: DePaul’s season-opening match at home against Jacksonville was just the second time the Blue Demons have started the season on Wish Field since the 2004 campaign. Since 2000, the match was just the second home game to begin a season. The Blue Demons started the 2004 season with a 2-0 win over Loyola-Chicago at Wish Field. A year ago, DePaul opened the season with a 2-1 defeat at Valparaiso.
Blazer In Seventh Season: Head coach Craig Blazer is in his seventh season with DePaul. In the last five-plus years under Blazer, the Blue Demons have posted a 25-17-5 record at Wish Field. Last season the Blue Demons went 3-6-0 at Wish Field with wins over No. 11 USF and St. John’s.
Checking on Louisville: The Cardinals are 9-4-1 overall and 5-2-1 in BIG EAST play... Louisville knocked off Syracuse, 1-0, on Oct. 20... the Cardinals are 4-0-1 in their last five matches including three straight shutouts (2-0-1)... Marco Terminesi leads the squad with 14 points (6G/2A)... David Simolike has played every minute in goal with a 0.63 goals against average and six shutouts... head coach Ken Lolla is in his second season at Louisville. The Series: Wednesday is the 17th all-time meeting between the two programs... the Cardinals hold a 9-6-1 advantage with DePaul taking three victories in the last four meetings... last season saw the Blue Demons on the positive side of a 1-0 score at Louisville.
Scouting St. John’s: The Red Storm is 7-4-4 overall and 4-1-2 in BIG EAST play... St. John’s hosts Rutgers on Wednesday night... Michael Luk leads the team with nine points on two goals and five assists... Jason Landers and Neal Kitson have split time in goal with a combined 0.69 goals against average... head coach David Masur is in his 16th season at St. John’s. The Series: The two teams have split the two meetings with each side winning on its home field... last season saw a 2-1 win for DePaul at Wish Field.
Preseason Picks: The Blue Demons were picked to finish eighth in the Red Division by the league’s 16 coaches. DePaul was picked to finish eighth in 2006 before placing sixth and advancing to the BIG EAST Championship. Connecticut was selected to win the Blue Division while St. John’s was picked as the Red Division preseason favorite.
2007 BIG EAST Championship: The semifinals and championship of the 2007 BIG EAST Men’s Soccer Championship will take place in Storrs, Conn., on the campus of the University of Connecticut. The first round and quarterfinal matches will be hosted by the higher-seeded team on Nov. 7 and Nov. 10. The champion receives the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship.