Blue Demons and Red Storm Duel to 0-0 Tie
CHICAGO The DePaul men’s soccer team continued to be a tough out for visiting ranked opponents as they played No. 4/5 (NSCAA Coaches/Soccer America) St. John’s to a 0-0 tie on Saturday. With the draw, the Blue Demons salvaged a point in the BIG EAST Red Division standings and remained in the hunt for a first-round bye in the conference tournament.
The two sides played even over the 110 minutes with the Red Storm totaling nine shots and DePaul taking seven attempts.
DePaul’s best chance of the first half came in the 19th minute when Erich Reichmann and Nathan Feltz teamed up on a give-and-go just outside the 18-yard box. Feltz tried to finish the play with a defender on him, but his shot was saved by St. John’s Neal Kitson.
Steffen Vroom made a bid for the game-winner late in regulation as his shot from 20 yards for the left upper 90 went just over the frame in the 87th minute.
In the extra time, both teams turned up the offensive pressure as Sverre Wegge Gundhus tried to go upper half on Brian Visser. Visser made the one-handed save to force the ball off the crossbar with just over a minute left in the first overtime period.
The second extra session saw John Kornfeld feed Vroom at the top of the box for a one-time liner that saw Kitson stop on a diving save with just under eight minutes on the clock.
Both goalkeepers totaled five saves in the match and were very active throughout the afternoon. The two teams finished the game with six corner kicks apiece.
“This was a real positive game for us today,” said head coach Craig Blazer. “We are playing better and better as we head into the final stretch of the regular season and into the postseason.”
DePaul travels to Louisville on Wednesday night for a pivotal Red Division match. Entering Saturday night’s action, the Blue Demons sit in third place with 14 points ahead of Louisville with 13 and Villanova with 11 points. Villanova visits Wish Field Saturday for the regular-season finale.
The top six teams in each division qualify for the BIG EAST Championship with the top two seeds from each division earning a first-round bye. Seeds three and four host first-round matches on Wednesday, Nov. 5 followed by the quarterfinals at campus sites on Nov. 8. USF is the host of the semifinals and finals, Nov. 14 and 16 in Tampa, Fla.
Game Notes: The Blue Demons are now 4-0-4 in the last eight overtime matches dating back to last season... against its last five ranked opponents at Wish Field, DePaul is 4-0-1... the shutout was the 26th of Brian Visser’s career... DePaul leads the series, 2-1-1.