CHICAGO - Blue Demons return to Wish Field looking to keep home-field record perfect. Kickoff on Sunday is scheduled for 1 p.m.
CHICAGO - The DePaul men's soccer team returns to Wish Field this weekend when they host the South Florida Bulls. Kickoff on Sunday is set for 1 p.m. The Blue Demons are looking to extend their five-match win streak at home and stand at 7-7-2 overall and 3-4-0 in Conference USA play.
Looking at the Blue Demons
Seven wins is the most since the 1999 squad won seven times... only eight times in DePaul's 21 seasons have the Blue Demons won at least seven matches... offensively, eight players have found the net... Luke Rojo leads the squad with seven goals while Edwin Arreola has four scores... Tim Blake, Jonathan Foley, Adam Hermsen and Anthony Minniti have scored twice... five of Rojo's seven goals are game-winners... Blake leads the club with four assists... the Blue Demons have been outscored, 31-22, through 16 matches... DePaul is 2-0-2 in overtime matches, 5-2-0 in one-goal games and 5-0-0 in home matches... they are 1-7-1 on the road... Rojo and Foley were named to the All-Tournament team at the Coca-Cola Panther Invitational... Rojo earned Conference USA All-Freshman team honors last season... Foley and Kruse are team captains in 2002... after opening the season with nine straight road matches, the Blue Demons play seven of the final 10 regular-season matches at Wish Field... head coach Craig Blazer is in his first season without the "interim" tag.
Rojo Named Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week
DePaul sophomore Luke Rojo was named the Conference USA Offensive Co-Player of the Week after leading the Blue Demons to a pair of wins over Loyola-Chicago and TCU last week. Rojo tallied a pair of game-winners against the Ramblers and Horned Frogs. In the double-overtime win over Loyola, it was Rojo's score at 106:21 that capped the comeback for the Blue Demons. He also assisted Tim Blake's match-tying goal with under three minutes left in regulation. On Saturday, against the Horned Frogs, the sophomore scored the match's first goal at 26:07 and then assisted Ed Kiefer's insurance goal just two minutes later. For the week, Rojo tallied a pair of game-winning goals and two assists. For the season, the sophomore leads DePaul with 17 points on seven goals and three assists. Five of his seven scores this season have been game-winners. He shares the league's weekly honor with Marquette's Matt Darby.
Scouting South Florida
The Bulls enter the weekend at 9-5-0 overall and 4-3-0 in C-USA action... they play at UAB on Friday night before moving on to Chicago... USF has dropped two straight matches to Louisville and Florida International after putting together a three-match win streak... Wes Hunter leads the club with 25 points on 11 goals and three assists... head coach George Kiefer is in his first season as head coach at South Florida... South Florida is located in Tampa, Fla... the series: the Bulls have won all eight meetings between the two schools... last season, DePaul lost, 2-0, in Tampa.
Nothing But the Best
A quick look at the 2002 schedule reveals five opponents (No. 7 Washington, No. 10 UAB, No. 11 Saint Louis, No. 15 Portland, No. 17 UW-Milwaukee) that were ranked in the preseason top 25 by Soccer America. Of those five, the Blue Demons opened their season at three of those ranked squads.
In the NIKE Portland Classic, DePaul lost to host Portland, 6-0, before coming back and tying Washington, 1-1. Against UW-Milwaukee, the Blue Demons were on the short end of a 3-1 decision. Two weeks ago, DePaul held a 2-0 lead at UAB, before allowing three goals in the final 12 minutes. On Wednesday night, the Blue Demons lost, 5-1, at Saint Louis.
Make a Wish
DePaul's five home victories this season is the most since the club won a school-record six during the 1994 season. Overall, the 1994 club was 12-5-1. In 1986, the Blue Demons posted a home record of 5-5-0. The 2002 five-match home winning streak is the longest in program history. The previous record was a four-match string that ended the 1994 season with two wins and started the 1995 campaign with a pair of home victories.
DePaul's modest three-game win streak earlier this season was the longest since winning three straight in 1999. A win over the Billikens could give the Blue Demons their second three-game winning streak of the 2002 season. The last time a DePaul team won four consecutive matches was a stretch during the 1995 season. The program's best winning streak occurred in 1994 when DePaul won five consecutive matches.
Last Time Out - Saint Louis 5, DePaul 1
Three second-half goals sealed a 5-1 victory for the Saint Louis Billikens on Wednesday night and snapped DePaul's two-match win streak. The Blue Demons cut the lead to 2-1 early in the second half, but the Billikens answered with three scores of their own. With the loss, DePaul drops to 7-7-2 overall and 3-4-0 in Conference USA play while Saint Louis improves to 10-3-2 and 6-2-1.
The Billikens took a 2-0 in the first half on goals by Jack Jewsbury and Patrick Garcia. Jewsbury scored at 26:00 while Garcia scored at 42:15. In the first 45 minutes, Saint Louis outshot DePaul, 13-0, forcing Blue Demon keeper Michael Timlin to make seven saves. Timlin finished the match with nine saves while the Billikens outshot the Blue Demons, 24-4.
DePaul cut the score in half as Patrick Vynke knocked in a header off a Tim Blake corner kick at 46:04. Vynke's first goal of the season was the only time the Blue Demons would find the net. Saint Louis wasted no time and answered Vynke's goal when Nick Walls knocked in a 10-yarder at 47:55. The Billikens sealed the match on a Jason Cole score in the 78th minute and the fifth goal in the 80th minute from Walls.
The final home match of the regular season will be Wednesday, Nov. 6 when DePaul takes on Marquette. DePaul travels to Louisville for the regular season finale on Nov. 9. Hermann Stadium in St. Louis will be the site of the 2002 Conference USA Tournament, Nov. 14-17.