Mangan's Header Clinches First-Round Bye
CHICAGO The DePaul men’s soccer team continued its run towards a Red Division title as Alex Mangan’s header served as the game-winner in dramatic fashion on Saturday. The sophomore took a serve from Julian Chill and headed it off the right post with just 28 seconds left in the second overtime period for a 1-0 victory over Syracuse. With a loss or tie by St. John’s at USF on Saturday night, the Blue Demons will claim the Red Division title after being picked to finish in eighth place in the division in the preseason BIG EAST poll.
The entire match played even as DePaul finished with 10 shots to eight attempts for the Orange. The Blue Demons put pressure on Syracuse late in the first half, but they were unable to come away with a score.
The second period had Syracuse (6-8-4, 3-8-0 BIG EAST) take four of their shots including a point-blank attempt by Kyle Hall with just under nine minutes left in regulation. Hall got behind the DePaul defense, but Brian Visser was there to stuff the attempt for one of his five saves.
With the clock winding down in the second overtime period, Chill lofted a serve from the right flank that Mangan caught in front of the net. His header banked off the right post and to the back of the south goal at Wish Field at 109:32 as the entire DePaul bench stormed the field.
The win puts the Blue Demons in first place for the moment with St. John’s and USF scheduled to play on Saturday night in Tampa. With 21 points in the Red Division standings, DePaul (11-6-0, 7-4-0 BIG EAST) is guaranteed a first-round bye in the 2007 BIG EAST Championship. The Blue Demons will host a quarterfinal match on Saturday, Nov. 10 at Wish Field. The bracket and match times will be announced by the league office on Saturday evening. Should St. John’s lose or tie USF, the Blue Demons will get the Red Division’s top seed. DePaul holds the tiebreaker over the Red Storm after last week’s 2-0 win at St. John’s. A St. John’s victory will give the Red Storm 23 points and the top seed with DePaul finishing in second place.
Match Notes: DePaul improved to 4-0-0 in overtime matches this season... the Blue Demons are also 8-1-0 at Wish Field in 2007... the Blue Demons finished the regular season by winning four straight BIG EAST matches and five of the last six conference games... five of Alex Mangan’s seven goals this season have been game-winners... Julian Chill tallied his 16th career assist... Mangan now has 12 goals in 32 career matches... DePaul now leads the series, 2-1-0, against Syracuse.