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Blue Demons Wrap-Up Regular Season

CHICAGO - The DePaul men's soccer team controls their own destiny as a win on Saturday night could send them to next week’s Conference USA Tournament.  The Blue Demons take on the Louisville Cardinals at 7 p.m. Easter time.  DePaul enters the match at 8-8-2 overall (4-5-0 C-USA) while Louisville stands at 7-10-2 (5-2-1).


Make a Wish
DePaul's six 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 six-match home winning streak that ended with the 2-1 loss to Marquette on Wednesday was 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.


Looking at the Blue Demons
DePaul has won six of their last nine matches… eight overall wins is the most since the 1996 squad won eight times... only eight times in DePaul's 21 seasons have the Blue Demons won at least seven matches... offensively, nine players have found the net... Luke Rojo leads the squad with seven goals while Edwin Arreola has four scores... Jonathan Foley has three goals… Tim Blake, Adam Hermsen and Anthony Minniti have scored twice... five of Rojo's seven goals are game-winners... Blake and Rojo are tied for the club lead with four assists... the Blue Demons have been outscored, 33-24, through 18 matches... DePaul is 2-0-2 in overtime matches, 6-3-0 in one-goal games and 6-1-0 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.


Scouting Louisville
The Cardinals clinched a berth in the C-USA Tournament with a 3-0 win on Wednesday against Charlotte… Louisville has won five consecutive matches… Jelani Grant leads the club with 13 points on five goals and three assists… 11 players have at least one goal… head coach Tony Colavecchia is in his seventh season as head coach at Louisville.


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.  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 shared the league's weekly honor with Marquette's Matt Darby.


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.


DePaul's modest three-game win streak earlier this season was the longest since winning three straight in 1999. 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 – Marquette 2, DePaul 1
A pair of first-half goals was enough as Marquette defeated DePaul, 2-1, on Wednesday afternoon at Wish Field. The defeat snapped the Blue Demons’ six-match home win streak while dropping DePaul to 8-8-2 overall and 4-5-0 in Conference USA play.  With the win, Marquette clinched the regular season league championship and improved to 9-7-1 and 7-2-1.


Bryan Godfrey scored the match's first goal at 13:42 when a DePaul defender tried to clear the ball out of the backfield. Godfrey took the low liner out of the air and sent it back past Blue Demon keeper Michael Timlin to give the Golden Eagles the early lead.


DePaul threatened with a pair of opportunities late in the first half as Marquette keeper Adam Ubert stopped an Adam Hermsen shot from the near left side in the 43rd minute.  Just 30 seconds after that, Ed Kiefer’s shot from the right side of the penalty box sailed just over the crossbar.


Marquette countered Kiefer’s shot and quickly moved downfield.  A DePaul dfender was called for a foul in the penalty box and Godfrey converted the penalty kick at 44:36 for the eventual game-winner.


Marquette had a chance to put the match away early in the second half as a header by Derek Gutierrez went off the crossbar.  Midway through the period, the Blue Demons got on the board as Jonathan Foley knocked in a loose ball in front of the net at 72:12.  That would be the final score of the match as the two teams played a spirited final 15 minutes.


Up Next
With a win, the Blue Demons put themselves in prime position for next week’s league tournament.  Robert R. Hermann Stadium in St. Louis will be the site of the 2002 Conference USA Tournament, Nov. 14-17.