Blue Demons open season with exhibition match against Northwestern on Aug. 10 at Wish Field
Blue Demons produce three Academic All-Americans and a 3.455 overall GPA
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The DePaul women's soccer team punched its ticket to the BIG EAST tournament on Thursday afternoon as the Blue Demons downed St. John's 1-0 to secure the sixth and final slot of the tournament field.
Contact Coach Erin Chastain
In her 10th season at the helm in 2016, DePaul coach Erin Chastain guided the Blue Demons to a share of the BIG EAST Conference regular-season title, their second BIG EAST title. In the BIG EAST semifinals, DePaul battled No. 7 Georgetown to a 1-1 tie in Washington, D.C., but the Hoyas advanced to the BIG EAST title game on penalty kicks.
Chastain guided the Blue Demons on a record-breaking ride in 2014 with a program-best 16-1-4 overall record that was the fifth-best winning percentage in the country. DePaul set a school record with a 20-game undefeated streak, and by the end of the regular season was one of only two programs (No. 1 UCLA) to remain unbeaten. The Blue Demons attained their highest national ranking when Soccer America ranked them at No. 7.
It was an eye-opening season for the Blue Demons. Along with the second-best winning percentage in school history, they also had the second-best winning percentage in a BIG EAST season and had their second-highest BIG EAST finish (third). They got off to the second-best start in program history (10-2-2) and beat Georgetown 1-0 in the BIG EAST Championship semifinals. That advanced Chastain's team to its first BIG EAST title game, a 2-0 loss at Marquette which was DePaul's fourth game in nine days.
The Blue Demons had an eight-game unbeaten streak at Wish Field and gave up the fewest goals in the BIG EAST during the regular season. BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Year Alejandria Godinez led the nation in save percentage for two weeks during the regular season, and her nine shutouts tied a school record. Godinez set a school record with a 0.69 GAA in 2013.
In 2012, Chastain guided the Blue Demons to their third BIG EAST Championship in the last four years, qualifying for the conference tournament on the last day of the season. They made the most of that opportunity by stunning Villanova 3-0 in the BIG EAST opener---the first BIG EAST playoff road win in program history. Elise Wyatt had two goals and Ashleigh Goddard two assists in the historic victory. In the quarterfinals, DePaul fell 1-0 on the road to BIG EAST regular-season champion Georgetown. DePaul finished 9-10-2 and recorded nine shutouts. Defender Kylie Nordness was chosen All-BIG EAST Third Team.
Playing perhaps the most difficult schedule in program history, the Blue Demons went 3-14-1 in 2011. They were so close to turning in another successful season with four overtime losses and one overtime tie. Nine of their losses were decided by a single goal. The young team routinely had five freshmen and four sophomores on the field as it went through a transformative and growing process.
Senior Morgan Celaya had the best year of her career, leading the team with four goals and nine points. She was selected All-BIG EAST Third Team. Freshman goalkeeper Megan Pyrz started the final nine matches and had 13 saves at USF and 11 at Seton Hall. What also portends well for the future were the performances of freshmen Sarah Gorden, Amber Paul, Rachel Pitman and Nikki Condit.
The 2010 season will always be remembered for the Blue Demons winning their first BIG EAST Conference Championship game, a 1-0 decision over Pittsburgh at Wish Field at Cacciatore Stadium. DePaul went 5-6 in the BIG EAST and finished fourth in the National Division, earning a home playoff game in the first round. Michelle Scandora scored the winning goal on a penalty kick. Advancing to the BIG EAST quarterfinals for the first time, Chastain & Co. lost to Marquette in Milwaukee.
The Blue Demons finished 11-9-2, giving them back-to-back winning seasons for the second time in program history. They also accomplished that feat in 2002 and 2003. DePaul won five in a row from Sept. 26-Oct. 10, setting a school record with four overtime wins in that stretch. The Blue Demons were a season-best 10-4-2 after that winning streak.
Lauren Pagone enjoyed a breakout year, leading the team in goals with six and points with 13. The senior from Maine South was selected All-BIG EAST Conference Third Team. Freshman Ashleigh Goddard made an immediate impact with two goals and three assists while being chosen for the All-BIG EAST Rookie Team.
Off the field, DePaul earned the NSCAA (National Soccer Coaches Association of America) Team Academic Award for thethird consecutive year. Alyssa Wray had the highest grade-point average among senior female student-athletes at DePaul in winning the Rev. John R. Cortelyou Award.
It was a turnaround season in 2009 as the Blue Demons advanced to the BIG EAST Conference Championship tournament for the first time. Their 10-9-2 record was the program's best since 2003. Somis Sports in Camarillo, Calif. rated DePaul as the fourth most improved women's soccer program in the country.
Picked to finish last in the BIG EAST's National Division by a preseason poll of league coaches, DePaul wound up 5-7 in securing the No. 5 seed for the postseason tournament. Chastain's ballclub traveled to Tampa for the playoff opener and fell 1-0 to No. 4 seed USF.
DePaul opened the season scoring seven goals in its first two matches with a 4-0 triumph over Loyola and a 3-2 upset of Northwestern. The latter was the program's first win against its rival from Evanston. Behind freshman goalkeeper Claire Hanold and a sturdy back line, DePaul set a school record with nine shutouts.
The Blue Demons got off to a 4-1-2 start, highlighted by a 1-0 upset of No. 11 Missouri in Columbia. The goal by Shannon Williams off an assist from Morgan Celaya provided DePaul with its first victory over a nationally ranked team in the program's 14-year history. Just 24 hours later, Soccer America ranked the Blue Demons No. 20---the first time DePaul has been ranked in a national poll.
In addition to its success on the soccer field, DePaul earned the NSCAA (National Soccer Coaches Association of America) Team Academic Award for the second consecutive year.
Chastain's first season saw the Blue Demons go 5-13-1, and in the process Chastain was able to implement her style of play. DePaul opened the season by winning the Cleveland State Fall Classic and proved to be a difficult opponent in BIG EAST play as nine of the final 10 matches of the season were decided by one goal. Her efforts on the recruiting trail are paying off already as DePaul's incoming class was ranked No. 21 in the Great Lakes Region by Soccer Buzz.
She followed up the 2007 campaign with a youthful club routinely featuring nine starters that were either freshmen or sophomores. The Blue Demons showed a knack for scoring as the put together a three-match streak with 11 goals for the most in three games since the 2004 campaign while also running the program's unbeaten streak in overtime matches to 13 straight since Sept. 2004.
Prior to arriving in Chicago, Chastain spent five seasons at national soccer power Santa Clara as an assistant coach. During her tenure with the Broncos, the program reached the championship game of the 2002 NCAA Championship, the semifinals in 2004 and the quarterfinals in 2005. She also helped the program to West Coast Conference titles in four of her five seasons. As the lead recruiter, she landed three classes from 2002-06 ranked in the nation's top four by Soccer America. The 2002 recruiting class was the top-ranked in the United States followed by a No. 4 slot in 2004. Her final recruiting class for Santa Clara, which began play in 2007, was ranked third among all NCAA Division I programs.
Chastain also spent time during her first three seasons at Santa Clara working with several youth teams in the Bay Area, including the DeAnza Strykers and the North Valley Tornadoes. She also coordinated the Santa Clara Soccer Camps from 2002-05. The five-week camp served over 1,000 campers each summer.
She returns to the Chicagoland where she started her collegiate coaching career. Prior to heading west, Chastain spent three seasons as Northwestern's top assistant coach. During her tenure with the Wildcats, she also served as the head coach of the Glenview (Ill.) U-15 Girl's Soccer Club.
Upon completion of her collegiate playing career, Chastain spent time as the head coach of the Wayzata and Edina (Minn.) U-15 Girls' Premier soccer teams and worked as an assistant account executive for the advertising firm Fallon McElligott in Minneapolis.
As a student-athlete, Chastain (then Hussey) was a four-year starter at Minnesota. The three-year captain appeared in each of the Gophers' 82 matches during her career and concluded her career ranked fourth on the school's all-time points list, fifth in goals scored and tied for third in assists. She earned second team All-Big Ten honors in 1995 and was a first team honoree in 1996. Chastain also picked up third team All-Great Lakes Region honors in 1996 by the NSCAA. Minnesota claimed the 1995 Big Ten Championship and qualified for the NCAA Championship in 1995 and 1996.
Off the field, she was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection from 1994-96, and earned District Academic All-America honors in 1996. A native of Plymouth, Minn., Chastain graduated from Minnesota with a bachelor's degree in International Business/Spanish in June 1997. Having spent six months studying abroad at the University of Seville, Spain, Chastain is fluent in Spanish.
Chastain and her husband, Chad, live in the north suburbs with their daughters Harper and Brooklyn. Chad's sister, Brandi, is one of USA Soccer's all-time greats as she led the American side to the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup.
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