Paul's Late Goal Propels DePaul to 1-0 Victory Over Iowa
Aug. 14, 2014
CHICAGO - Even though this wasn't an official result, senior midfielder Amber Paul made it count right when it mattered the most.
In the 82nd minute of Thursday's exhibition match, Paul struck a free kick from 25 yards out that sailed into the upper right of the net in DePaul's 1-0 victory over Iowa at Wish Field.
It's difficult to come back from a late score.
"I knew I had to get it over the wall and to the opposite side of the goalkeeper," Paul said. "It was exciting when I saw it curve into the net. In a tight game like that, a late goal is huge.
"It was such a good game, and we came out with a lot of energy. I attribute that to our younger players. This was a total team effort, and I thought we were able to outwork them."
A rock-solid Blue Demon defense limited the chances Iowa had and held last year's NCAA tournament qualifier to five shots and three on goal. Alex Godinez and Megan Pyrz each played one half, and it was Pyrz's clutch one-hand deflection on a shot headed into the upper 90 in the second half that preserved the clean sheet.
"We've spent the most time in the preseason on our defending, and I thought the defense did a good job limiting Iowa's chances," said DePaul coach Erin Chastain. "We had two new backs in the starting lineup and they worked well with the returning starters. They were all really solid.
"Amber had a great goal. Now, we will begin working more on our play in the attacking third."
Paul said she noticed a difference in the team from last season's exhibition opener at Northwestern.
"It felt like we had more energy in our first game this year, and that came from our freshmen and sophomores," Paul said. "Also, we weren't as nervous as last year. When we had possession, it was like we took command of the game.
"We have a lot of new players, and the veterans on our team are doing a good job of setting the tone for them."
Overall, Chastain was pleased with her team's first action.
"There were some good things and some things that we need to get better at," Chastain said. "We played a lot of people, and different kids went in and stepped it up. Our level of play did not drop when the substitutes came in.
"That's a sign we could have a deep team this season. We have a lot to work on before our season opener next Friday (Aug. 22) against Central Michigan."
NOTES: DePaul's defense got off to a good start in following up last year's unit that was the best in the BIG EAST Conference... Chastain used 19 players in the preseason match including six freshmen... the Blue Demons outshot Iowa 11-5 and had a 5-3 edge in shots on goal... Brianna Ryce led DePaul with three shots on goal... the Hawkeyes had a 4-3 advantage in corner kicks.