Winning the Season Opener Hemming's Way
Aug. 20, 2010
IOWA CITY, Iowa. - DePaul's much-anticipated follow-up to last year's turnaround season was delayed 70 minutes Friday night by inclement weather.
"There was rain," said DePaul coach Erin Chastain, "but it was the lightning that forced us to wait. The rain and lightning had stopped once the game began."
That's when Callie Hemming christened this sequel season with a goal and an assist in the Blue Demons' 2-0 victory over Iowa at the Iowa Soccer Complex.
"This feels great, and being a senior really helps," Hemming said. "There were less nerves and more excitement.
"Last year (best record since 2003, first BIG EAST Championship berth), we got a little taste of what this team can do. Tonight, we fed off the energy we had from last year's success."
And then Hemming provided a glimpse into the inner workings of this team.
"The BIG EAST coaches still think we're the underdogs," Hemming said about the conference's preseason poll picking DePaul to finish sixth in the eight-team National Division.
"We're out to prove them wrong."
Hemming made it 1-0 at the 40-minute, 1-second mark of the first half with a header off a corner kick from set-piece specialist Tara Strickland.
"Tara is so great at set pieces, and she delivered a 50-50 ball that I went up and knocked in," Hemming said. The senior midfielder struck again in the second half, this time setting up the insurance goal by Kelly Blumberg.
"Callie made a wonderful pass to Kelly, who hit the post with her first shot," Chastain said. "The ball bounced right back to her, and she put it in."
That came in the 54th minute, and the Blue Demon defense took it from there.
"The defense played very well," Chastain said as goalkeeper Claire Hanold recorded the 10th shutout of her career. She had set a school record as a freshman last year with nine.
"I used five different players (Chelsea Grant, Janina Locascio, Beth Perry, freshman Rebekah Roller, Tessa Fegen) in the back line, and Claire made a game-changing save against one of their set pieces.
"It's nice to win your first game, but we still have lots to work on."
The Blue Demons will look to raise their game even higher on Sunday when they encounter Northwestern in a 1 p.m. match at Lakeside Field in Evanston.
NOTES: DePaul has now won back-to-back season openers after winning the opener just three times from 1999-2008... Strickland's assist ties her for third all-time at DePaul with 12... Roller played all 90 minutes against the Hawkeyes while fellow freshmen Erin Pekovitch (eight minutes) and Natasa Radosavljevic (43 minutes) saw action... Grant, Locascio, Perry and Michelle Scandora each played the entire 90 minutes... Morgan Celaya, Strickland and Blumberg topped the Blue Demons with three shots apiece, and two of Celaya's were on goal... Hemming finished with two shots (one on goal)... Locascio, Perry, Lauren Pagone and Arianna Foster each had one shot... DePaul outshot Iowa 15-11 with nine shots on goal to six for the home team... Hanold made six saves... Strickland and Fegen were each issued a yellow card.