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Successful Comeback for Blue Demons in Season Opener
Rachel Pitman (above) and Abby Reed scored on Friday in DePaul's 2-1 victory over Central Michigan.

Rachel Pitman (above) and Abby Reed scored on Friday in DePaul's 2-1 victory over Central Michigan.

Aug. 22, 2014

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CHICAGO – All it took for DePaul on Friday was falling behind to come out ahead.

After giving up an early second-half goal, the Blue Demons came roaring back with the equalizer and the game-winner in a season-opening 2-1 victory over Central Michigan at Wish Field.

Dominating the opening half with an 11-1 margin in shots, DePaul came out a little slowly in the second half. In the 56th minute, the Blue Demons were stung by Eliza Van de Kerhove’s shot from 15 yards out on a partial breakaway.

“We were letting the game pass us by,” said DePaul defender Rachel Pitman. “They scored, and that just woke us up. We really needed to get our heads back in the game.”

Less than a minute later, Pitman was positioned in front of the Chippewas’ net when freshman Alexa Ben made a smart back flick.

“Lexi put it on a platter for me,” said Pitman who scored her first goal of the season. “All I had to do was shoot it in the net. That’s my job to get in front of the net and pick up the pieces.”

Pitman and her teammates continued their assault on Central Michigan. In the 83rd minute, Brianna Ryce played the ball to Abby Reed, and her shot from left of the box found the back of the net.

“All game long, I had been missing on my opportunities,” said Reed, a transfer from Indiana State. “After I got the ball from Brianna Ryce, I knew this was the one. I put it away, and it was awesome.

“In the second half, it was like we let that team back in the game. They took advantage and executed on their goal.

“It was great to get my first DePaul goal. Now, I don’t have to worry about it anymore.”

It was a good way to start off the 2014 season.

“We had seven golden opportunities to score goals in the first half,” said DePaul coach Erin Chastain. “When you miss on those chances, it just gets tougher. The other team is hanging around at 0-0 and they start to believe in themselves.

“Give Central Michigan credit on their goal. We didn’t track a runner, and they made it happen. But we came right back with Rachel’s goal off Lexi’s assist, and then Abby scored a great goal.

“We played with a little edge after they scored, and that’s how we need to play in the attacking third.”

DePaul hits the road next for a 1 p.m. match on Sunday against No. 13 Nebraska.

NOTES: DePaul outshot CMU 11-1 in the first half and 9-2 in the second half for a 20-3 overall advantage… the Blue Demons had a 7-2 edge in corner kicks… Chastain’s team forced CMU’s goalkeeper to make five saves… Reed had six shots with two on goal… Amber Paul took four shots with two on frame… Elise Wyatt unleashed four shots… Ben took a pair of shots and both were on target… Nina Kodros, Pitman, Paul, Sarah Gorden and Elizabeth Endy were the field players who played the entire 90 minutes.