Blue Demons Go for the Gusto in Loss to Notre Dame
Sept. 17, 2010
CHICAGO - All you need to know about Friday's showdown with No. 7 Notre Dame is this:
DePaul went for the win.
And that speaks volumes about coach Erin Chastain and her vision for the women's soccer program despite the 2-0 loss to the Fighting Irish in both teams' BIG EAST Conference opener.
"Several years ago trailing by a goal, I'm not sure we would have gone for the win," Chastain said. "We would have been content with the 1-0 loss.
"Today at the end, we went with just three (defenders) in the back, and that is very risky. But we were going for the win.
"I'm OK with giving up that second goal. This game showed the progress we're making and that we can win any game in the BIG EAST Conference."
Elizabeth Tucker gave the Fighting Irish a 1-0 lead with her 30-yard shot into the upper left corner of the net in the 27th minute.
For the next 61 minutes in Wish Field at Cacciatore Stadium, DePaul (4-3-2) battled powerful Notre Dame (6-1-0) to a virtual standstill.
The Blue Demons had five scoring chances off corner kicks and several more off free kicks, but couldn't fire a shot past Notre Dame goalkeeper Nikki Weiss, who recorded her sixth shutout.
Rebekah Roller had a free kick from 40 yards that forced Weiss to make her only save. Tucker scored her second goal in the 89th minute on a header into the right side of the net.
"I'd much rather go for the win," said Roller, the freshman defender who led the Blue Demons with two shots. "Settling is something this team should never do.
"Going with three forwards at the end gave us more opportunities to score."
"We play well together as a group," Roller said. "Coach (Chastain) says it's like we're all attached by a rope. When one of us goes, we all have to shift and stay with each other."
Roller said the back line began coalescing during a 1-1, double-overtime tie with Big 12 power Missouri on Sept. 3. After that, the Blue Demons beat Miami (Ohio), battled Big Ten power Michigan State to a scoreless tie and shut out Drake 2-0.
"We've done a good job of stepping to the ball and keeping shots away," Roller said. "I was really nervous at the start of the game because Notre Dame is ranked so high. I've seen them play and watched them on TV.
"It was exciting, our first big game of the conference. I got excited just to go out there and battle."
The Blue Demons return to Wish Field for a 1 p.m. match on Sunday against cross-town rival Loyola-Chicago.
NOTES: Each of DePaul's players had a strip of white tape across their left shin guard with the inscription: "Go Get `Em" written in red ink... that is the favorite saying of Joe Pagone, father of senior midfielder Lauren Pagone... Joe Pagone is in the hospital after suffering a stroke on Wednesday... a loud contingent of DePaul men's soccer players took over the student section and unleashed some rowdy soccer cheers in support of the women's team... talented midfielder Michelle Scandora, one of DePaul's most physical players, was back in the lineup after missing four games with an injury... Notre Dame outshot DePaul 13-6 and had four shots on goal to one for the home team... on the season, Callie Hemming leads the Blue Demons with eight points followed by Pagone with six... Hemming and Pagone each have three goals, and Hemming and Strickland each have two assists... Strickland leads the team with 21 shots followed by Morgan Celaya with 15 and Pagone with 12... this was DePaul's first loss at home this season.