Scrappy Pagone Goes High and Low With Dramatic Effect
Oct. 1, 2010
CHICAGO - From start to finish, this was Lauren Pagone's day.
DePaul's scrappy senior midfielder scored the tying and winning goals in a pulsating 2-1, double-overtime victory Friday over BIG EAST Conference adversary St. John's.
With the Blue Demons down a goal in the second half, Pagone scored her fourth goal of the season off a textbook corner kick from Tara Strickland in the 58th minute.
So, how does the shortest player on the field score on a header?
"I didn't go up and get it," said the 5-foot, 4-inch Pagone. "It kind of came to me. Tara hit a great cross, and I was going up in the air right as it was coming down."
DePaul coach Erin Chastain smiled when asked about her team's first goal that neutralized Jen Leaverton's goal for St. John's (4-6-1, 1-3-0) in the fourth minute.
"Lauren is very aggressive in the box and called for the ball from Tara," Chastain said. "Tara picked her out and hit a great service.
"Lauren is really invested in the team and playing a big role. She has become a great goal scorer."
Little did the Wish Field at Cacciatore Stadium crowd realize that the best was yet to come.
In the 105th minute, Strickland attacked down the right sideline.
"I started to make my run," Pagone said. "I looked at her. She looked at me, and we made eye contact."
Strickland smoothly struck a pass to Pagone, who hit a composed shot into the lower right part of the St. John's net for the golden goal.
Why did she take the low road?
"As you could tell, we had 17 shots and a lot of them were high," Pagone said in setting the scene for her team-leading fifth goal. "The goalie was playing really near post.
"I wanted to get it low, and I tried to hit it far post. It was a slow roller, and I'm glad it went in."
Kelly Blumberg was the first Blue Demon to give Pagone a victory embrace.
"I was in pure euphoria," Pagone said with a smile.
The win improved DePaul to 7-4-2 and 2-2-0 in the BIG EAST.
It was also a dramatic way to open up a critical four-game home stand.
"This was an exciting game, and we played well in the second half and in both overtimes," Chastain said. "We created a lot of dangerous chances.
"We just need to be better in the final third and focus on finishing those chances.
"Tara had a very good game for us and served up some great balls to Lauren."
Game two of this home stand kicks off at 1 p.m. Sunday against Syracuse.
NOTES: The five goals this season are a career-high for Pagone, surpassing the three goals she scored last year... she took over the team lead in scoring from Callie Hemming, who is second with four goals... Strickland's two assists gives her 17 for her career, placing her second all-time behind only Julianne Sitch (2002-05) who had 26... the two points gave Strickland 43 in her career and lifted her into second all-time behind Sitch (90 points)... Strickland has 13 goals (fifth all-time) and 17 assists in her career... the Blue Demons outshot St. John's 17-4 with Strickland taking six shots, Arianna Foster five and Blumberg three... in the last four games, DePaul has outshot its opponents 73-32 with 32 shots on goal to 17 for the opposition... Pagone & Co. had a 13-2 advantage in corner kicks Friday and has a 33-7 edge the last four games... the Blue Demons are 3-1 in that span... on the season, DePaul has outscored opponents 17-12 and outshot them 162-122... Pagone leads in goals with five and Callie Hemming is second with four... Strickland leads the team with 38 shots followed by Foster with 24 and Pagone with 19... Strickland also leads with 13 shots on goal followed by Pagone with 11 and Foster with 10.