Blue Demons Dispatch Rutgers in Timely Fashion
Oct. 8, 2010
CHICAGO - There was something quite different about DePaul's soccer match Friday at Wish Field at Cacciatore Stadium.
It was over in 90 minutes.
After three consecutive overtime victories, the Blue Demons defeated Rutgers 2-0 in regulation time for their fourth win in a row.
It's the first four-game winning streak since 2003.
DePaul (9-4-2, 4-2-0) is assured of at least a tie for second place in the BIG EAST Conference's National Division, pending Georgetown's match at Cincinnati Friday night.
Tara Strickland didn't waste any time putting the Blue Demons on the board, scoring her third goal of the season just 4 minutes and 29 seconds into the match after assists from Lauren Pagone and Ashleigh Goddard.
"Lauren had a good kick from the outside left wing, and Ashleigh flicked it on," Strickland said. "I was wide open on the far post, and I had all the time in the world.
"Usually, you're not thinking---you're just trying to shoot. This time, I thought: 'I could shoot it over here or shoot it over there...'
"Thank God, I was able to get off a shot."
To make certain there wasn't any need for the crossing of fingers as in the last three games, Goddard scored for the second match in a row.
"It came from a free kick, and then Callie (Hemming) kind of flicked it over towards me," said Goddard, who scored the golden goal last Sunday against Syracuse. "The keeper came out and I chipped it over.
"She actually took me out. I hadn't quite landed on my right foot yet, and she came in on my ankle. And yeah, it hurt."
Goddard was on the turf for a couple of minutes before slowly walking off.
"Well, I thought it went in, but then I heard someone say something about offside," Goddard said. "I started panicking and thinking, 'oh, please.' But as I got up, it was like `well done.'"
Goddard's goal came in the 24th minute.
"Yeah, that's always the game plan---score quick," DePaul coach Erin Chastain said with a smile. "Those early goals gave our group confidence, and we knew we would have to absorb a lot of pressure in the second half.
"We did a good job of not allowing Rutgers (8-6-0, 3-3-0) to create any dangerous chances."
With a back line depleted by injury, midfielder Michelle Scandora was shifted to defender. She teamed with Rebekah Roller, Beth Perry and Kylie Nordness in blanking the Scarlet Knights with zero shots on goal.
"It feels nice to get a win in regulation time," Chastain said. "We've had our share of injuries and played a lot of minutes (six overtime games)."
This is the second-best start in program history, behind only the 2003 team that opened up 9-4-1.
And the Blue Demons are off to an equally fast start in the BIG EAST.
"I think that's awesome," Strickland said about being one notch below Notre Dame in the National Division. "It shows the depth of our team.
"We definitely don't belong in the bottom half of the BIG EAST."
Up next are Senior Day and the breast cancer awareness match against Seton Hall on Sunday at Wish Field. Another win would equal the program record of five in a row set in 2001 and 2002.
NOTES: The four-game winning streak is the second-longest in school history, equaled by the 2001, 2002 and 2003 teams... in the last six games, DePaul is 5-1-0 and has outshot its opponents 91-43... the Blue Demons have a 45-19 advantage in shots on goal over the last six games and have outscored teams 11-5... DePaul outshot Rutgers 8-4 and had six shots on goal to none for the Scarlet Knights... Arianna Foster had three shots and two on goal for the Blue Demons... goalkeeper Claire Hanold did not have to make a single save in recording her fifth shutout... Strickland's goal was the 14th in her career, and she is tied for fourth all-time with Jeannette Croce (1997-2000) and Christy Young (1999-2002)... Strickland is second all-time in career points with 45... Goddard has two goals and one assist in her last two games... Strickland leads DePaul with 12 points (three goals, six assists) followed by Hemming (four goals, three assists) and Pagone (five goals, one assist) with 11 points.