This One's for You, Dad
Oct. 10, 2010
CHICAGO - It was so appropriate that Lauren Pagone scored the winning goal on Sunday.
It was Senior Day, and Pagone is having a career year in her final season at DePaul.
She wears No. 5, and the 1-0, double-overtime victory over Seton Hall was the Blue Demons' fifth in a row---tying a school record.
The BIG EAST Conference win improved DePaul to 5-2 in the league.
But most of all, she scored her sixth goal of the season with her father, Joe Pagone, watching from the Wish Field at Cacciatore Stadium stands.
Joe Pagone suffered a stroke on Sept. 15, and this was his first chance to watch his daughter play again.
"It meant a lot," Lauren Pagone said. "I knew he was coming to Senior Day, and just having him walk on the field with me was amazing.
"When it (the stroke) happened, I didn't know if he would be able to come to the game. Then, having him here and seeing me score---words can't even describe it.
"I know he is so happy, and so proud."
He saw DePaul improve to 10-4-2 on the season and remain in a tie for second place in the BIG EAST's National Division with Georgetown.
With a defense headed by Michelle Scandora holding Seton Hall (6-8-0, 2-5-0) scoreless for more than 106 minutes, the offense came alive in the 107th minute.
Pagone was inserted into the match just 22 seconds before scoring the golden goal.
"I didn't have my best game, so I was just happy I had a chance to get back in there in the second overtime," Pagone said. "Becca (Rebekah Roller) served a great corner kick and Michelle Scandora won it and got a head on it.
"I actually thought it went in and was about to cheer when the goalie saved it and another (Seton Hall) girl chested it out.
"At first, I was like---yea! Then, when it didn't go in, it was like---oh no!
"I ran through it with my chest."
After scoring her fourth game-winning goal of the season, Pagone was mobbed by teammates who have now won five in a row. That hasn't happened since 2002.
"This wasn't our best performance, but we grinded it out and found a way to win," said DePaul coach Erin Chastain. "Becca served a great ball and Michelle put a head on it. And Lauren did a great job of finishing it off. She is so scrappy in the box.
"Picking up three more points in the BIG EAST standings is so important. We also wanted to send off our seniors on a winning note.
"The girls realized how important this game was with two road trips coming up the next two weekends."
This was DePaul's fourth overtime win in its last five matches, and it's the first time in program history the Blue Demons have four OT victories in a season.
"Our players really believe in themselves, and they know what it takes to win an overtime game," Chastain said.
They're getting good at finishing with a flourish.
"I just wanted a goal so bad," Pagone said about the final regular season game at Wish Field.
"That's what you always want---to score a goal on your Senior Day."
The Blue Demons are on the road for their final four conference matches, beginning with a 2 p.m. showdown Friday at Providence.
NOTES: Pagone's fourth game-winner ties her for second in the BIG EAST... that gives Pagone a team-leading 13 points... Tara Strickland (three goals, six assists) has 12 points and Callie Hemming (four goals, three assists) has 11... goalkeeper Claire Hanold's sixth shutout ties her for second in the BIG EAST... Hanold is tied for third in the BIG EAST in save percentage (.833)... Hanold is fourth in goals-against average at 0.74... the Blue Demons are 6-1 over the last seven matches and have outshot teams 100-52 in that span... they have a 49-22 advantage in shots on goal in the last seven games and have outscored opponents 12-5... DePaul and Seton Hall each took nine shots on Sunday... DePaul's four shots on goal came from Pagone, Arianna Foster, Scandora and Natasa Radosavljevic.