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Blue Demons Blitzed in Season Finale at Notre Dame
Rachel Pitman scored her first collegiate goal in the 90th minute of DePaul's 5-1 loss Friday night at Notre Dame.

Rachel Pitman scored her first collegiate goal in the 90th minute of DePaul's 5-1 loss Friday night at Notre Dame.

Oct. 21, 2011

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. - DePaul did not have an answer Friday night for Notre Dame's preseason All-American.

Melissa Henderson scored four goals---three in the second half and two in a 58-second span---as the Blue Demons finished up their season with a 5-1 BIG EAST Conference loss to the Fighting Irish.

Even though Notre Dame (9-6-3, 6-3-2 in the BIG EAST) controlled the action in the first half, DePaul (3-14-1, 1-9-1) stayed close.

Only a Henderson rebound goal in the 13th minute prevented the Blue Demons from going into halftime with a scoreless tie.

Henderson began to break it open with a header into the DePaul net at the 63:50 mark, and then scored again at 64:48.

Brynn Gerstle made it 4-0 in the 73rd minute and Henderson struck again in the 82nd minute. Henderson, a senior forward, now has 17 goals on the season.

The Blue Demons battled right to the very end of their season, and Rachel Pitman scored her first collegiate goal on a 90th-minute header after a textbook corner kick from Beth Perry.

"I am really proud of our team despite the loss," said DePaul coach Erin Chastain. "We tried to attack against one of the best teams in the country (2010 national champion), and I thought at times we did some nice things.

"We never gave up, and hopefully ending the game with a goal will help us look forward to great things next year with this very young group."

It was a youthful team working its way through growing pains as five freshmen---goalkeeper Megan Pyrz, defender Sarah Gorden, midfielder Amber Paul and forwards Rachel Pitman and Nikki Condit---either started or played significant minutes.

The learning curve was at its most demanding during eight losses by a single goal---including four in overtime.

Those five freshmen along with talented sophomores Ashleigh Goddard, Rebekah Roller, Kylie Nordness and Natasa Radosavljevic represent the future of the Blue Demon program.

Juniors Kelly Blumberg and Claire Hanold will be looked upon to provide senior leadership in 2012.

"We are thankful for the contributions of our seniors and will miss having them in our program," Chastain said.

NOTES: Notre Dame took 21 shots to eight for DePaul, and the Fighting Irish had 13 shots on goal to five for the Blue Demons... senior Morgan Celaya took two shots and both were on goal... Pitman and Paul each had two shots with one on goal... Roller had one shot, and it was on frame... Perry took one shot... Henderson had six shots on goal and four found the net... Blumberg, Roller, Paul, Gorden and Perry played all 90 minutes...Celaya led DePaul with four goals and nine points... she also topped the team in shots with 44 and shots on goal with 23... Paul had three goals and seven points, taking 31 shots with 10 on goal... Michelle Scandora had two goals and five points with 22 shots and 12 on frame... Goddard had two goals and five points while Roller finished with one goal and led the Blue Demons in assists with three... Pitman finished with one goal and one assist, taking 26 shots with 10 on goal.