Amber Paul scored a goal and was named BIG EAST Offensive Most Outstanding Player on Sunday.
Nov. 9, 2014
JAMAICA, N.Y. - The team that celebrates every goal as if that won an NCAA championship mobbed one another, piled on their teammates and cut loose on a pleasant Sunday afternoon at Belson Stadium on St. John's campus.
No. 13/7 DePaul's 2-0 victory over Georgetown brought home the program's very first BIG EAST Championship title in the same season the Blue Demons also won their first BIG EAST regular-season crown. Along with the title comes an automatic berth into the NCAA tournament.
DePaul extended its record-breaking unbeaten streak to 20 games with a program-best, 16-0-4 overall record, and the Blue Demons snuck up on coach Erin Chastain and dumped a Gatorade container of ice water on the proud leader of one of the nation's only two undefeated teams (UCLA).
"This means the world to our staff and the whole school," Chastain said after watching the postgame hoopla and taking in the moment. "This group has worked as hard as any team we've ever coached.
"They play so hard for each other, and you could see that in the final 20 minutes when they were blocking shots with their body and taking hits for the team. These girls are leaving their mark in the history of this program, and they are not done yet."
Elise Wyatt took off on a counterattack and worked her way into the box where she was able to unleash a shot that was saved by Georgetown goalkeeper Emma Newis.
The deflected ball stayed in the box and came back to Wyatt who calmly buried it into the net from six yards out for a 1-0 lead in the 26th minute.
It was Wyatt's 11th goal of the season, putting her one behind team leader Abby Reed and one away from tying the season record originally set by Julianne Sitch in 2003 and equaled by Reed this season.
No. 20 Georgetown (11-4-5) picked up some momentum later in the first half but could not find the equalizer, going into the halftime locker room trailing the Blue Demons 1-0.
BIG EAST Championship Offensive Most Outstanding Player Amber Paul had a chance in the 49th minute from the right side of the goal box, but her shot went just wide.
Paul took full advantage of a second chance in the 60th minute. Alexa Ben worked the ball into the middle of the box and sent a pass to Paul on the right wing. Paul deposited the ball into the lower left of the Hoya net for a 2-0 lead.
That was Paul's eighth goal of the season, a career high. It was Ben's 11th assist that sets a new single-season record, topping the 10 by Erin Walter in 2004.
"I had missed on another opportunity, so I wanted to make sure I got a good foot on that one," Paul said. "I was a little tired, but was able to hit it back post.
"Alexa always feeds me a nice ball, and she did it again on that play. This is such an amazing feeling winning our first BIG EAST tournament title."
The DePaul back line turned in another stellar performance led by BIG EAST Championship Defensive Most Outstanding Player Sarah Gorden. The senior center back has a nose for being in the right place for almost every dangerous situation, often using her track-team speed to neutralize Georgetown runs.
"Everyone had lots of energy today," Gorden said. "We had some amazing practices leading up to today, and I knew we would all bring our best game."
In the fourth minute, a turnover by Georgetown goalkeeper Emma Newins who was 15 yards out of the net on the left side of the box allowed Abby Reed a dangerous chance. Reed tried to loft a shot over Newins towards the empty net, but her shot strayed just wide right.
DePaul is hosting an NCAA Selection Show Watch Party for the women's soccer team at 3 p.m. Monday in the Hall of Fame Foyer of the Sullivan Athletic Center, 2323 N. Sheffield Ave. The selection show will air at 3:30 p.m. on NCAA.com. Food and drinks will be served at the event that is open to all students, faculty, staff and Blue Demon fans.
NOTES: Paul, Gorden, Ben and Godinez were named to the BIG EAST All-Tournament Team... this has been the greatest season in the history of DePaul women's soccer... the team has recorded the longest unbeaten streak in program history and won its first BIG EAST regular-season title... the No. 7 ranking in Soccer America is the highest in program history... Abby Reed tied the single-season mark for goals and Alexa Ben set the single-season mark for assists... Georgetown outshot DePaul 18-11 and shots on goal were tied 4-4... Wyatt had four shots with three on goal and Paul had four shots with one on goal... Reed had two shots... this was DePaul's fourth shutout in a row.