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Women's Soccer Opens Practice



CHICAGO - The DePaul women's soccer team opened the 2002 campaign this week in preparation for the Aug. 30 opener at Northwestern. Head coach John Wilson and the Blue Demons are looking to improve on last season's record of 6-12-1.

DePaul opened last season with a program-best 5-0 record with victories over Indiana State, Western Illinois, Valparaiso, UW-Green Bay and IPFW.  Of their 12 defeats, the Blue Demons lost four by just one goal including a 1-0 decision at eventual NCAA Sweet Sixteen participant Cincinnati.

Youth will be on DePaul's side this season as 15 players are either freshmen or sophomores.  The Blue Demons return their top three leading scorers from last season led by senior forward Christy Young.  Young is already the program's all-time leader in assists and needs just four goals and five points to become the leader in those respective categories.

Other top returning offensive threats for DePaul will be senior Ogonnaya Dotson-Newman and junior Colleen Ahearn.  Dotson-Newman found the net four times last season while Ahearn collected three scores.  Each of those players also dished out a pair of assists.

Defensively, Wilson's club returns three defenders in Erin Davren, Cassie Ozark and Amber Prindle.  Sophomore goalkeeper Lindsay Deason is back after tallying 71 saves a year ago.  Junior Erica Keppel will also see action in goal as she missed the entire 2001 season with an injury.

With the foundation that has been set by the returning players, Coach Wilson has added the top recruiting class in the program's history.  SoccerBuzz magazine recently ranked the class No. 11 in the Great Lakes region and in their national top 100.

The Blue Demons play an exhibition game on Aug. 24 at Loyola-Chicago before taking on Northwestern on Aug. 30.  The first home match of the season will be Sept. 13 against Drury followed by a Sept. 15 match against Idaho.