Women's Soccer Opens Season At CMU Invitational
CHICAGO - The DePaul women’s soccer team begins the 2004 season in Mount Pleasant, Mich., at the CMU Invitational. The Blue Demons take on host Central Michigan on Friday before playing Ball State on Sunday. Both matches will be the first meetings between the programs.
Looking at the Blue Demons: 2004 marks the ninth season of women’s soccer at DePaul University... DePaul returns 19 players and welcomes seven newcomers to the 2004 roster... of those 19 returners, six are seniors, four are juniors and there are seven sophomores... offensively, the Blue Demons return the top four scorers from a year ago... junior and Hermann Trophy candidate Julianne Sitch is the top returning scorer... in two seasons, she has recorded a program-best 52 points, 20 goals and 12 assists... the Blue Demons are 2-6 all-time in season-opening matches... after opening the season at the CMU Invite, the Blue Demons play two home games at Wish Field over Labor Day weekend... head coach John Wilson is in his fifth season in Lincoln Park.
Sitch on Hermann Trophy Watch List: DePaul junior and preseason Conference USA Player of the Year Julianne Sitch is one of 25 student-athletes named to the preseason Hermann Trophy watch list. The Hermann Trophy is annually awarded to the top men’s and women’s collegiate players. The 25 players on the preseason list are considered to be among the top players entering the 2004 college season and are the ones to watch this fall. A list of 15 semifinalists will be announced in November, with three finalists selected in early December. The winner will be announced at a dinner at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis, Mo., on Jan. 8, 2005.
Warm-Up: Last Saturday, the Blue Demons played Purdue to a 2-2 tie at the IPFW Soccer Showcase in Fort Wayne, Ind. Sophomore Lauren Spacht scored both goals for DePaul. Following a scoreless first half, the two teams came alive as they accumulated all four goals in a span of four minutes midway through the second period. Purdue outshot DePaul, 12-9, in the match while goalkeeper Lindsey Deason made six saves.
Looking at the Chippewas: Central Michigan is the host of the CMU Invitational and is member of the Mid-American Conference... they play Detroit on Sunday... a year ago, they held a 9-8-2 record... Rachel Snyder is the top returning scorer with 12 points on five goals and two assists in 2003... head coach Tony DiTucci is in his first season as head coach at CMU after serving as an assistant coach. The series: Friday marks the first meeting between the two programs.
Scouting the Cardinals: Sunday’s opponent, Ball State, is also a member of the Mid-American Conference... Ball State opens the CMU Invite with Detroit on Friday... in 2003, they posted an 11-7-2 record... senior Dee Nocero led the club last season with 18 points on seven goals and four assists... head coach Ron Rainey is starting his sixth season with the Cardinals. The Series: Sunday will be the first match between DePaul and Ball State.
Ranked In the Region: With nine starters returning from last season’s NCAA Tournament team, the Blue Demons found themselves ranked fifth in the SoccerBuzz preseason rankings. A year ago, the club was ranked as high as eighth in both the SoccerBuzz and NSCAA regional rankings.
Preseason Picks: The Blue Demons were picked third in the annual Conference USA preseason coaches poll. DePaul, who won the C-USA Tournament last year, was third behind defending regular-season champion UAB and Saint Louis. Julianne Sitch was named the C-USA Preseason Player of the Year and was the only Blue Demon on the preseason All-Conference USA team. Last season as a sophomore, Sitch was picked as the league’s Offensive Player of the Year and the C-USA Tournament Offensive MVP.
What’s Ahead: The home schedule starts the first weekend of September with matches against Western Michigan and Liberty. The Blue Demons then travel to Eastern Illinois and UW-Milwaukee before returning to Wish Field for games against Northern Iowa and Marquette. September closes with a pair of road matches at Memphis and Saint Louis.