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Blue Demons Search For First Wins of Season



CHICAGO - After beginning the 2008 season with two defeats last week, the DePaul women’s soccer program looks to rebound on a weekend that features two matches in three days. The Blue Demons seek their first victory of the season as they face Michigan State for the first time this Friday. On Sunday afternoon, DePaul travels to Toledo and looks to remain unbeated against the team. Sunday’s showdown begins at 1 p.m. ET. Kickoff with the Spartans is set for 3 p.m at Wish Field.
 
Noting the Blue Demons: The Blue Demons return 16 players from last season and welcome a dozen newcomers to begin the 2008 regular season... senior forward Shannon Williams returns as the top scorer having led the team with 16 points off seven goals and two assists last season... returning sophomores Callie Hemming and Tara Strickland combined for five goals and three assists in 2007... with an assist in the home-opener against Loyola-Chicago, Shannon Williams moved into a tie for 10th all-time with 19 points and remains in a tie for ninth with eight career goals... head coach Erin Chastain begins her second season with the Blue Demons having gone 5-13-1 in her first campaign... the 2008 slate will be the 13th season for the women’s soccer program... since 2002 the team has posted a record of 25-23-3 in matches at Wish Field.

Scouting Michigan State: The Spartans continue the 2008 campaign having defeated Oakland on the road, 5-1, in the season-opener...  after leading 2-1 in the first period, MSU’s Laura Heyboer put the game away with three goals in the second half en route to winning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors... the freshman was also named to the EA Sports All-American team on Aug. 20... the team returns seven starters, 19 letterwinners from last season’s 7-10-2 squad and welcomes a 10-player recruiting class ranked 19th in the nation by Soccer Buzz... MSU was picked to finish seventh in the Big Ten preseason poll...Tom Saxton begins his 18th year as head coach of the Spartans. The Series: Friday is the first meeting between the two programs.

Checking on Toledo: The Rockets enter this week’s action at 1-0-0 after shutting out Cleveland State, 3-0, on the road, Aug. 24... the two-time defending MAC tourney champs that posted a 14-6-3 record last season return18 letterwinners, including reigning conference player of the year Molly Cornwell and ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District IV honoree Ali Leak...Toledo was selected as the favorite in the MAC preseason poll for the first time in school history... head coach Brad Evans enters his eight season with the Rockets. The Series: Sunday will be the second meeting between the two teams... DePaul won the first match-up, 3-1, on Sept. 5, 2003 at Wish Field.

Previously: Loyola-Chicago (Aug. 22) - DePaul lost the season opener, 2-1, against Loyola-Chicago after knocking in the first goal. Tara Strickland and Shannon Williams combined for their third career goal and assist. After Williams nearly placed one in the net early in the second half, the senior fed a pass to Strickland who fired a shot past the keeper at 73:19. The Ramblers answered quickly as Jackie Vera tied it at 74:15 before Cynthia Morote-Ariza answered with the game-winner. Butler (Aug. 24) - The Blue Demons dropped another 1-2 decision in a road game to the Bulldogs. After Dominique Locascio scored the first goal of the game and Beth Perry registered her first collegiate assist, Butler stole a victory with a converted penalty kick in the 65th minute and a game-winner with less than four minutes in regulation.

Exhibition Recap: DePaul picked up the victory against Eastern Illinois in its lone exhibition match on Aug. 16. The two teams played scoreless over the first 80 minutes until Taylor Nieling took a free kick from 35 yards out and found Lauren Pagone in front of the frame. Pagone got the ball past the Eastern Illinois goalkeeper to score the game-deciding goal at 80:43. Kelsey Hoinkes and Brittni Lally combined on the shutout for the Blue Demons with a save for Hoinkes and two stops for Lally. DePaul outshot the Panthers, 16-4, in the game and held a 7-4 advantage on corner kicks.

Preseason Picks: The Blue Demons were picked to finish eighth in the National Division of the BIG EAST preseason poll. Notre Dame was selected to finish first in the National Division while West Virginia received the top spot in the American Division. Notre Dame’s Brittany Bock was the selection for Preseason Offensive Player of the Year while Villanova’s Kelly Eagan was named the Defensive Player of the Year. The Goalkeeper of the Year was Stephanie Labbe of Connecticut.

2008 BIG EAST Championship:  The semifinals and championship of the 2008 BIG EAST Women’s Soccer Championship will be Nov. 7 and 9 at Notre Dame’s Alumni Field. The first round and quarterfinal matches will be hosted by the higher-seeded team on Oct. 30 and Nov. 2. The champion receives the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Championship. CBS College Sports Network will broadcast the semifinal and championship matches.