DePaul Women's Soccer Team Ranked No. 20 in the Nation
CHICAGO - DePaul reached a milestone on Monday when the undefeated women's soccer team was ranked No. 20 in the nation by Soccer America.
It marks the first time in the program's 14-year history that the Blue Demons have been ranked in a national poll, and the first time they have beaten a nationally ranked team.
What catapulted the Blue Demons into the lofty spot was a 1-0 upset of previously No. 11-ranked Missouri Sunday on the road. That gave the DePaul a 3-0-1 record to open the season with shutouts of the Tigers, Toledo (0-0, double overtime) and Loyola (4-0).
"I try not to pay too much attention to the rankings because there are so many good soccer teams out there and so much parity," said Blue Demon coach Erin Chastain. "Anyone is capable of beating a good team on any given day.
"I think our players will gain a little confidence from the Missouri game, but right now we're focusing on Friday's game at Iowa State."
Along with the national acclaim, there were more honors for DePaul on Monday as senior Dominique Locascio was named BIG EAST Defender of the Week and freshman goalkeeper Claire Hanold was chosen as BIG EAST Rookie of the Week.
Locascio became the first Blue Demon women's player to earn the defensive honor.
"Dominque played outstanding against Missouri," Chastain said. "She did a great job leading that defensive group.
"Anytime you can hold a powerful attacking team like that to zero goals is a real tribute to your goalie and back line."
After setting an Illinois High School Association career record for shutouts (73) while playing at Waubonsie Valley, Hanold has three shutouts in her first four collegiate matches.
"This is really exciting for her," Chastain said of Hanold who had one save against Toledo and five against Missouri. "She has been outstanding for us in goal."
The Blue Demons have already surpassed last year's total of two shutouts.