Blue Demons Ready for Minnesota Gold Classic
*denotes record as of September 6
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Off to its best start since 2003, the DePaul women’s soccer team (4-1-1) returns to the road this weekend for the Minnesota Gold Classic on September 7 and 9. The Blue Demons first take on Iowa State in a neutral-site matchup on Friday at 4:30 p.m. CT before battling host Minnesota on Sunday at 1 p.m. CT.
With four wins in its first six matches, DePaul has gotten off to its best start since 2003 when the Blue Demons, then of Conference USA, went 4-2-0 in their opening six.
Much of DePaul’s success in the early-goings of 2012 can be attributed to goalkeeper Megan Pyrz and the Blue Demon backline. Pyrz, who was named BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Week after posting a double-overtime shutout at Wright State and a 12-save performance at Dayton last weekend, has been a stalwart in net.
So far in her sophomore campaign, Pyrz has allowed just three goals in 610 minutes of action for a staggering .440 goals-against average. Before Dayton’s tally in the 28th minute on September 2, Pyrz and the Blue Demon backline—including usual starters Sarah Gorden, Kylie Nordness, Rachel Pitman, and Ren Stoecklin—had gone nearly 360 minutes without allowing a goal by the opposition.
DePaul’s first test of the weekend comes against Iowa State at the Gold Classic. The Cyclones and Blue Demons have met five times in program history with Iowa State holding a 3-2 advantage in the all-time series. The two squads last met in 2009, with DePaul falling 3-1 on the road.
The Cyclones, now 4-2 on the year, have outscored their opponents 14-5 this season, though seven of those goals came in their last outing, a 7-1 win over Northern Illinois on Tuesday.
The Blue Demons’ second match of the tournament comes against head coach Erin Chastain’s alma-mater, Minnesota, on Sunday. Thanks to three-straight wins, including a 4-1 road victory over USC and a 7-0 win over Bowling Green, the Golden Gophers received votes in the latest NSCAA/Continental Tire Top 25 Poll.
Like Iowa State, Minnesota has compiled a 4-2 record this season. The Gophers have also outscored their opponents by an 18-8 margin and have posted back-to-back shutouts. DePaul and Minnesota faced off for the first time ever last season when the Gophers came to Wish Field. In that match, the squads forced overtime before a thunderous strike from Gorden gave the Blue Demons the 2-1 victory.
Fans can follow along with the Minnesota Gold Classic Tournament Central all weekend. Live video will be available, weather permitting, for the Blue Demons match on Sunday against the Gophers.