Celaya, Blue Demons' Short Order: Goals to Go
CHICAGO - Morgan Celaya is all set for her breakout game.
Maybe it will come as early as 4 p.m. Friday when DePaul welcomes Butler to Wish Field.
Or, it could take place on Sunday when the Blue Demons go against Wisconsin in Madison.
"I'm still waiting to get that first goal " said Celaya, who has one assist this season and leads the team in shots with 18. ''I want that first goal really bad. I'm a forward, and that's what I'm supposed to do."
Celaya has been an energizing force on the field in DePaul's 3-1-2 start, doing the dirty work, making the hustle plays and helping to create opportunities for teammates with her relentless work ethic.
''I'm doing other stuff for the team, and everyone will have to play that role eventually," Celaya said. ''But it's still a little frustrating. I know it will come if I stop thinking about it."
Celaya is a high achiever with some lofty expectations of herself. She believes there were chances in the Northwestern and Toledo games when she could have filled the net.
''Both times, it was an overlapping run that was too severe to make the shot," Celaya said. ''I remember those two vividly. I had another chance in the overtime game against Drake, but I shot it too high.
''I try to play all-out because I don't like the feeling when the game is over that there's something I regret. I was mad at myself watching film of the Iowa State game (3-1 loss) when I saw how many plays I could have done better."
Doing better has been the Blue Demon theme in the midst of what could become a turnaround season. A victory on Friday will give the DePaul women's soccer program as many wins as all of last year.
''The whole atmosphere and energy level has totally changed,'' said Celaya, a sophomore. ''We're excited just going to practice.
''Last year, we didn't feel we could win. It's really different now because we go into each game knowing there's a good chance to win."
The Blue Demons head into the weekend looking to revitalize an offense that scored seven goals in the first two games.
The firepower is certainly available from leading scorer Tara Strickland along with Shannon Williams, Dominique Locascio, Lauren Pagone, Arianna Foster, Michelle Scandora, Kelly Blumberg and Celaya.
''Last weekend, we weren't focused for Iowa State," Celaya said. ''We had just come off a big win over Missouri (ranked No. 11 at the time), and we didn't respect Iowa State like we should have. The whole team was disconnected.
''Our forward line played much better against Drake and put on some intense pressure up top. We just didn't capitalize on our scoring chances."
This weekend represents the final tune-up for DePaul before heading into the formidable BIG EAST season. The Blue Demons open league play against none other than rival Notre Dame on Sept. 18 in South Bend. Notre Dame (3-1-0) is ranked No. 5 in the nation by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and No. 7 by Soccer America.