Blue Demons Face Familiar Foes in BIG EAST Action This Weekend
CHICAGO - The DePaul women’s soccer team sees familiar faces this weekend in BIG EAST action with games against former Conference USA members Louisville and Cincinnati. The Blue Demons host the Cardinals on Friday afternoon before traveling to Cincinnati for a Sunday afternoon match. Sunday’s game is the first of five straight away from Wish Field.
Looking at the Blue Demons: The 2005 season is the 10th year of women’s soccer as a varsity sport at DePaul University... the 2-0 win over Central Michigan on Sept. 18 was DePaul’s first mulit-goal game of the season and first since a 7-2 loss at UAB on Oct. 29, 2004... Julianne Sitch has scored two of the four Blue Demon goals this season... the Blue Demons have outshot their opponents, 125-113, but have been outscored, 15-4... the four shutouts suffered by the team this season surpasses the total from all of 2004... the 15 returners from last season accounted for 39 of the record-setting 46 goals a year ago... they also accumulated 42 assists and 120 of the team’s 140 points last year... Sitch and Lea Hill are the top returning scorers with 25 points each in 2004... Hill led the team with 10 goals and five assists while Sitch totaled nine goals and seven assists... overall, the top five scorers are back with Hill, Sitch, Erin Walter (4G/10A/18P), Jennifer Dyer (6G/5A/17P) and Lauren Spacht (5G/5A/15P)... that group has totaled two goals, three assists and 76 shots... head coach John Wilson is in his sixth season at DePaul.
Looking at Louisville: The Cardinals come to Wish Field at 6-2 overall and 1-0 in BIG EAST action. Last weekend, Louisville won the league opener at Cincinnati, 1-0, before losing a non-conference match at Xavier, 3-1. Monique Gjini and Jamie Craft lead the club with three goals apiece. Gjini adds two assists for a team-high eight points while Craft has totaled one assist. Overall, the Cardinals have outscored their opponents, 15-5, including a 5-0 win against Western Kentucky on Sept. 11. Head coach Karen Ferguson is in her fifth season. The Cardinals were picked to finish fifth in Division B in the BIG EAST preseason poll, just ahead of the Blue Demons. The Series: Friday is the 10th meeting between the two programs with the Blue Demons winning six of the previous nine games. Friday’s game is the fourth straight at Wish Field with the Blue Demons winning three previous three. A year ago, Julianne Sitch scored the game-winner in overtime for a 2-1 victory for the Blue Demons.
Nordic Cup Reunion: In the Summer of 2004, DePaul’s Julianne Sitch and Louisville head coach Karen Ferguson were involved with the U.S. U-21 National Team for tours of Brazil and Iceland. Ferguson served as an assistant coach on the staff while Sitch played in all four Nordic Cup matches as the United States won the international tournament. Earlier in the summer, Sitch saw action in three matches in Brazil while on a two-week tour of the South American country.
Checking on Cincinnati: The Bearcats open the weekend with a Friday evening match at Notre Dame and enter that game with a 2-4-2 overall record and 0-1-0 mark in BIG EAST games. They lost their conference opener to Louisville, 1-0, on Sept. 15 followed by a 2-1 overtime defeat to Xavier on Tuesday night. Jenn Johannigman leads the team with three goals followed by Andrea Haney with two goals. Overall, the Bearcats have been outscored, 10-8, by the opposition while being outshot, 103-85. Head coach Meridy Glenn is in her 23rd season with the Bearcats. Cincinnati was picked by the league’s coaches to finish eighth in Division B. The Series: Cincinnati has won all nine of the previous meetings in the series. A year ago at Wish Field, the Bearcats prevailed in a 1-0 decision. Sunday will be DePaul’s first appearance in Cincinnati since a 1-0 loss on Oct. 21, 2001.
Preseason Picks: The Blue Demons were picked to finish sixth in Division B of the BIG EAST Preseason Poll. The BIG EAST Conference features a pair of eight-team divisions with the top 12 overall teams advancing to the league tournament. Senior midfielder/forward Julianne Sitch was one of 12 players selected to the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team.
Record Book Update: With her two goals and an assist in the first seven matches, senior Julianne Sitch has totaled 82 points on 31 goals and 20 assists. A year ago, she totaled 25 points with nine goals and seven assists after a sophomore year with 31 points on 12 goals and seven assists. As a freshman, Sitch set a then-record for a single-season with 21 points on eight goals and five assists.
Looking Forward: Following Friday’s game against Louisville, the Blue Demons go on the road for five straight matches. DePaul travels to Cincinnati, USF, Marquette, Seton Hall and Rutgers. The Blue Demons close the regular-season schedule with a four-match homestand that features games with Providence, Connecticut, Georgetown and Villanova.