Women's Soccer Stays Perfect in C-USA Action
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Jennifer Heil found Kelly DeBaene for the “golden goal” in the first overtime to give the Blue Demons their third straight win and stay perfect in Conference USA play. Early in the second half, DePaul found themselves down 1-0, but fought back for their seventh win in the last eight matches.
After a scoreless first half that saw DePaul outshoot Memphis, 10-3, the Lady Tigers found the net at 48:13. Kirsty Marr lofted a shot over Lindsey Deason to give the home team the early lead. It marked the first score by an opponent in the second half this season and was just the third goal allowed in the last six games.
Conference USA’s leading scorer, Julianne Sitch, came up huge late in the match as she tied the game with her eighth goal of the season. Bren Sugarman fed Sitch just outside the box and the sophomore knotted the match at 87:56.
DePaul’s continuing pressure – outshooting Memphis 23-6 in the match – led to DeBaene’s game-winner in the 94th minute. Jennifer Heil set up the play with a pass to DeBaene and the freshman put it away for her second goal of the season.
“This team continues to play well in all kinds of situations,” said head coach John Wilson. “We got down in the second half, but stayed poised and focused to tie it up in regulation and then win it in overtime.”
Scheduled to be the second game of a doubleheader, the match was set for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. However, the opening match between the Memphis men and East Carolina was delayed 45 minutes due to travel problems for the referees. Then the men’s match ended in a 2-2 tie forcing the DePaul-Memphis game to begin just before 9:30 p.m.
For Sitch, her goal to tie the match set a new career scoring record at DePaul. The sophomore has 39 points in her career on 16 goals and seven assists. Christy Young previously held the record with 37 career points. Her goal total is also a career record and she needs just four more points to break her own single-season scoring record that she set as a freshman.
The win sets up an early first-place showdown in the Conference USA season. DePaul travels to UAB for a Sunday afternoon tilt at 2 p.m. Both teams hold identical 7-2-0 overall and 3-0-0 Conference USA records. UAB knocked off Cincinnati, 2-0, on Friday evening.