Nothing Beats the Start and Finish For DePaul
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - What a beginning---and what a rousing finish for the DePaul women's soccer team Friday night at Cardinal Park.
The local partisans were just settling into their seats when Beth Perry took a pass from Tara Strickland and scored---just 31 seconds into the match on the first shot of the night.
Then, with this BIG EAST Conference match knotted at 1-1, Lauren Pagone followed up a shot by Strickland for a rebound goal with just 3 minutes, 26 seconds left in the Blue Demons' 2-1 victory over Louisville.
"Tara got the ball at the 18-yard mark and chipped it," Pagone said. "I thought it was going in. Their goalie (Taylor Vancil) got a piece of hit, then it hit the post.
"It was just me and the goalie. I told myself: 'Just kick it away from her.' I hit it with my left foot into the right side of the goal."
That provided DePaul (6-3-2, 1-1-0 in the BIG EAST) with its first conference victory.
"It felt great," Pagone said of her third goal this season. "I looked up at the clock and there was just a little more than three minutes to go.
"It was the perfect time to score."
Right after Perry's opening salvo, teammates Callie Hemming, Janina Locascio, Shannon Williams and Morgan Celaya took turns assaulting the Cardinals net.
"We came out with a pretty good performance those first 25 minutes," said DePaul coach Erin Chastain. "We had some good opportunities to score, but we didn't capitalize on them. That allowed Louisville back in the game."
At the 67:46 mark, Shannon Leamy rifled in a shot 16 yards out from the right side for Louisville (3-5-0, 0-2-0)
"Give credit to Louisville---they threw everything at us in the second half," Chastain said. "We were just trying to hang on.
"Lauren did a good job of following the shot. She was definitely excited after scoring in a big-five moment (final five minutes)."
Pagone simply finished what Perry had started.
"We came out really hard, and Beth's goal got us fired up," Pagone said. "We should have scored some more, but at least we fought the whole game.
"We are a hard-fighting team. When we fight like that for a whole game, that's what puts us on top of other teams."
NOTES: DePaul's 16 goals so far equals the total number of goals the Blue Demons scored last season... they have outscored their opponents 16-12, and last year DePaul was outscored 40-16... Strickland's assist gives her a team-high 10 points while Pagone is now second with seven points... Kelly Blumberg's assist on Perry's goal gives her six points... DePaul outshot Louisville 14-12 led by Williams with four shots and Pagone and Celaya with three each... the Blue Demons had seven shots on goal, and goalkeeper Claire Hanold had to make three saves.