DePaul Fouls Up Chance to Upset No. 10 Rutgers
PISCATAWAY, N.J. - For more than 57 minutes on Sunday, DePaul was beating the 10th-ranked team in the country.
Then, the lead got away in Piscataway.
DePaul watched Rutgers score once in the second half and once in overtime during a 2-1 loss in the BIG EAST Conference.
What was particularly vexing about this setback is that the Blue Demons had a hand in both Rutgers goals.
A foul in the penalty box at the 57-minute, 35-second mark set up Jennifer Anzivino for her second goal of the season.
That neutralized Michelle Scandora's well-placed header goal off a corner kick from Tara Strickland just 6:13 into the match. It was Scandora's third goal of the season.
Protecting a 1-0 lead against No. 10 Rutgers might have brought back memories of DePaul's earlier 1-0 victory over then-No. 11 Missouri.
Alas, it was not to be on this day. After Anzivino's score mandated extended play, a Blue Demon foul in overtime provided Julie Lancos with a free kick just above the box at the 18-yard line. Her shot eluded goalkeeper Claire Hanold at the top-right portion of the net.
"We played well, but it is disappointing," said DePaul coach Erin Chastain. "We have to learn to be much more disciplined in overtime.
"Rutgers (10-2-3, 4-1-2 in the BIG EAST) is extremely talented on set pieces. That's when they are the most dangerous, and it was a wonderful finish for them."
DePaul (8-6-2, 3-4-0) did a commendable job of containing the Scarlet Knights in the run of play. Defenders Dominique and Janina Locascio, Chelsea Grant and Beth Perry limited their scoring chances.
"I thought our back four played fairly well," Chastain said. "There weren't any real dangerous opportunities for Rutgers to score---except for their set pieces."
In other years, extending a national power into overtime might have been worth a pat on the back.
Not anymore, especially with Chastain intent on transforming DePaul into a soccer force.
"I knew Rutgers was highly ranked, but I thought we could put ourselves in position to win this game," Chastain said. "We had been playing well, and I felt we came in with a good chance to win."
DePaul should enhance their chances to win in the next two weeks with the final four matches all at Wish Field where the Blue Demons are 4-0-1.
NOTES: DePaul welcomes Providence to Lincoln Park on Friday and Connecticut on Sunday... the following weekend will bring Georgetown and Villanova to Wish Field... the Blue Demons were outshot 11-5 by Rutgers, and had three shots on goal to six for the Scarlet Knights... Strickland and Scandora each had two shots while Lauren Pagone had one... Scandora had two shots on goal and Strickland one... this was a duel of two of the BIG EAST's top goalies in Hanold versus Erin Guthrie of Rutgers... Strickland's assist increased her team-high point total to 15 with five goals and five assists... her 28 career points ties Strickland for eighth place with Margo Sackmaster... Shannon Williams is ninth with 27 points... Strickland's 15 points ties her for ninth in single-season totals, one point behind Williams' mark in 2007... Pagone remains second behind Strickland in points with seven (three goals, one assist)... Scandora's third goal tied her for third in points with Kelly Blumberg (two goals, two assists)... the Blue Demons are one win away from equaling the total number of victories in 2007 and 2008... if DePaul can win out, the 12 victories would equal the total from the last three seasons.