Blue Demons Come Up Short Against No. 15 Connecticut
CHICAGO Shannon Williams' bid to tie the match in the closing minutes was knocked away by a sliding stop by Elizabeth Eng to allow the visiting Connecticut Huskies escape Wish Field with a 2-1 win on Friday. Williams' shot over the Connecticut goalkeeper was rolling toward the net, but Eng slid in near the goalline to knock away the potential game-tying goal.
The Blue Demons got on the board first when Williams got behind the Connecticut defense. Tessa Fegen fed Williams with a serve from just outside the box. Fegen's pass went over the back line of the Husky defense where Williams took it and fired a shot past Stephanie Labbe at 13:05. For Williams it was her team-leading seventh goal of the season to put her in a tie for fifth on DePaul's season list.
Connecticut (11-2-1, 7-0-1 BIG EAST) answered with the equalizer five minutes later on a goal by Eng. As the DePaul defense attempted to clear the ball from the penalty box, it was deflected to Eng on the left side of the goal. She gathered the ball and immediately sent in a shot to the upper right corner at 17:56 to knot the match at 1-1.
The Huskies found the eventual game-winner in the 26th minute following a DePaul foul just outside of the 18-yard box. Meghan Schnur lined up the free kick and scored as the shot bounced past a diving Kelsey Hoinkes at 25:10.
The remainder of the first half and second period remained scoreless until Williams nearly sent the game to overtime. Williams flicked a shot over the charging Labbe and it looked as if the ball had enough momentum to reach the goal. However, Eng's sliding stop secured the one-goal lead for Connecticut and the eventual win.
DePaul (4-11-1, 1-7-0) took seven of its 11 shots in the second half while the Huskies totaled 21 shots on the afternoon. Hoinkes matched her season high with 10 saves on the afternoon.
The Blue Demons close the home schedule on Sunday afternoon against the Providence Friars. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. with the senior class being recognized in a pregame ceremony.
Match Notes: Shannon Williams moved into a tie for fifth on the season goal chart... her seven goals in 2007 tie her with Liz Gawne (1996), Maria Martinez (1997) and Jeanette Croce (1998)... she also moved into sole possession of 12th all-time with her 17th career point... Kelsey Hoinkes matched her season high of 10 saves set on Oct. 7 at Syracuse... DePaul's last seven matches have been decided by a single goal... Connecticut has won all three meetings between the two programs.