Strickland's Goal Leads DePaul Over Providence
CHICAGO A second-half blast from the top of the penalty box by Tara Strickland led DePaul to a 1-0 win in BIG EAST action against Providence on Sunday. The Blue Demons finish the regular season next weekend at Rutgers and Seton Hall.
DePaul controlled the pace of play throughout the first half with Lauren Pagone nearly scoring on two occasions. Her first chance came 20 minutes into the game when she took a point-blank shot only to see Providence's Laura Elfers make the stop. With just over 13 minutes left until halftime Kelly Semko's serve over the Friar back line found Pagone, but her attempt was again saved by Elfers.
Providence (3-12-1, 2-7-0 BIG EAST) generated its best opportunity late in the first period when Great Houlihan took a serve off a free kick, but Kelsey Hoinkes was there to make the save for the Blue Demons.
The lone goal of the match started with Shannon Williams dribbling through the Providence defense. Williams dropped a pass off to Strickland near the top of the penalty box where the freshman took a dribble and sent a liner just under the crossbar at 70:24 for the game-winning goal. The goal was the second of the season for Strickland off Williams' second assist.
The Friars nearly answered in the 73rd minute when Victoria Neff took a shot from the right flank that went just wide of the left post.
Both teams finished the afternoon with 11 shots while Hoinkes and Elfers tallied seven saves each.
DePaul (5-11-1, 2-7-0 BIG EAST) travels to Rutgers and Seton Hall next weekend to finish the regular season. The top five teams from each of the BIG EAST's two divisions qualify for the conference tournament.
Match Notes: Shannon Williams moved into a tie for 11th all-time on DePaul's scoring list... her 18 career points (8G/2A) are tied with Ogonnaya Dotson-Newman (2001-02)... Williams' 16 points in 2007 are ranked eight on DePaul's season chart... DePaul's last eight matches have been decided by a single goal... the Blue Demons leads the series, 2-1-0... the home team has won in each of the three meetings.