Blue Demons Win Overtime Thriller
CHICAGO – Bren Sugarman’s goal in the 100th minute in the first overtime put the DePaul Blue Demons over the Eastern Illinois Panthers on Sunday afternoon at Wish Field. The win was the third straight for the Blue Demons heading into their final match of the regular season at Saint Louis.
Eastern Illinois’ Beth Liesen scored the match’s first goal when she lofted a shot over DePaul keeper Lindsey Deason. The Blue Demon defense couldn’t get to the shot as it trickled over the line for Liesen’s 16th goal of the season at 26:39.
DePaul (12-5-1, 6-2-1 C-USA) took eight shots in the first half, but came up empty each time as Tiffany Groene made five saves for the Panthers.
The Blue Demons turned up the intensity midway through the second period as Erin Walter’s shot sailed just over the crossbar with 29 minutes left in regulation. DePaul broke through in the 70th minute when Kelly DeBaene took a pass from Sugarman and looped it over Groene from 20 yards away and into the back of the net. For DeBaene, it was her second goal of the weekend and fourth of the season.
With just under 10 minutes left, DeBaene had a chance to close the door on the Panthers. She found herself all alone with Groene, but her shot towards the left post was just wide.
In the first overtime period, the Blue Demons continued to keep the pressure on Eastern Illinois and it paid off with just 29 second left on the clock. With under a minute to play in the first overtime period, Julianne Sitch drove down the right sideline. After beating a defender, she fired a shot that deflected off Groene and Sugarman was there to end the game and give the Blue Demons their 12th win of the season.
In the match, DePaul outshot Eastern Illinois (9-5-4, 5-0-2 Ohio Valley), 22-16 while taking five corner kicks compared to four for the Panthers. Deason finished with seven saves while Groene tallied 11 stops.
DePaul finishes the regular season on Saturday at Saint Louis. The Billikens dropped a 2-1 decision at Marquette on Sunday. Kickoff at Hermann Stadium is set for 1 p.m.