It's Anybody's Game When DePaul Faces Villanova in BIG EAST Playoffs
Nov. 4, 2013
CHICAGO – Starting on Tuesday, every time the DePaul Blue Demons set foot on a soccer field, it is win or go home.
Everyone from coach Erin Chastain to assistant coaches Michele O’Brien and Tina Estrada along with 24 players will be all-in for their 1 p.m. BIG EAST Championship opener against Villanova at Wish Field.
“This is the most exciting time of the year, and our team is really fired up for the chance to play in the conference tournament,” Chastain said.
“We opened the BIG EAST tournament on the road last year, and it’s really exciting to play at home this season. Our players get to compete in front of our fans and all the families. We’ll play on a field that we are comfortable with and where we have won a lot of big games.
“Our group is excited about playing at Wish Field. This is something you work hard for all season long---to earn the chance to host a BIG EAST playoff game.”
Last year, DePaul opened the BIG EAST tournament on the road and came away with a 3-0 victory over Villanova---the first BIG EAST Championship road win in program history.
It was a taut, scoreless battle until the Blue Demons erupted for three second-half goals in less than 10 minutes. Elise Wyatt scored in the 69th and 76th minutes and Kylie Nordness connected in the 79th minute. Ashleigh Goddard had assists on both of Wyatt’s goals.
That rivalry was renewed on Oct. 6 when DePaul came away with a 2-0 victory over Villanova at Wish Field. Goddard scored in the 52nd minute and Rachel Pitman tacked on the insurance goal in the 58th minute.
“We played at Villanova in the playoff opener last year and faced them again this year in the regular season,” Chastain said. “Both teams know each other very well.
“That game back in October was a tight one. Actually, with the exception of a few results, all of the BIG EAST games have been fairly tight.
“Tuesday’s game will come down to who has some good moments.”
DePaul (11-4-2, 5-3-1 in the BIG EAST) is the No. 3 seed in the BIG EAST Championship and finished the regular season leading the league in fewest goals allowed and goals-against average.
Sophomore goalkeeper Alejandria Godinez led the BIG EAST in GAA and save percentage and tied with Butler’s Julie Burton for most shutouts with seven.
Heading up the Blue Demon attack is Wyatt with six goals and four assists. Goddard has four goals and two assists.
Villanova (6-9-3, 3-5-1) is the No. 6 seed that lost its last three games of the regular season. In that span, the Wildcats have been outscored 9-1.
The most dangerous Villanova player is Katie Martin with six goals and 10 assists. Reanna Marino has four goals and two assists while Caitlin Forte has five assists.
“From now on, nothing matters about the regular season,” Chastain said. “Both teams start all over with a zero.
“Our team has playoff experience, and we are going to rely on that. Our players have won some big postseason games. Having been in that environment and faced that kind of pressure is going to be a factor in tomorrow’s match.
“The biggest thing is that nothing that has happened in the past means anything. All that really matters is what happens tomorrow.
“It’s anybody’s game beginning at 1 p.m., and we’ll be ready for that.”