Aug 29, 2013
CHICAGO – DePaul got on quite a roll in its last match, and the Blue Demons are looking to carry that momentum into their 3 p.m. showdown Friday at Ohio.
After opening the season with a 1-0 loss at Valparaiso on Aug. 23, DePaul rebounded with a resounding 4-0 road victory over Saint Louis two days later.
“I’m excited about how receptive the group was to critical feedback,” said DePaul coach Erin Chastain. “They learned a lot from last Friday’s game to Sunday’s game and applied the things we emphasized.
“Throughout the course of a season, things will go your way and you’ll also have your struggles. The hope is that when you do struggle, you have a good response to that. We had a good response on Sunday and learned the right lessons.”
Chastain’s side came out strong from the opening whistle with Elise Wyatt scoring two goals and Ashleigh Goddard one goal. Wyatt’s well-directed cross deflected off a Saint Louis player and into the net.
“Our team was aggressive on Sunday with the attack, and our outside backs Rachel Pitman and Nina Kodros did a nice job going forward,” Chastain said. “The rest of the team maintained an attacking mentality that created good chances and goals.
“From an attacking perspective, Elise and Ashleigh had really strong performances. They were setting the tone with their pressing and attacking mentality.
“We put a lot of responsibility on our outside backs to join the attack on one end and get back to defend on the other. Both Rachel and Nina are stepping up and making plays going forward.”
The stellar all-around team performance resulting in the offensive outburst allowed Chastain to give many of her players some game experience.
“It’s not easy to win on the road when you’re competing in a tough environment,” Chastain said. “But we understand what we do well as a team. Everyone played well on Sunday with strong performances in the back, the midfield and up front.
“Having everybody contribute to the win was good for our team chemistry.”
Ohio has opened the season 0-1-1 with a loss to Indiana and a 1-1 double-overtime tie with Wright State. Sara Haverchak has the Bobcats’ goal with assists from Carly Manso and Maggie Murnane.
Murnane has been Ohio’s most accurate threat so far with five shots and four shots on goal. Manso has four shots with two on goal and Haverchak two shots with one in the net.
After the Ohio match, the Blue Demons return to Lincoln Park and get ready for their home opener at 1 p.m. Sunday against the College of Charleston. The Cougars opened their season with a 2-1, double-overtime win over rival Charleston Southern before falling to North Florida 1-0.
“It’s going to be exciting to play our first home game on Sunday after beginning the season with three on the road,” Chastain said. “But right now the team is more concerned about a tough Ohio team on Friday. This group has always done a good job of not looking too far ahead.”