Championship Central Page
The BIG EAST women's soccer championship kicked off Thursday afternoon with a pair of first-round games. Both home teams prevailed as UConn beat Louisville 3-0 and DePaul held off Pittsburgh 1-0.
With the wins, UConn heads to National Division No. 1 seed Notre Dame, while DePaul heads to American Division No. 1 seed Marquette.
WOMEN'S SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP BRACKET
CHICAGO, Ill. - From Doug Bruno waving a huge DePaul flag and heading up his own rooftop cheering section to the Screamin' Demons Band and the DePaul student-athletes and cheerleaders energizing Wish Field at Cacciatore Stadium---different factions of the DePaul athletic family came together Thursday on an historic occasion.
They all joined in on the Blue Demons' 1-0 victory over Pittsburgh in the school's first-ever BIG EAST Conference Championship tournament win---courtesy of Michelle Scandora's penalty-kick goal in the 39th minute.
DePaul (11-8-2) advances to the BIG EAST quarterfinals and a 1 p.m. game on Sunday at No. 13/12 Marquette (14-3-2).
Not long after the final horn had sounded, the women's soccer players walked over and saluted Bruno, the women's basketball coach who was perched on top of the Sullivan Athletic Center.
"It was fun to see him waving that big flag," said DePaul coach Erin Chastain. "That's the type of place DePaul is---a family athletic department which makes it so special.
"Doug took time out on the same day as the Tipoff Luncheon to give our kids a motivational speech. He has so much experience with postseason tournaments.
"Our team thought so much of him doing that, and really took his words to heart."
There was Arianna Foster in the 39th minute making a surgery-precise pass through the narrowest of openings between two Panther defenders to Natasa Radosavljevic.
"I made my move on the right and Ari had two players on her, so I yelled to her, Radosavljevic said. "She slipped it right through. I saw the keeper coming out and took a touch.
"The keeper clipped my foot and I rolled over, and we got a penalty kick."
The whistle in the box handed DePaul a golden opportunity.
"I kind of got excited because I anticipated taking it," Scandora said. "I was telling myself to relax, focus on the shot and don't over-think it."
Scandora fired her shot into the lower left corner as Pittsburgh goalkeeper Morie Kephart moved in the other direction.
STORRS, Conn. - UConn beat Louisville 3-0 in the first round of the BIG EAST Championship held at at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium. Junior Jessica Shufelt put home the game winner in the 36th minute while junior goalkeeper Jessica Dulski was only called into action three times to earn her fourth shutout of the year. The No. 4-seeded Huskies (9-8-3) will travel to face No. 1 Notre Dame on Sunday, October 31 at 1 p.m.
UConn dominated all facets of the game today in the 3-0 victory over No. 5-seeded Louisville (10-9). The Huskies outshot UL, 26-5, while holding the edge in shots on goal (9-3) and corners (5-1). Connecticut held possession for the majority of the game. Louisville connected two passes in the UConn half for the first time 21 minutes into the contest. The UConn defense didn't allow a Cardinal shot until the 42nd minute.