For 90 minutes Friday, the DePaul women’s soccer team did an excellent job defending Rutgers star and Olympian Jonelle Filigno. Unfortunately, they couldn’t hold her back any longer than that. Filigno took a pass directly up the middle in overtime and scored 39 seconds into the sudden-death period to hand the Blue Demons a tough 1-0 loss.
Filigno, a junior, was a focal point for DePaul entering the game. The forward played for Canada in the Olympics and had an impact for her country in the dramatic 4-3 U.S. victory in the penultimate game of the tournament.
The Blue Demons held Filigno in check for the entirety of regulation, forcing her out of the box and playing physical soccer to deny her the ball.
DePaul head coach Erin Chastain was complimentary of her team’s defensive effort despite the goal at the end.
“We just tried to be physical with her and prevent her facing up and running at us, because that’s where she’s really dangerous,” said Chastain. “We wanted to limit her shot opportunities and I thought we did a good job, but obviously, we lost track of her on the goal.”
DePaul (7-7-1, 2-4 Big East) controlled the first half. The Blue Demons outshot the Scarlet Knights 6-5 and played the majority of the period on Rutgers’ half of the field. They had an open net opportunity six minutes in, but a header in front of the goal cleared the crossbar.
“I thought we had a great start. That was our gameplan – to come out with a lot of energy and intensity and have a great start and I thought we did that,” said Chastain.
The crowd added intensity to the match as well.
It was Field Trip Day at Wish Field, as DePaul invited four elementary schools to attend the game and sit in the stands to cheer on the Blue Demons. The crowd of 503 was loud for the majority of the game and the visiting schools St. Clements, Finkl, Claremont and Belmont-Craigin made their presence felt.
“The energy and the environment was great for the girls. It’s great that those schools were able to come out and support us and watch a soccer game. I hope they can aspire to be like one of our girls,” said Chastain.
The Blue Demons dropped their third consecutive game, all of which have come against Big East opponents. With only a few Big East matches remaining, Chastain’s squad faces an uphill battle in the deep conference.
“All of these games in the Big East are tough grinds,” said Chastain. “We recognize that we threw away a good opportunity to get some points today, and we’ve got to go out and get some more.”