In 2014, DePaul women’s soccer’s win over then No. 13 Nebraska was the indication that they were a legitimately good team. They went into the rankings that next week and finished the regular season undefeated.
Their 2015 matchup was significant as well, albeit for a different reason as No. 20/19 DePaul fell to Nebraska 3-1 for their first regular season loss since 2013. The Blue Demons fell to 4-1-1, while the Huskers improved to 3-1-0.
“We knew Nebraska was going to come in and be a big test for us,” head coach Erin Chastain said. “They have really good attacking players and they’re good on set pieces. I think we had some breakdowns on their goals but there were still some positives from our performance and things to build on.”
The Huskers got on the board first in the 16th minute after DePaul had failed to score, despite controlling the tempo. Huskers junior forward Jaycie Johnson tapped a free kick near the sideline to junior midfielder Sydney Miramontez, who sent in a cross to the box. Senior defender Jaylyn Odermann took a shot toward the far post and put it home for the goal. DePaul keeper Alex Godinez got a hand on it but could not push it out of the way of the goal.
The response from DePaul, however, was quick. In the 22nd minute, senior defender Sarah Gorden sent a diagonal ball from the midfield line that found a streaking Alexa Ben flying down the sideline. The sophomore took the ball into the box and finished the shot far post for her third goal of the year. Ben scored two goals on Friday, bringing her weekend total to three.
“Even though I did get those goals it’s all about the team,” Ben said. “Hopefully next week will be a positive for us.”
The second half, however, was all Huskers. Nebraska took the lead back in the 54th minute. Senior forward Katie Kraeutner took a quick pass on a free kick just outside the box and fired a far post shot that was out of reach of Alex Godinez to make it 2-1 Nebraska.
It looked like DePaul would strike right back in the 67th minute when Ben was knocked down in the box and DePaul was awarded a penalty kick. Senior forward Elise Wyatt stepped up to take the penalty but it was saved. This kept Wyatt, who has 29 career goals, three goals away from tying Julianne Sitch’s all-time school record of 32 career goals.
The final nail in the coffin came in the 75th minute when freshman forward Lia Baldo got her head on a Miramontez corner kick and knocked it in the net to make it 3-1. Nebraska did not need any more insurance as they carried this lead to the final whistle, winning 3-1.
DePaul has their third straight home match Friday against Central Michigan, where they will have to adjust to their first regular season loss in almost two years.
“It’s a starting point,” Ben said. “It’s still early in the season for us and I think going into next weekend we’re going to look back on it and see what we need to do better.”
“The two biggest things are just being tighter on set pieces and not giving away unnecessary fouls,” she said.