After a slow first half that ended in a scoreless tie, DePaul women’s soccer coach Erin Chastain was very blunt about what she thought of her team’s first 45 minutes.
“The first half was just a blah first half,” she said.
While the first half may have been “blah,” No 24/24 DePaul came out strong in the second half, scoring two goals on their way to a 2-0 victory over Western Michigan on Friday afternoon.
DePaul’s defense kept Western Michigan’s offense in control throughout the game, allowing only two shots to the Broncos. However, the Blue Demons could not find much offense in the first half, something Chastain credited to how good of a team Western Michigan is.
“We knew they were a good team coming in,” she said. “They’re a team that’s going to compete for their conference championship.”
With that in mind, Coach Chastain wanted her team to protect its home field, especially after losing at home to Nebraska just five days before. She reminded her team all week that they were playing on their home turf and that this game was one of the last non-conference matches at home.
Chastain believes something in her team clicked at halftime, responding to the coach’s messages coming out from the break with a different energy. In her words, they looked more like themselves in the second half, creating many great chances offensively while also playing solid defense.
“I think for us it was more about just executing our game plan and they paid attention to the details of that more in the second half. Everyone just stepped up their level,” Chastain said.
After halftime, DePaul’s offense took over the game, garnering most of the scoring chances between the two teams. In the 61st minute, junior forward Abby Reed took a pass from freshman Madeline Frick and sophomore Lucy Edwards inside the six-yard box, scoring the first goal of the game.
“(Frick) played a great ball into me and I just one-timed it in,” Reed said. “I was just thinking I needed to hit it far post because the goalie was close to the near post.”
However, the Blue Demons’ scoring did not stop there. In the 81st minute, Frick assisted on another goal, setting up sophomore Alexa Ben 15 yards away from the net to put away Western Michigan for good.
“I think with this team, once we get one goal it just fires us up. So as soon as we got that one goal, we started playing better,” Reed said. Then Alexa created that second goal and it just came together for us.”
With the win, the Blue Demons improved to 6-1-1 on the season. Their next game is Sept. 13th at Central Michigan.