As the winning seasons continue, the Blue Demons have found their future cornerstones in freshmen Madeline Frick and Franny Cerny. DePaul’s women’s soccer doesn’t have to struggle to carry the torch.
While senior Elise Wyatt celebrated becoming DePaul’s all-time leading goal scorer in history with a hat trick against the Butler Bulldogs on October 8, Frick and Cerny looked forward to being the future of Blue Demons soccer.
Winning matches has rarely been a problem for DePaul the past couple of seasons. Just last year, the Blue Demons finished the season 16-1-4 and hovered around 20th in the nation. The year before, they were 13-6-2 and 5-3-1 against their Big East opponents.
This season, the Blue Demons are 11-2-2 (5-0-0 in the Big East) and are ranked 24th in the nation. The two freshmen are providing fresh legs off the bench, adding attacking options while keeping the starters fresh. Frick scored the lone, winning goal against Seton Hall on October 4 to lead the Blue Demons past the Bulldogs 1-0. The freshman is determined to always contribute in some way for DePaul soccer whether it be on the field or off.
“Gaining confidence is always a challenge, but the team makes you feel like very welcome,” Frick said. “I’d say our biggest challenge as the season progresses is staying consistent every game.”
Consistency has been key for the Blue Demons these past two seasons, Frick currently leads the Blue Demons in assists with seven, she has 17 points on the season, which is second on the team. Her teammate and fellow freshman Franny Cerny has posed similar statistics and is third one the team with 13.
“Our strongest opponents are coming up, but we’re excited in the locker room. Last year they had a good season, and this season everyone is a little nervous. We started a teeny bit rocky, but now that we’re getting the results everyone is excited,” Cerny said.
Cerny was named the Big East Player of the Week after DePaul’s victory over Seton Hall. Although Cerny is still only a freshman, she’s been seeing a lot of playing time. Her improvements have shown as she has scored five goals and recorded five assists. Her veteran teammate Brianna Ryce is pleased to see where the direction of this squad is headed compared to last season.
“I think the main difference (with the team this year from last year) is the different personalities and the different play styles coming in. It’s good to see that women’s soccer is evolving and we keep moving forward, it’s really nice to see that.”
Ryce has been the backbones of DePaul’s defense these past two seasons. Throughout their 14 games into the mid-season, the Blue Demons have only allowed 6 goals throughout the season. The record speaks for itself, as they have stayed on the rise as they ride on a four game winning streak. As the streak continued on a home win against Butler, DePaul still stays undefeated on the road at 5-0-1 after shutting out Villanova 3-0. While DePaul has been playing well at home, they are 4-2-1 and have only recently met their stride towards success in the last 2 victories against Seton Hall and at Villanova.
“We really zone in when we’re on the road,” Rice said, “Early in the season we weren’t necessarily confident (playing) with each other, but now we’re going to bring that same energy (at home) than we do for away games.”