On penultimate day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the DePaul women’s soccer team donned their pink jerseys as they hosted rival Marquette in the pivotal final regular season conference game.
Tied in second place with Georgetown entering the day with St. John’s just ahead of the two in first, DePaul needed a win to have any hopes of repeating at Big East regular season champions.
The Blue Demons (12-3-4, 6-1-2) clipped the Golden Eagles (8-7-4, 5-3-1) after six minutes of extra time 2-1 following Jessie Schmidt’s golden goal, assisted by Elise Wyatt.
“It’s unbelievable to get an overtime win,” Wyatt said. “We always wanted to come out strong in the first overtime and that’s exactly what we did. We put them under pressure and just didn’t give up.”
“That was the key today, we just did not give up,” she said.
Wyatt put the Blue Demons ahead in the 60th minute after she collected a deflected Taylor Schissler initial attempt and blasted her shot on goal and the goalkeeper couldn’t keep it out. It was Wyatt’s 12th goal of the season, bringing her level with Abby Reed and Julianne Sitch for the most goals in a single season at DePaul.
While her goal was historic, it was the assist that really had Wyatt elated.
“It felt nice to go 1-nil up for the team,” Wyatt said. “I’d have to say, though, the overtime goal felt ten times better.”
DePaul almost needed Wyatt’s initial effort as an equalizer was it not for a fantastic acrobatic clearance by Elizabeth Endy just three minutes earlier. Marquette had a corner kick and nearly found the back of the net with it.
“Alex (Godinez) was able to get a great initial touch on it and get it up in the air and then I thought it was going to clear the goal,” Endy said. “It didn’t quite clear it and I went behind her and just kicked it out.”
Godinez made a huge mistake in the 67th minute off a free kick from about 35 yards out when she flailed at the ball in the box, allowing it to drop perfectly for Darian Powell who calmly slotted home the equalizer.
Forty minutes later, DePaul walked off the pitch with three points. Abby Reed gathered the ball about 25 yards out, found Wyatt streaming down the right side of the field towards the goal line who delivered a perfect first-time cross into the center of the box where Schmidt was waiting and she tapped it home with her left foot – just the way her coach Erin Chastain said it would happen.
“That’s how Erin told us we were going to score against this team and it felt really good to be successful at that,” Schmidt said.
Coming off back-to-back double overtime draws at home against two of the best teams in the conference, Georgetown and St. John’s, DePaul was adamant at not making it three-for-three.
“In previous games, we’ve come out flat,” Schmidt said. “Today we had control most of the first half…[and]we came out as strong as we could (in overtime).”
“We talked about how we lost some opportunities in the Georgetown and St. John’s – St. John’s in particular – overtimes,” Chastain said. “We thought this was the perfect opportunity we have to finish it off.”
With the Big East conference tournament next week in Omaha, Neb., ending the regular season with a win is exactly what the team needed.
“It’ll give us more confidence moving into Big East (tournament) play,” Wyatt said.