The DePaul men’s soccer team came together for their first win of the season, finishing 3-0 over Albany (1-1-1) at their home opener Friday bringing their record with 1-1-1.
“The collective effort was where it needed to be, and (Albany is) a really good team,” Craig Blazer, coach of the men’s team, said. “They won the American East Conference last year, so we knew it was going to be tough.”
DePaul took early control of the game and managed to keep the ball in Albany’s half of the field for most of the first half.
The Blue Demons’ effective movement of the ball between players early on caused Albany to foul sophomore defenseman John Freitag a few yards short of a penalty kick in order to stop a great scoring chance. After the foul, DePaul midfielder Philipp Koenigstein blasted the free kick into the net putting the Blue Demons up 1-0 in the 13 minutes into the first half.
“Honestly, that was not the first time I’ve shot the ball from that exact same spot,” Koenigstein said. “A lot of times, with a couple other teammates, we stay after (to practice free kicks). My teammate asked me, ‘you sure you want to kick that?’ And I said ‘definitely, that’s my ball.’”
DePaul kept the pressure up following the goal and recorded two more shots on the net before junior forward Stijn van der Slot stole back the ball and put the Blue Demons up 2-0.
Toward the end of the first half, Albany began to push with their best shot of the game which was blocked by junior defenseman Max de Bruijne who managed to get his head on the ball before it was able to reach the net.
The Blue Demons led 2-0 at the half.
Albany continued their push into the second, but DePaul managed to put another goal on the board with a great pass from senior midfielder Kevin Beyer to a streaking de Bruijne who buried it in the net for his second of the game giving DePaul their final lead of 3-0.
“It was unbelievable,” de Bruijne said. “We were having a difficult time defending because the other team was pressing us to defend, so it was a relief to score that goal.”
Albany controlled most of the second half, but they were unable to score due to the defensive pressure of the Blue Demons and a couple of key saves by junior keeper Quentin Low.
This win also adds another home opening win to Blazer’s record of 10-5-1 and 6-1 over the past seven years. Coach Blazer is optimistic his team will be better going forward.
“Everybody’s helping everybody in a collective way and that’s what you saw today,” said Blazer. “We’re really pleased with the way these guys are starting to mesh and learn about each other and develop this DePaul 2016 team.”
DePaul will play at Wish Field again this Sunday when they face off against Northern Kentucky.