DePaul men’s soccer routs Northern Kentucky 4-1

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Junior midfielder Philipp Koenigstein chases a ball in a 2015 match. Koenigstein and the entire men's soccer team returned yesterday for their first game against Albany. (Josh Leff / The DePaulia)

Junior midfielder Philipp Koenigstein chases a ball in a 2015 match. Koenigstein and the entire men’s soccer team returned yesterday for their first game against Albany. (Josh Leff / The DePaulia)

Four Blue Demons scored as DePaul (2-1-1) dominated Northern Kentucky (0-3-1) 4-1 at Wish Field on Sunday. This marked their second win in three days as they were coming off a 3-0 win against Albany on Friday.

“It’s such a short preseason and we were left with this idea that we can play,” head coach Craig Blazer said. “So coming home – there’s nothing like playing at Wish Field – we knew that we knew that if we could do the first part right, of defending… we felt like we could get goals. And we’ve seen that the past two days.”

The Blue Demons took advantage of their opportunity for an early lead in the sixth minute. After a foul gave DePaul a free kick from 28 yards out, junior midfielder Philipp Koenigstein smashed the ball into the low, near-post corner for the score. It was his second goal of the season and DePaul led 1-0.

“I’ve got a lot of confidence from the players, especially after my goal on Friday,” Koenigstein said, referring to his Friday free kick goal that was similar to the Sunday score. “That’s what gets me going during these free kicks. I know that they believe in me.”

The Blue Demons almost doubled their lead in the 18th minute when senior midfielder Erik Rodriguez laid a ball off to sophomore midfielder John Freitag, who had an open shot in the box but his angle was cut off and his shot went just wide of the far post.

The first half was firmly in DePaul’s hands as they outshot and out possessed the Norse, but only carried a 1-0 lead into the break.

It didn’t take long for the Blue demons to solidify their lead in the second half, scoring in the 53rd minute. Senior midfielder Simon Megally laid a ball off to Rodriguez, who had all the time in the world to line up his shot from 15 yards out and calmly put it in the low far corner for the score. It was his second goal of the year, and DePaul’s second goal of the match.

They almost followed it up just a few minutes later when 6-foot-5 freshman Max de Bruijne elevated above the rest of the players to header a Megally free kick towards goal but it went wide and out of bounds for the goal kick.

DePaul continued to pile on the attack and added to the scoreboard in the 69th minute. Megally was taken down in the box and earned the Blue Demons a penalty kick. He calmly put it home as the Norse keeper went the wrong way and gave DePaul a 3-0 lead. It was his first goal of the season.

Only three minutes later and DePaul lit up the scoreboard once again. Sophomore forward Jake Scheper earned his first goal of the season when he tapped a ball in from ten yards out on an assist from freshman winger Zach El-Shafei. It was his first assist of the season as well, and DePaul led 4-0.

The Norse finally got on the scoreboard in the 88th minute when a shot by junior forward Jacob
Cunningham was deflected by a DePaul defender’s arm, leading to a penalty shot for Northern Kentucky. Sophomore defender Calvin Murphy knocked it home for the score and brought the Blue Demon lead down to 4-1.

That wouldn’t be enough, however, as DePaul waited out the rest of the clock to win 4-1 over Norther Kentucky for their second win in a row.

Blazer said after the game he was happy with how well the team was clicking.

“There’s a lot of internal competition now,” Blazer said. “The guys all want to be in the starting rotation, they all want to be getting minutes. They’re committed and they’re starting to see the results.”

DePaul goes on the road to Omaha for a match on Friday, before hosting IUPUI on Sunday afternoon.