DePaul’s lady Blue Demons had a great wire-to-wire win Friday against the Central Michigan Chippewas, 2-1.
Although it was an overall team effort, Rachel Pitman, a senior defender, Abby Reed, a sophomore forward, and Alejandria Godinez, a junior goalkeeper, were key to DePaul’s win. Pitman scored a goal immediately after Central Michigan scored the first goal of the game and Reed put the game away scoring the last goal to seal the win. Godinez had a huge save that help prevent extra minutes for the Chippewas.
Central Michigan’s Eliza Van De Kerkhove, a sophomore midfielder, and Maddy Bunnell, a sophomore goalkeeper, played a big part in almost helping the Chippewas walk away with a win at Wish Field. Van De Kerkhove had an amazing break away goal that put some pressure on DePaul and Bunnell had an outstanding five saves. The sophomore goalkeeper didn’t back down from the Blue Demon’s array of shots and kept the Chippewas hanging around.
Pitman credited her goal to Alexa Ben, a freshman midfielder, on setting her up after the corner kick by senior midfielder Amber Paul.
“Alexa put it on a plate really for me. She just back heeled it and took the keeper away from it and all I had to do was shot it in the goal,” Pitman said. “Its kind of what my job is when it comes to corners is to pick up any of the last pieces. I’m fortunate it came to me and that I was right in front of the goal. It was a pretty easy finish.”
Similar to Pitman’s goal, Reed’s was beautifully set up by junior defender Brianna Ryce. Reed said she knew she had a lot of chances to score a goal throughout the game but that eventually one of those shots would go in. Luckily, it happened to be the winning goal.
“I was feeling it ever since the half started that it was just going to come and I just put it away and it was just awesome,” Reed said.
Since DePaul is typically known for being a defensive-oriented team, it was apparent that their first regular season game was going to be physical. Although both teams are known for their toughness, it seemed the referees were allowing the girls to play through a lot of questionable contact.
“I feel like he didn’t make a lot of calls,” Reed said.
“It’s tough when you’re not getting any calls but all you have to do is go hard. Obviously it’s hot as well so you just have to grind through it,” Pitman said.
Even though Pitman and Reed thought it was pretty physical out there, Chastain liked how both teams were grinding and thought it was a great experience for her younger players to know how the sport really is.
“I think it’s good for our freshman to get into the mix right away and be in a physical battle because that is what college soccer is,” Chastain said.
The Blue Demons may have won the game but Chastain believes the team still has things to work on.
“I’m happy to get the win and score two goals but we certainly need to spend some time just working on having a little edge in the attacking third and recognizing it might be our only chance to score a goal for the game,” Chastain said.
The lady Blue Demon’s next game is at Nebraska Sunday, August 24 at 1 p.m.