After opening the season with the disappointing loss to SMU, DePaul scored early and often en route to a 7-0 win over UMass Lowell Sunday afternoon in their home opener.
The Blue Demons opened scoring just four minutes into the game with a goal from senior forward Franny Cerny, who scored her first goal of the season. Cerny another goal later in the first half as she drove a left footed shot in the top left corner to give DePaul their third of four first half goals.
DePaul head coach Erin Chastain said the goal coming in was to start fast and she was pleased with how DePaul was able to do that.
“It was nice I didn’t think we played to our potential on Thursday,” Chastain said. “So one of our goals was just setting the tone in this match right away so I think Franny being able to put one in for us in the first five really helped set the tone and the group did what we asked them to do so certainly happy to get the shutout, happy with the goal production and happy we got everyone in the game.”
After struggling with turnovers against the Mustangs, Chastain noted while the level of opponent was different than Thursday, she was pleased with how they limited turnovers in this matchup and played with the necessary pace to keep UMass Lowell on its heels.
Cerny combined with sophomore Morgan Turner to score five of the seven goals for the Blue Demons as Turner scored her first career hat-trick at the collegiate level.
“It’s really exciting,” Turner said. “The team and I have all been working really hard the last few weeks so it’s really nice to see it pay off.”
Coming off a freshman season in which Turner finished third on the team with 10 points including four goals and two assists, Cerny said so far she’s seen a much more confident player in Turner as she begins her sophomore year.
“I think from last season to this season I think she’s taking players on more, taking her shots not being afraid to try,” Cerny said. “I think that’s the best just to have people try because sometimes it doesn’t work out obviously but sometimes it can and I think what she’s been doing great is trying it and she’s getting the reward.”
DePaul controlled the game from start to finish outshooting UMass Lowell 30-2. The Riverhawks did not record their first shot until early in the second half. Cerny was pleased with the way DePaul kept the pressure on admitting sometimes it’s easy to relax up five goals.
“I think we used the wide spaces really well,” Cerny said. “We knew that they play a 3-5-2 so we knew that we would have space on the wings I think we utilized that very very well, we were able to get a lot of balls wide, crosses in and then I think we had a really high level of intensity. I think sometimes it can get hard once you start scoring a lot of goals to keep going and keep that high intensity, the whole team, throughout the whole game, we didn’t let down so that was good.”
Amidst all the positives that emerged from Sunday’s game, the Blue Demons did receive a scare on the injury front when senior Madeline Frick was forced to leave the game due to injury after chasing down a ball just 14 minutes into the first half. Following the game however, Chastain said she thinks Frick will be able to return soon.
“I don’t think it’s a high concern,” Chastain said. “I think she’ll be ok.”
DePaul now turns their attention to in-state rival Illinois, who will visit Wish Field on Thursday. Chastain said Sunday’s game was a good opportunity for DePaul to get a taste of a similar formation to what they will see in that matchup.
“I think our group is focused,” Chastain said. “So they know Illinois is going to be good, they know it’s going to be a great test we’re at home again and didn’t have to play kids 90 minutes today so in terms of recovery that’s great, just be as healthy and ready as possible on Thursday.”