Offense lacks drive for women’s soccer in 1-0 loss to Xavier

DePaul women’s soccer took on Big East opponent Xavier University at home on a cloudy Thursday afternoon but fell to 1-0 to a dominant Musketeer team that is first in the Big East.

DePaul was coming off three straight wins against conference opponents, but Xavier entered the game with an overall record of 12-1-1 and a conference record of 5-1-0. The game was set up to be a battle.

The game started out slow, with both teams moving the ball up both ends of the field in the first half but neither team finding the back of the net.

The Blue Demons had many strong offensive chances, including a header by Katie Godden towards Xavier’s net, but were never able to follow any of their chances through.

Xavier was the one to get on the board first late in the first half with a goal off a corner kick that soared past DePaul goalkeeper Mollie Eriksson.

“I thought we started off a little sluggish, and then we figured it out and I thought we dominated the first half and had opportunities to maybe put the ball in the back of the net,” head coach Michelle O’Brien said. “And I thought we were in control of the game in the first half and then [there was] one disappointing moment with a minute to go in the half.”

The second half began with an early corner kick from DePaul, but they were not able to get their two shot attempts past the Xavier goalkeeper.

That trend continued from there, with DePaul being consistently unable to finish their quality chances.

“I think we had them,” Eriksson said. “I thought we were the better team at moments during the game, so if we can compete at the top of the Big East table, then I’m sure our future is bright. It just sucks to lose any game, but we’re going to move forward and we’re going to learn from the experience.”

The Blue Demons’ defense was strong and worked hard to keep the powerful Xavier offense away from Eriksson in goal, but the offense was not able to get going enough in the second half to tie the game.

“I think we played really well in the first half, and I think we have a lot to build off of,” forward Morgan Turner said. “I think it’s really frustrating that we lost 1-0 against them just because we did play so well in the beginning, but I’m really excited for Butler this weekend, it will be a good test for us.”

The Blue Demons travel to Indianapolis to take on Butler University on Oct. 17 before returning home for their last two home games of the regular season against Creighton University on Oct. 21 and Providence College three days later.