Only nine days separated from winning the Big East regular season title, women’s soccer was celebrating again as they took down Georgetown to win the Big East tournament championship.
Junior forward Elise Wyatt scored in the first half to give them the lead while senior midfilder Amber Paul put one in during the second half to secure the victory for the Blue Demons.
“This means the world to our staff and the whole school,” head coach Erin Chastain said in a news release. “This group has worked as hard as any team we’ve ever coached.”
The Blue Demons took a lead in the 26th minute when Elise Wyatt stormed into the box on a counterattack, getting a shot off on Georgetown keeper Emma Newis, who initially deflected the shot.
The rebound, however, fell right at the feet of Wyatt, who put it over Newis and into the net for the score.
It was Wyatt’s 11th goal of the season, a career-high for the junior forward.
The Blue Demons would carry that lead into the locker room at halftime, not allowing the Hoyas to use their attacking momentum to equalize before the end of the first half.
DePaul almost doubled their lead in the 49th minute when Amber Paul was alone at the top of the box, shooting far post. However, her shot went just wide to keep the lead at one.
Paul would get her chance to double the lead in the 60th minute, and this time she took full advantage.
Alexa Ben took the ball from the top of the box and passed it to Paul who was running into the box on the right side. Paul slotted the ball home back post for her eighth goal of the year and gave the Blue Demons a 2-0 lead.
“I had missed on another opportunity, so I wanted to make sure I got a good foot on that one,” Paul said. “I was a little tired, but was able to hit it back post.”
Her eighth goal of the year is a career high for the senior, coupled with Alexa Ben’s 11th assist of the year.
“Alexa always feeds me a nice ball, and she did it again on that play,” she said. “This is such an amazing feeling winning our first Big East tournament title.”
Paul was named Big East Championship Offensive Most Outstanding player.
DePaul was able to hold on to the two goal lead for the remainder of the game, despite increased pressure from the Hoyas for the last half hour of the game. As soon as the final whistle blew, the Demons cleared their bench and were celebrating at midfield as Big East tournament champions for the first time in program history.
After the game, Chastain reflected on the historic win and record for the program.
“They play so hard for each other, and you could see that in the final 20 minutes when they were blocking shots with their body and taking hits for the team,” she said. “These girls are leaving their mark in the history of this program, and they are not done yet.”
DePaul did not allow a goal in the Big East tournament, shutting out both Georgetown in the final and Marquette in the semifinals. Defender Sarah Gorden said that the team was ready for the tournament.
“Everyone had a lot of energy today,” Gorden said. “We had some amazing practices leading up to today, and I knew we would all bring our best game.”
With the win, DePaul continued their unbeaten run, bringing their total record to 16-0-4. They also will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, which will start the weekend of Nov. 14-16.