DePaul Drops Season Opener to Oakland, Lose 1-0


DePaul Athletics

Sophomore forward Katie Gooden tracks down the ball against Oakland University on Aug. 18.

DePaul women’s soccer lost to Oakland on Thursday, Aug. 18, with a score of 1-0. The Golden Grizzlies bested the Blue Demons after scoring a go-ahead bottom right corner goal late in the second half.

“I thought we hung in there the first half and I thought they had the ball more, but I don’t think they created too many dangerous chances,” said head coach Michele O’Brien. “Second half, I thought we were in the game and started well, but an individual mistake led to the goal which was kind of deflating. I don’t think we had the ball enough and generated enough dangerous chances to really come back, and with no depth I think it’s really hard to be able to sustain that level with them bringing in subs when we don’t have any.”

DePaul’s offense did not contribute, as they had no answer for Oakland’s defense, which allowed four shots on goal throughout the game. The Blue Demons were outshot by the Golden Grizzlies 19-4 and drew four corner kicks during the 90 minutes of play.

“I mean you could look at it two ways, you don’t want to be outshot by the other team, but they got only four on frame, so a shot necessarily doesn’t mean it’s a dangerous chance,” said goalkeeper graduate student Mollie Eriksson. “However, that just shows how much more we need to improve. I think it can kind of act as a kick in the butt. You can’t score if you don’t shoot and they showed 19 shots and one went in the goal, so maybe that’s something we need to focus on more moving forward for the next couple of weeks to make us more dangerous.”

Both squads continuously went back and forth defensively; it was scoreless at halftime and the Blue Demons were hanging in there with a tough Golden Grizzlies team. Unfortunately, not having any subs caused DePaul to tire out, and it was just a matter of time until Oakland took advantage.

Oakland scored the go-ahead goal around the 54 minute mark when Jayna Fraser shot a laser in the bottom right corner against Eriksson. 

“We had possession and then center backs played with each other and they capitalized off a bad touch and put it in the back of the net,” Eriksson said. “That was like a mindset moment I think because their willingness to score showed, and we didn’t have that same tenacity on the other end.”

O’Brien pulled Eriksson moments later for senior Elena Milam, but confirmed postgame that it had nothing to do with Erikkson’s individual performance and more so was about Milam earning the opportunity.

DePaul had two international freshman recruits make their debuts on Thursday. Both Freya Jupp (Portsmouth, England) and Lina Dantes (Hamburg, Germany) found themselves in the starting lineup. Jupp played 75 minutes and Dantes played 90 minutes, They both committed one foul each, but that did not have much of an impact during their debut.

“I think it’s a big adjustment,” O’Brien said. “I think the pace of the game and being able to grind out tough moments and they got to learn to do that. I think it’s really hard, just being international freshmen makes it even harder for them. It’s all a great experience for their growth and they just need to get a little tougher, stronger and just be able to grind it out.”

Jupp left the game for a few minutes due to injury, but eventually found her way back into the game. Her debut will not have big numbers show up in the stat sheet, but she was all over the field defensively.

“It’s been a very good experience,” Jupp said. ”The whole team has been supportive and helped me keep my head held high even when things aren’t going the best way. I’m sure after the game we can recover together and get ready for our next game. I have a lot to work on, but I think some things are tough because it’s a new experience in America. Things are different from what I’m used to, but there’s a lot of things I can improve on.”

DePaul will travel to University of Illinois Chicago on Thursday, Aug. 25 to take on the Flames at 6:00 PM CST.

Connect with Tom Gorski: @ThomasGorski33 | [email protected]