Men’s Soccer Secures First Win of Season, Defeat Bucknell 2-0


Patrick Sloan-Turner

Junior forward Marek Gonda celebrates a goal in the first half against Bucknell on Sunday.

DePaul men’s soccer defeated Bucknell on Sunday, Aug. 28 with a score of 2-0. The Blue Demons offense scored two goals in the first half that helped set the tone for the remainder of the game.

“I think it was a good performance,” said head coach Mark Plotkin. “We talked a lot about what we wanted to do on the ball today and I thought we executed a lot of the ideas that we wanted and had our moments where guys stepped up big and finished them off. Very proud of that and solid defensive performance, we always wanted to keep a shutout at Wish [Field].”

DePaul took an early lead at the 21:06 mark after sophomore midfielder Cade Hagan set up junior forward Marek Gonda for a goal through the bottom right corner of the net.

“We train all the time and run our patterns,” Gonda said. “I knew what Cade was going to do. I made the run and from there on, it was to shoot the ball and score, so I did that. It was nice to celebrate with the fans, especially on move in day, it was great.”

Although it was the second home game of the season, it was the first game with students and fans back in attendance. Sunday was move-in day for DePaul students and plenty showed up to support the Blue Demons.

Gonda scored four goals last season and is already off to a strong start offensively as the team’s go-to goal scorer. 

“It’s my junior year and I think we’ve got some special things to do this year, such as win the Big East and make it to the playoffs,” Gonda said. “I’m ready to be that number nine and happy to be here.”

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  • Graduate defender Jake Fuderer fires in a goal from a penalty kick in the first half against Bucknell on Sunday.

  • Junior forward Marek Gonda and graduate defender Jake Furerer celebrate after Furerer’s goal against Bucknell on Sunday.

  • Freshman midfielder Tyson Amoo-Mensah surveys Bucknell defenders on Sunday.

  • Junior midfielder Kristian Malinich skills his way through Bucknell defenders in Sunday’s 2-0 DePaul victory.

  • Head coach Mark Plotkin directs his team during DePaul’s 2-0 win over Bucknell.

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DePaul’s offense struck again eight minutes later after graduate student defender Jake Fuderer was awarded a penalty kick; he scored in the top right corner of the net to extend the Blue Demons lead 2-0.

“We were knocking on their door,” Fuderer said. “Will [Stroud] made a great run down the line, beat a couple guys in the box and we were awarded the penalty. I just grabbed the ball, stepped up, chose my corner and then celebrated with the fans afterwards when it went in.”

The Blue Demons defense has been stellar so far this season; they have yet to allow a goal in 180 minutes of play in their first two games. Sophomore goalkeeper Gandhi Cruz has played a significant role, recording seven saves on the season and one on Sunday.

“We have a really veteran group who’s been with us and understands the way we want to defend,” Plotkin said. “What we embrace is being disciplined and making it harder on opposing teams at Wish Field, making it one of the hardest places to play. I think two shutouts in a weekend against two tough opponents definitely sets us up on a good path.”

DePaul will travel to Oakland University on Thursday, Sept. 1 to take on the Golden Grizzlies at 6:00 p.m. CDT.

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