Women’s soccer allows three second half goals, lose to Northwestern 3-1


Patrick Sloan-Turner

Northwestern senior forward Aurea del Carmen and junior midfielder Josie Aulicino celebrate Aulicino’s second half goal in the Wildcats’ 3-1 win over DePaul on Thursday.

DePaul women’s soccer lost to Northwestern on Thursday, Sept. 1 with a score of 3-1. The Blue Demons kept the game close in the first half, but the Wildcats’ offense came alive in the second half scoring three unanswered goals.

“I thought we started out strong,” said head coach Michele O’Brien. “We got an early goal, which was great to see, definitely a positive from our last games. Northwestern is a good team and I think we just couldn’t sustain the level of pressure. . . we gave away the ball too easily at times and didn’t capitalize.”

After Thursday’s matchup concluded, the Blue Demons’ success against their rival remains nonexistent, losing 13 of their last 14 games to the Wildcats. DePaul hasn’t beat Northwestern since 2009.

DePaul took an early 1-0 lead at the 3:43 mark in the first period after freshman forward Freya Jupp scored her first collegiate college goal in the bottom left corner of the net.

“It was a good feeling,” said Jupp. “Obviously, we got crushed, but it’s onto the next game.”

DePaul graduate goalkeeper Mollie Eriksson attempts a save in DePaul’s 3-1 loss to Northwestern Thursday. Eriksson recorded 13 saves in the game. (Patrick Sloan-Turner)

The Blue Demons offense struggled to contribute during the matchup, landing only two shots on goal throughout the game. DePaul was outshot by Northwestern 27-4 and drew only one corner kick during 90 minutes of play.

“We just didn’t keep the ball,” said O’Brien. “We had opportunities where we had it in our midfield, where we kind of just gave it away. . . we have to take care of the ball and not give it away to a good team because [if not] we’ll pay the price.”

Both squads continuously went back and forth defensively throughout the first half and early into the second half. Northwestern tied the game at the 49:57 mark after graduate student goalkeeper Mollie Erikkson gave up a goal in the bottom right corner of the net to Aurea del Carmen.

The Wildcats scored the go-ahead goal at the 76:54  minute mark when Emma Phillips made a shot in the back of the net against Eriksson. Northwestern sealed the game more than 10 minutes later after Josie Aulicino scored the team’s third goal at the 87:31 mark.

The highlight of today’s game for the Blue Demons was goalkeeper Mollie Erikkson recording 13 saves on the day, which is a season high. DePaul has given up eight goals in four games this season.

Erikkson kept DePaul in the game as long as she could, but after defending 16 shots on goal in the second half, it was just a matter of time until the aggressive Wildcats offense would capitalize. 

Northwestern senior Aurea del Carmen battles DePaul junior defender Grace Phillpotts for the ball in the Blue Demons’ 3-1 loss to Northwestern. (Patrick Sloan-Turner)

Northwestern scored three unanswered goals in the second half against Erikkson with two of them coming in the final 15 minutes of the game.

“I think closing the match is something we struggle with as a group and it’s also another area we need to grow with,” Erikkson said. “So when they did score, that was more of a moment when we needed to check back in and just play simple soccer. We didn’t resort to that and we ended up making more problems for ourselves.”

The Blue Demons fall to 1-3 on the season after Thursday’s loss. There are three games remaining in the season before Big East conference play begins.

DePaul (1-3) will travel to Loyola (2-2-1) next Thursday, Sept. 8 to take on the Wolves with first touch scheduled for 7:00 p.m. CDT on ESPN+.

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