DePaul snaps losing skid, beats Lindenwood 3-1


Kiersten Riedford

DePaul freshman Lina Dantes dribbles past Lindenwood defenders during Thursday’s 3-1 victory.

Goals have been hard to come by for DePaul’s women’s soccer, scoring a meager four goals through the team’s first six games. Yet, in their 3-1 win over Lindenwood University, they were able to get on the board early and often.

“Obviously, I’m always happy to win,” head coach Michele O’Brien said. “Our team needed a good win. To score three goals in the first half is great. I’m definitely proud of the team for that. We had a pretty good first-half performance, executed, and stayed on top of the game.”

Led by graduate captain Sydney Parker and sophomore forward Katie Godden, DePaul’s offense was too much to handle for Lindenwood. The duo got DePaul on the board in the fourth minute with Godden setting up Parker on a corner kick, whose header buried the ball deep into the net. Kept off the board through their first six games, this was Parker’s first goal of the season.

“We played the corner short, and Katie put a perfect serve in, and I just put a header in,” Parker said. “It was a great ball by Katie.”  

In the 31st minute Godden tallied her second assist, this time to sophomore forward Susie Sodderstrom. With the goalie running out to stop the pass, Sodderstrom was able to beat the keeper, keep her momentum, and score all in one fluid motion. Nine minutes later, Parker scored her second goal of the day, this time off a free kick from junior defender Grace Phillpotts.

After being shutout in the first half, Lindenwood was able to get on the board in the 48th minute, thanks to junior forward Maggie Weller.  Despite the early second-half goal, DePaul senior goalie Elena Milam remained calm, keeping Lindenwood off the board for the rest of the game.

“Milam had a solid performance. She did not get tested too much, but did deal with what she had to deal with and handled it well,” O’Brien said.

DePaul’s defense was able to stifle Lindenwood throughout the game, holding them to six shots, with only two on goal.

“Our defense is super solid,” senior goalie Elena Milam said. “Every single day they pull up and are ready to work hard and put their body on the line. I have a lot of respect for them. We can’t be as successful as we are without our back line.”

Lindenwood’s senior goalie Erika Anstine started the game, allowing all three goals, before being subbed out for senior Sam Blazek at halftime. In the second half, DePaul took their foot off the gas.

“We lowered [ourselves] to their standards,” Godden said. “Going into Big East play, we need to up our standards a lot.”

Godden was not the only one who was honest about the team’s second-half performance.

“Second half we let up,” O’Brien said. “We should not be allowing a goal off a set piece in the first five minutes of the half. That is not the standard we hold our team to. Disappointed about that. We should have absolutely looked to get a shutout in this game. Then not being able to execute and generate a goal in the second half was disappointing.”

The offense took their foot of the gas.

“We were not making the right decisions in the final third,” O’Brien said. “We were dribbling too much when we should have been passing. Shooting into players when there was not a clear look. Not the right decisions.”

DePaul (2-5) will be back in action on Thursday, Sept. 22 at Wish Field against their conference rival Marquette (4-3-1), for their first Big East game of the season. First touch is set for 4:00 PM CST.

“Any Big East team comes in with a very aggressive approach,” Milam said. “The Big East is a very competitive conference. We are going to need to lock in this week and focus on staying composed under pressure. Under [the kind of] pressure, specifically, that Marquette is going to bring on us. They do every year,”.