Men’s offense falls flat in 3-0 loss to Penn


Quentin Blais

DePaul defenders hang their head after giving up a second-half half goal against Penn on Sunday.

The Blue Demons were held scoreless in Sunday’s game against Penn. The offense was nearly non-existent for 90 minutes in the 3-0 loss at Wish Field. 

DePaul started off very promising, and 15 seconds into the match, they had the game’s first shot on goal that was stopped by Penn’s goalkeeper.

“If you can score an early goal that always sets the tone,” Head coach Mark Plotkin said. “It’s what coaches always hope for. But look, we tried to get the ball in the channels and service in, and I thought we got enough service to score goals. I like what our attack looked like, we just have to be hungrier in the box. 

Coming off a comeback win against UIC, the Blue Demons came in prepared to battle against Penn to finish off their non-conference schedule before starting Big East play Saturday Oct. 1. 

It seemed DePaul was never able to gain any consistency with the offense, and after the early scoring chance, the Blue Demons never saw the opponent’s end of the field until the second half. 

As the first half ended, the Blue Demons were only down one goal with victory still in reach.

That all changed when Penn scored two goals in four minutes. DePaul’s gameplan quickly shifted as they were forced to play a more aggressive and desperate style of play. 

“We talked about a couple different things offensively, but when you let up two goals pretty quickly in the second half, that kind of changes the momentum of everything,” Plotkin said. “At that point you have to go a little bit more direct and hope for something to happen.” 

The Blue Demons had a good approach, but were hitting a wall that didn’t allow them to fully play the game they wanted to. 

A 3-1-3 start and a tie against three top-25 ranked opponents is the preparation DePaul needed headed into the key part of their schedule. 

The Blue Demons will have to go back and address these issues that were presented against Penn, but they cannot dwell too much on this game as they host Providence on Saturday Oct. 1, and the intensity of the rest of the Big East. 

“It’s a quick turnaround,” junior midfielder Omar Ramadan said. “I think it’s important to look at what went wrong today and just build off that. We’re excited going into conference play, I think we have a lot to prove and we’re ready for it.”

When things aren’t going as planned, it is easy to fall apart and just give up, but DePaul kept its head up and moved on to the next play. 

At the end of the day the Blue Demons always want to walk away with a win, and with aspirations of making the NCAA Tournament, every game the rest of the season is critical. 

“I think we are going to take this as a learning opportunity,” freshman Diego Benitez said. “We have a week before Providence and we are going to take that week to get better as a team and get the win on Saturday.”