Women shutout Seton Hall 2-0 on senior day


Quentin Blais

Defender Linda Dantes challenges two Seton Hall attackers during Sunday’s 2-0 victory.

It is only fitting that the Blue Demons women’s soccer team’s first conference win of the season came on senior day against a pesky Seton Hall Pirates squad. DePaul’s offense shined in the 2-0 win. 

From the opening kickoff, the Blue Demons dominated time of possession, not allowing the Pirates any time to respond.

“We always want to win, but today we were doing this for our seniors,” sophomore forward Susie Sodderstrom said. “Because of the legacy they have built and the road they have paved for the team.”

In the first 10 minutes, DePaul had a beautiful scoring opportunity, but the ball just bounced off the bottom of the crossbar. On the rebound shot, Seton Hall’s senior goalkeeper Grace Gordon was able to make the save.

That was just the beginning of DePaul’s onslaught. Off of a corner kick a few minutes later, senior defender Sydney Parker just missed on a header.  Despite just falling short multiple times, DePaul wasn’t fazed, with sophomore midfielder Katie Godden putting her team on the board first at the 17:04 mark. On a handball in the box by Seton Hall, Godden was able to bury the penalty kick attempt. 

Toward the end of the first half, Parker seemed to put the Blue Demons up 2-0, but the goal was waived off due to an offsides call.

Defensively, the Blue Demons took care of business in the first half, not allowing the Pirates to score. DePaul graduate senior goalkeeper Mollie Eriksson was three for three in save opportunities. At halftime, morale was high, but the players were focused on closing out their opponents.

“Going into the game, the plan was to press them,” head coach Michele O’Brien said. “Go out with an assertive, aggressive mentality with our forwards and everyone else followed suit. We did a good job of moving the ball quickly. At halftime, the main message was to stay disciplined and not to get excited or aggressive in their positioning. Soccer is 90 minutes, not 45 minutes.”

In the second half, DePaul executed their game plan perfectly, doubling their lead at the 79:30 mark. Freshman forward Freya Jupp had a beautiful feed to Sodderstrom for the 2-0 lead.

“I was very excited and screaming for it,” Sodderstrom said. “Freya played me a nice slot ball. I was like one touch, and I have to hit it hard and low. Luckily, I was able to neg the kicker too, which was really nice. It was a good closing goal, that we needed to relieve some pressure.”

Seton Hall’s best scoring opportunity of the second half came at the 80:12 mark, but sophomore defender Rachel Gerrie’s shot was saved by Eriksson. From there, DePaul stifled any other scoring chances and closed out the game 2-0.

This marked the Blue Demons’ second shutout of the season and the fourth straight shutout against the Pirates.

“I am so proud of this group,” Eriksson said. “It has been kind of a rough go this year. The results haven’t gone the way we wanted. But if there is going to be a momentum switch, what a great day for it.”

Senior day is always an emotional time for a team, but the Blue Demons were able to stay focused and pushed any lingering thoughts aside.

“It was definitely a very emotional time when I saw the players around me who are graduating,” senior forward Kristin Boos said. “Kinda thinking about if this is my last few weekends of games at DePaul, but I don’t focus on that. I focused on the smiling faces around me, my teammates, the work I needed to put in, and the win.”

DePaul (3-11, 1-6) will be back in action on Thursday, Oct. 20 for a road matchup against their conference rival Creighton (8-2-5, 4-2-1). First touch is set for 6:30 p.m. CDT.