Eric Sorby tried all he could to keep the Blue Demons in the game but he wasn’t able to stymie Milwaukee in overtime as the Blue Demons lost a 2-1 heartbreaker Friday.
Sorby was simply spectacular, saving a total of 11 shots, many of which were point blank or required an athletic play. DePaul only ended up allowing two goals, but Milwaukee could have easily netted four or five.
Still, Sorby refused to take all the credit after the game. “You have to keep moving your feet and be ready for anything,” he said. “Our defense put Milwaukee’s shooters at angles that made it easier to deal with.”
It looked as though DePaul might be able to pull it out near the end of the game. After 88 innefective minutes, Anthony Hunter netted his second goal of the year to tie the match at one. The momentum shift had the Blue Demons riding high, but Milwaukee scored on a redirected corner kick in the 100th minute. Many players on head coach Craig Blazer’s team fell to their knees and lay on the ground in disbelief.
“We’re still finding ways to get better,” Blazer said. “We’re still trying to see how we can close out a game.”
Still, despite the result, the story of the game was Sorby. He saved shots in every way imaginable: punching a high shot over the net, jumping into a crowd and catching a soft shot, stonewalling a shot from five feet away, and stopping a one-on-one break late in the match.
“He kept us in the game. Outstanding plays. Great goalkeeping. He’s to be commended. He’s done a great job,” Blazer said about his goalie.
The loss dropped DePaul to 1-4 on the season, making a previously positive outlook seem decidedly negative. But Blazer will have no part of letting his players get themselves down.
“We’ve just got to keep coming out. I reminded these guys that if they just keep working, it’ll turn,” he said.
The loss to Milwaukee stung hard because DePaul had numerous opportunities to win. The Blue Demons had multiple corner kicks that could have turned the tide, and controlled stretches of the game with crisp passing. Sorby’s valiant effort spurred on his teammates, who found that last gasp to finally tie the game near the end.
Still, there is much for the Blue Demons to work on after they played a game in which they allowed a mind-boggling 26 shots.
If there is something the Demons can take to the bank, though, and that’s the fact that they fight and play close no matter who the competition is. Blazer’s squad has lost by one goal four times in 2013, and he knows that they’re very close to breaking through and finally getting a clutch win.
“The opportunities were good, we just have to have more of that,” Blazer said. “We have to be a little more clinical. Those are big asks, but we’re getting there.”
DePaul was picked to finish last by Big East coaches in the preseason and it’s the spot they currently reside in. But after all the close losses and tight games, it’s only a matter of time before the club turns it around and finds its footing.
At the beginning of the year, Blazer said that his team’s goal was to qualify for the Big East tournament. They may have a hole to climb out of, but with players like Eric Sorby making saves, things could change soon.