The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

DePaul 0-1 Villanova: Harr’s curler makes the difference

A screamer from Villanova midfielder Hayden Harr was the lone goal and all that separated the visiting Wildcats from the men’s soccer team 1-0 on a chilly afternoon Saturday at Wish Field.

Harr’s goal came in the 79th minute and was assisted by Sean Sheridan following a loose turnover by the Blue Demons. Receiving Sheridan’s pass from just inside the corner of the 18-yard box, Harr fired off a curling rocket to the far post, leaving DePaul keeper Eric Sorby with no chance of stopping the game’s only goal.

The late goal was the only thing to separate the two sides in a fairly even match at Wish Field.

“We gave ourselves a chance to win,” head coach Craig Blazer said of the team’s overall performance. “We had a good game plan, the guys showed good energy. We played well, but it came down to a single play, and (Villanova) did well on the goal.”

Villanova (8-2-2, 1-0-2) got off to a quick start through freshman Oscar Umar, who put a shot on target in the first minute that was easily collected by Sorby. Umar would finish the match with six shots, half of which were on target.

Meanwhile, DePaul (3-8-1, 0-4-0) was a bit slower out of the gate, but quickly found its feet as the match progressed, earning three corners in the first and five in the second.

One of the game’s best opportunities was a solo effort from DePaul leftback Art Garza in the 33rd minute. Stepping in to intercept a pass, Garza carried the ball through midfield before cutting inside and shooting from 25 yards out. His effort was heading for upper-90s but was kept out by a brilliant diving stop by ‘Nova keeper John Fogarty – one of three he made in the half.

Not to be outdone by his counterpart, Eric Sorby came up big once again for the Blue Demons, making five saves following a 13-save performance in a 3-0 loss to Louisville in midweek.

“Sorby was outstanding again,” Blazer said. “He’s been a captain and a leader all season long. It’s a real positive note.”

Sorby was noticeably called into action in the second half, making two key stops to keep the score level in the 73rd minute and to keep the gap only at one in the 84th minute.

In the 73rd minute, Sorby blocked one effort before diving backwards towards the goal line to deny Umar. Eleven minutes later, the junior again thwarted Umar by sticking his hand out to block a low effort.

The backline in front of Sorby also had a good game, with Jared Blincow continually winning headers and regaining possession to break up Villanova attacks. Freshman Ben Lussier came into the side in place of Austin Toth to partner Blincow at centerback.

“Ben played very well for us,” Blazer said. “He complemented Art (Garza) and Blincow well. Really, the whole group did well today.”

Another silver lining for the Blue Demons is the continued play and health of Ray De Leon, who once again logged a full 90 minutes on the pitch.

“Ray is playing so well,” Blazer said. “We’re looking for him to take the next step in his game and become a big offensive player. But today his tracking back, play-making, winning headers were fantastic. You need that from a midfielder.”

The match took a bad turn in the 89th minute following a hard tackle by Villanova’s Alec Weiss. Weiss was sent off for the challenge, but the resultant pushing and shoving would bring two more straight red cards and one caution being issued. Once the dust was cleared, Villanova’s Damilola Adetola was sent off from the bench for rushing onto the pitch and DePaul’s Kyle Gustafson was sent off for the confrontation. Drew Dempsey was only given a caution.

Although the result didn’t go the team’s way, Blazer feels the team’s tough schedule – losses to ranked opponents Marquette, St. John’s and Louisville – and performance show signs of improvement.

“The loss is disappointing in a season of them, but the play was still good,” he said. “Everyone is working hard and improving. Despite the loss, it’s heading in the right direction. We’ve got the right frame with little to clean up.”

The Blue Demons are back in action Tuesday when they welcome non-conference side Valparaiso to Wish Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m.



Each goalkeeper made five saves, while Villanova edged the shots category 11-10.

A total of six cards were issued, three reds and three yellows. Villanova received two reds and two cautions.

DePaul started five freshman in the game: Lussier, Dempsey, Michael Kozielek, Joe Brinckwirth and Brian Hindle.

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