Sophomore forward Amber Paul is showing the Big East that she’s ready to make some noise for the DePaul women’s soccer team.
Paul netted her team-leading third goal of the season in the 51st minute against the Saint Louis Billikens Sept. 20, and freshman Brianna Ryce scored her second goal of the year in the 84th minute to seal the 2-0 victory.
Paul came out firing in the second half after listening to head coach Erin Chastain preach about aggressiveness during the break. Freshman Elise Wyatt sent a short pass to the middle of the goal box and Paul took the ball in stride, putting it into the back of the net while sliding across the turf.
“Elise made a great pass. I had one person to beat – I was just going full on it, slid and it went in,” said Paul, who has already matched her goal total from all of last season.
DePaul entered the game 0-10-1 all-time against Saint Louis, with a total of two goals. The Blue Demons matched their 11-game total in the second half of this game.
Despite a slow start to the game, the Blue Demons generally controlled the flow of the action. They outshot the Billikens 17-6 and never really faced any kind of threat from the opposition.
“In the first half we just didn’t really get into a rhythm, but I thought in the second half they really picked it up,” said Chastain. “They created some really good chances to score and got two good goals.”
The win moved DePaul to 6-4-1 on the season, already three more wins than they had all of last year.
Paul is a big reason for the improvement. Coming off of a solid freshman year, she entered the 2012 campaign with a new goal – shoot the ball more.
“I thought I should have had more goals last year,” said Paul. “I’m trying to shoot more and get in the box because I feel like that’s my number one role as an attack-mid.”
For a team that has struggled to score for quite a while, Paul’s performance is a revelation. The Blue Demons will need all of the goals they can get as they enter the Big East portion of their schedule, with games against Pittsburgh, UConn and Providence on the horizon.