DePaul 0-1 Notre Dame (2OT): Women’s soccer playoff fate in doubt
Blue Demons need help to make the Big East tournament
Published: Friday, October 19, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 19, 2012 21:10
Lauren Bohaboy’s goal in the 106th minute of golden goal overtime gave visiting Notre Dame a 1-0 win at Wish Field Friday afternoon – leaving women’s soccer’s postseason hopes in the hands of others.
Bohaboy’s goal – her fifth of the season – came in the second period of overtime after 100 minutes of scoreless soccer. Taking her shot low, Bohaboy tucked the ball just inside the left post past Megan Pyrz. Crystal Thomas and Taylor Schneider were credited with assists after the ball made its way around the inside of the area.
The overtime loss is a cruel one for DePaul (8-9-2, 3-6-1), who put in a stellar defensive effort – including seven shot blocks – that earned praise from head coach Erin Chastain.
“We have a couple of the best backs in the league, in all honesty,” Chastain said. “Our defending is real good, but we have to take the next steps in the attacking third.”
Notre Dame (12-4-2, 8-1-1) controlled large portions of the first half, putting up seven shots and forcing Pyrz into making two saves. The best chance for the Fighting Irish in the half fell to Bohaboy, but the sophomore’s effort dribbled wide of the target.
Despite being on the back foot for most of the first, DePaul should have taken the lead in the 43rd minute through Rachel Pitman and senior captain Kelly Blumberg. Natasa Radosavljevic’s corner was met by Pitman, who turned and shot at the Irish goal from close range. Elyse Hight stopped the Pitman’s effort at point-blank range, while Blumberg’s follow-up shot sailed over the crossbar.
“I said at halftime that we had to fight harder, that we were too timid,” Chastain said of her halftime talk. “We made some adjustments tactically, and they responded very well.”
The second half effort was better from both teams, with each side narrowly grabbing the lead in a largely back-and-forth, up-and-down display.
In the 51st minute, a driven cross by junior holding mid Rebekah Roller nearly found two Blue Demons. Both Blumberg and Radosavljevic were a half-step behind the cross, however.
For Notre Dame, their best chance came in the 81st minute. Taking an ambitious strike from 30 yards out, Glory Williams’ dipping effort skimmed just over the top of crossbar.
The first overtime period saw just one shot from each side as heavy legs and a steady downpour started to affect the match. In the second, only one shot was taken by either side, and that ended up being the winner from Bohaboy.
“I’m proud of the effort,” Chastain said. “This is a really good Notre Dame team with special players who play in World Cups.”
For DePaul, the defeat on Senior Day was especially tough. In control of their own destiny, a win or draw would have ensured the Blue Demons made the Big East tournament after missing out last year. Now, the team must wait on two match-ups on Saturday evening to know their fate.
Connecticut, with a head-to-head win over DePaul, currently sits in one of the last playoff spots with 10 points. Providence, who defeated the Blue Demons 1-0 earlier in the year, sit at nine points, needing a win or draw with the Huskies to make the postseason. A UConn win would give DePaul a postseason berth.
Meanwhile, Syracuse, with 16 points, host St. John’s, who sit at the bottom of the American Division with seven points. A win by the Red Storm could complicate things for the Blue Demons, as both teams would sit with 10 points. Without a head-to-head match-up, a points-per-game against playoff teams will determine who makes the postseason.
Best-case scenario for DePaul are wins for UConn and Syracuse. A draw in the UConn-Providence match would eliminate the Blue Demons.
“We’ll just hope for the best,” Chastain said. “I do believe our team deserves to be in the postseason.”
On Senior Day for the Blue Demons, Kelly Blumberg, Ren Stoecklin and Claire Hanold were honored before the match.
Notre Dame outshot the Blue Demons 20 to five, however DePaul blocked seven shots.
Megan Pyrz made six saves while her counterpart Elyse Hight made three.