As the calendar ticks towards mid-June, head coach Erin Chastain announced DePaul’s 2019 women’s soccer schedule, featuring ten matches at Wish Field at Cacciatore Stadium and five non-conference opponents coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance.
The Blue Demons will open the season with a pair of exhibition games at Northwestern and Wisconsin before opening the season at home against Milwaukee, SMU and Purdue. From there, however, DePaul will play four games in 12 days away from home against Dayton, followed by a trip to West Lafayette, Ind. for the Boilermaker Challenge Cup where they will take on Kansas and South Carolina before visiting Loyola to close out a challenging stretch.
Chastain’s group will begin conference play on Sept. 28 when they visit Creighton before returning home to take on Butler on Oct. 3 and St. John’s on Oct. 6.
After an east coast road trip to Providence and Villanova, the Blue Demons will play three of their final four games at home that will include challenge games against Georgetown and rival Marquette to close out the regular season.
With that in mind, Second City Soccer takes a look at five games to be on the lookout for next season.
- Kansas (Sept. 6)
This will be the first meeting between the two programs and the first time since the 2014 season the Blue Demons have taken on a Big 12 opponent. While not a true road game, DePaul will face a stiff taste away from Wish Field in the first game of the Boilermaker Cup Challenge.
Last season, the Jayhawks advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after topping Saint Louis 2-1 in double overtime before falling to top-ranked North Carolina 4-1 in the second round. The Blue Demons have always welcomed playing a challenging non-conference schedule and this will be one of the better tests in the month of September with conference play beginning later that month.
- South Carolina (Sept. 8)
DePaul’s challenging run in Lafayette, Ind. will continue just two days later when they take on the Gamecocks on Sunday morning. Like Kansas, South Carolina also reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to No. 14 Penn State. The Gamecocks have reached the SEC Tournament semifinals in four of the last six seasons, including last year where they fell to LSU.
- at Loyola (Sept. 12)
DePaul has controlled this series in recent years going 7-2-1 in their last ten matchups dating back to 2009. With that said, the Blue Demons fell to the Ramblers 2-0 the last time they made the trip up to Rogers Park, Ill in 2017. Loyola is also coming off its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2007 and will be looking to avenge a 1-0 defeat suffered last season when Blue Demon forward Morgan Turner scored the lone goal of the game in the 52nd minute.
- Marquette (Oct. 31)
In each of the last two seasons, DePaul has needed a result on the final day of conference play to reach the Big East Tournament. If history repeats itself this year, they will have to do it against one of their biggest rivals in Marquette and a team the Blue Demons have not beaten since Oct. 30, 2015. On a cold, windy night in Milwaukee last October, DePaul thought senior forward Franny Cerny had scored the game-winning goal only to learn it had been disallowed after Cerny was ruled to be offsides. The two rivals ultimately settled for a 0-0 draw. Both sides hope it doesn’t come down to the final weekend to secure a spot in the Big East Tournament, but if it does that will provide for a lot of drama on Halloween.
- Georgetown (Oct. 24)
It took until Nov. 30 for the Hoyas to suffer their first loss last season, and it came in heartbreaking fashion with a double-overtime loss against No. 1 North Carolina in the College Cup Semifinals. The Hoyas have won three straight Big East Championships and won back-to-back Big East regular-season titles. DePaul has surrendered seven goals in the past two matchups against the Hoyas and will have their hands full once again trying to slow down one of the top teams in the nation.