Men’s Soccer: Chicago Derby turns into Chicago Massacre for NU

Dan Ryan

In a season that has been marred by inconsistency, Northwestern’s game against DePaul did anything but right the ship. If anything, the Wildcats steered right into an iceberg.

The Cats (3-4-2) were routed by the Blue Demons (3-5-1) on Wednesday, losing 4-0 after a breakdown in all phases of the game.

“This was our first true road game of the year and we got a good lesson in how not to play when you’re on the road,” Northwestern coach Tim Lenahan said. “It wasn’t about X’s and O’s and things like that. DePaul came out with a lot of intensity, forced the issue and scored a goal and then we made mistakes after that.”

As has been the story all season, the Cats’ offense struggled to make a dent on the scoreboard Wednesday. It was the defense, however, that was surprisingly non-existent.

The loss marked only the third time that NU has allowed an opponent to score more than one goal this season, and is twice the previous high of two goals in a game.

“Our defense, which has been so great all year and our goalkeeping, I feel like today that group was a little sloppy in the back,” Lenahan said. “At 2-0, I knew the game wasn’t ending at 2-0, but I didn’t think it would end 4-0 and then that third goal, we gave the ball away in the back and that kind of sealed the deal.”

On the other side of the ball, the Cats once again failed to capitalize on their many opportunities. The team stressed finishing as a key to beating the Blue Demons but could not score a goal despite a 22-10 advantage in shots and a 12-0 advantage in corner kicks.

“We have to find a way to score a goal,” Lenahan said. “Their goalie made a couple of good saves but we have to find a way to dent the back of the goal.”

Not everything coming out of the game was negative, however. Lenahan said he was able to draw a few bright spots from an otherwise abysmal performance.

“The positives are we got a lot of guys playing time, a lot of the younger guys played very well at the end of the game, pushing to get a goal on the scoreboard and they did a really good job,” Lenahan said. “It was a valuable lesson. When you play on the road, it’s not about X’s and O’s, shots on goal and pretty soccer. You have to come in and grind out a result and the better team doing that today certainly was DePaul.”

The Cats now limp back to Evanston to prepare for their home match on Saturday night against Missouri State.

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