Valparaiso (1-0) scored the match’s only goal after Crusaders sophomore Rita Craven found the net in the 31st minute off an assist from freshman April Cronin. The first-year forward played a through ball along the ground from the right to Craven, who fired in a shot to the far post from 10 yards out, giving the home side a 1-0 advantage they carried into the first half.
“I didn’t think we were ready in the first half, and because of that we took a goal,” Chastain said. “[Craven] made a timely run into the box and got on the end of the ball.”
The Blue Demons failed to deny the service and paid the price, unable to get the result they wanted. “We played better in the second half but couldn’t score the tying goal,” Chastain said.
“They played well,” Chastain said. “They limited Valparaiso’s scoring chances and other than the goal, I never felt they would score.”
Returning nine starters from last year’s 9-10-2 team — which qualified for the Big East Tournament on the final day of the season — DePaul is looking to push its record well over .500 and be the best in the league, if not best in the program’s history this year. To do so, the Demons will need to come away with results in close matches and avoid lapses in focus like Friday night.
DePaul (0-1) next travels to Saint Louis University for a 1 p.m. match against the Billikens on Sunday.