First impressions aren’t always the fairest ways to pass judgment, but they are difficult to ignore.
“We showed great composure in being disciplined defensively,” Blazer said. “We were organized and as a result gave Western Illinois very few goal-scoring opportunities. That helped our confidence.”
The Blue Demons limited the Leathernecks to just four shots — one on goal from senior midfielder Husref Jupic — while midfielder Zach Forbes redirected a corner kick from freshman Simon Megally in the 13th minute to give DePaul its lone score.
“Forbes played 90 minutes today and played his role very, very well,” Blazer said.
“Jalen was able to play with the Bermuda National Team during the summer, worked very hard and improved,” Blazer said. “Koray, as a solid international player, has just made our defensive shape more consistent.”
With only five games of training leading up to Sunday’s exhibition at John MacKenzie Alumni Field, the Blue Demons successfully maintained possession and their composure when given the opportunity against the reigning Summit League champions.
“Offensively, they let us build in the back and we were able to have good possession in the first half,” Blazer said. “In the second half, Western Illinois put more pressure on us. But first game of the season, we were able to achieve some of the things we’ve been working on.”
Blazer had few big picture complaints with Sunday’s result, pleased the team could come together, work well together and grab a win on the road.
“We have a number of things to work on as we prepare for Michigan,” Blazer said. “It’s a learning process for the team, and we were able to get a lot of different players in, so it was extremely valuable game experience, going out and getting the result.”
DePaul closes out its short preseason schedule Saturday with a noon match against Michigan.