Squad falls at C-USA tournament


“It was warm, around 70 or 80 (degrees) today (in Charlotte), but it’s a rainy day for them,” Pelaez said.

Marquette trailed the Blue Demons for 66 minutes, down 1-0 after 2003 C-USA Player of the Year Julianne Sitch scored in the 16th minute past junior goalie Katie Bissen on an assist from Lauren Spacht.

Senior Laura Culhane tied the match with a goal in the 82nd minute, which was Marquette’s only goal of the game and the last of the 2003 season.

In the first overtime, Marquette had two shots compared to DePaul’s one. Neither team had any shots on goal. Going into the second overtime, with only three minutes remaining, Erin Walter’s goal in the 107th minute ended Marquette’s season.

“We never wanted to play defensively, but we wanted to keep attacking,” Pelaez said. “Our legs were tired because we exerted so much energy to catch up.”

The victory is DePaul’s first ever conference-tournament win in three attempts.

“They fought like warriors,” Pelaez said. “(The game) was almost to the death. They collapsed when the game was over. We had to carry them off. Hearts are heavy and eyes are teary. We didn’t get the result but they had the fighting mentality. You can’t ask for more than that.”

Bissen had three saves in the game while DePaul’s Lindsay Deason had nine. Marquette had a 10-5 advantage in shots on goal and also outshot DePaul, 15-13.

For the seniors, it ended too early, and not how they planned.

“We’re not used to this,” Pelaez said. “For the seniors, it’s hard. They wanted to keep playing. I told them it was an honor to be out there with them on that field.”

Five Marquette players made the All-Conference team. Senior defender Lindsay Smale was named to the first team. Senior midfielder Anne Ioder and Bissen were named to the second team while senior defender Carolyn Klopp made the third team. Midfielder Beth McGill, who led the team with three goals, was named to the all-freshman team.

DePaul will go on to face the No. 7 Tulane Green Wave, which defeated Texas Christian in the second match. After TCU and Tulane battled to a scoreless tie, the Green Wave were able to win the shootout, 3-1, on penalty kicks. This is the second time DePaul had defeated Marquette this season.

“Were we surprised that DePaul beat us — they beat us once before in the year — but did the better team win?” Pelaez said. “On paper maybe, but we were considered the underdog even though we were the No. 3 seed.”

The Golden Eagles finished their season 11-8-1.