Olympian pulls Rutgers past DePaul on the road

By James Foster

Written by: Nader Ihmoud

The Rutgers University Scarlet Knights needed only an extra 39 seconds of playing time to defeat the DePaul University Blue Demons 1-0 on Oct. 5 at Wish Field.

Less than a minute into the 10-minute overtime period, Rutgers’ junior forward Jonelle Filigno finally broke free of the stern Blue Demon’s defense, scoring her 10th goal of the season.

“We didn’t track a runner into the box and they slipped a nice pass [to Filigno] and the kid that finished, she’s going to finish that chance,” said DePaul Blue Demons’ head coach Erin Chastain. “She’s that level of a player.”

Filigno has played at the Olympics twice, most recently on Canada’s team when it won the bronze-medal in the 2012 London games. She appeared on the Olympic roster for the first time in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The Blue Demons had a strong defensive plan for Rutgers’ star forward, keeping her quiet for the entire regulation.

“We just tried to be physical and prevent [Filigno] from facing up and running at us because that’s where she’s really dangerous, and [we wanted to] limit her shot opportunities,” Chastain said. “I thought we did a good job [but] obviously we lost track of her on the [overtime] goal.”

DePaul held the Canadian forward to only one-shot attempt during the first 90 minutes, but could not contain Filigno at all during the overtime period.

Despite Chastain’s disappointment in her team’s effort during the “golden goal” period, she said they had a good game and did a great job of playing with energy early on.

“That was our game plan, to come out with a lot of energy and intensity and to have a great start, and I thought we did that,” Chastain said.

The Blue Demons’ head coach also credited her team’s fast start to the elementary school students in the stands. The DePaul Blue Demons athletic department offers free tickets and bus services to several games a year, including women’s basketball and men’s soccer games.

Belmont-Cragin Elementary School, William F. Finkl Academy, Claremont Academy Elementary and Saint Clement School attended in the Oct. 5 game.

“The energy and environment was really great for our girls and we’d love to have that many kids out at all our games, but its great that those schools were able to come out and support us and watch a soccer game,” Chastain said. “Hopefully [the children] will aspire to be like one of [the Blue Demons].”

The Blue Demons have to regroup quickly for another Big East conference opponent Oct. 7, when Seton Hall visits Wish Field at 1 p.m.

“All these games in the Big East are tough grinds, and the Sunday games are always hard,” Chastain said. “We recognize that we threw away a good opportunity to get points today, and we got to go out and get ‘em on Sunday.”

[kml_flashembed publishmethod=”dynamic” fversion=”10.1.8276″ useexpressinstall=”true” movie=”https://columbiachronicle.com/soundslides/depaulvRut/soundslider.swf” width=”550″ height=”439″ targetclass=”flashmovie”]