Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Megally leads the way in a win over rival Northwestern with Creighton looming Saturday

                               Photo Credit: DePaul Athletics

DePaul Blue Demons forward Simon Megally's start to the 2016 season feels like an encore from 2015.

The senior leads DePaul (5-2-2) in goals (5) and points (13) as Wednesday night's performance at rival Northwestern proved to be another night of work.

Megally struck in the 35th minute to open the scoring, off a timely assist from midfielder Hans Wustling, who substituted for Jake Scheper five minutes prior.

Up 1-0 and in complete control, the momentum shifted from DePaul to Northwestern (1-6-1) in the second half as it pounced on multiple shot chances. Quentin Low responded with two of his six saves as DePaul's lead expanded in the 77th minute on Zach El-Shafel's first goal of his career.

Less than a minute later, Northwestern's persistence paid off as defender Nathan Dearth found himself at the right place, at the right time as he scored off a rebound from point-blank range for his first goal of the season, but would get no closer.

After a 2-1 defeat to Northwestern in its last meeting on Oct. 7, 2015 at Wish Field, Megally wanted to return the favor at Martin Field in Evanston, IL.

"This is my fourth year here [at DePaul]," Megally said. "For us, it is important to a lot of our teammates knowing Northwestern has gotten the better of us in the past. It wasn't that they were the better team, but it was getting the first goal of the game this time around to see the tone."

BIG EAST power Creighton comes calling:

Megally headlines the third-highest scoring unit in the country (59 points) as the conference opener looms Saturday against No. 12 Creighton (4-1-2) at Wish Field (1 p.m, Fox Sports Go).

The Blue Jays came one game short of making the NCAA College Cup last season as they lost in the quarterfinal round to the Akron Zips, 2-1.

Megally knows the Blue Jays' strength lies in their defense with three goals in allowed in the first seven games (11th in the nation).

"It's a lot of momentum to have going back to Wish [Field] and want Creighton given they are beatable despite its great defense," Megally said.

DePaul coach Craig Blazer considers Creighton the cream of the crop, but will be ready for its best shot.

"Creighton's history is fantastic, on top of being the standard," Blazer said. "We are going to do everything we can to win the game."

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