DEPUE — The DePue/Hall soccer team tried out a new formation Tuesday against Princeton and it proved to be just what they needed to keep the Tigers scoreless.
However, despite making some adjustments throughout the game, DePue was not able to find the back of the goal either, the game ending in a scoreless tie.
“The seniors and captains made the adjustments at halftime and we had our shots, Rafa (Puga) had three or four that were good looks and just went right to the goalie," DePue coach Jeffrey Kulpa said.
Kulpa credits the success of the new formation to the home field advantage that the Little Giants had coming into the game.
“Our spacing was good, for once. We have a wider field than most schools do, so we seem to space ourselves well here," Kulpa said.
The DePue formation left the Tigers feeling frustrated and unable to find a rhythm offensively. It created a style of game that did not play to the strengths of the Tigers.
“They were happy to play kind of a long ball style, which doesn’t really suit us, but we fell into that kind of a game, by passing the midfielders, where we are really strong,” PHS coach David Gray said of the DePue style. "But playing that way takes your center-mids out of the game. Credit to them for coming in with good tactics and understanding what kind of game they needed to play. We couldn’t solve it.”
The Tigers made their own adjustments at halftime, but were unable to make a difference or alter the style of play in the second half.
“I think it created more chances for us, but it didn’t solve the problem, we weren’t able to unlock them,” Gray said. “It’s a little frustrating because it was kind of an ugly game. I am proud of the boys for how hard they played, but we just couldn’t find a rhythm we are used to playing.”
Kulpa, who took over the Little Giants program this year from former coach Tim Stevens, was proud of the DePue effort against a defending regional championship team.
“The kids came together, they actually played as a team," he said. "They moved the ball well, communicated with each other; they saw what was going on. Our defense played great. We are happy to go out of here with a 0-0 tie.”
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