Men's soccer, women's soccer, and volleyball all have Big East contests this weekend. It's the conference opener for both men's soccer and volleyball while women's soccer makes their second road trip of the Big East season.
Volleyball (9-3) enters Big East play as the most dangerous offense in the Big East, leading the conference with 14.07 kills per set. Amazingly, they're posting that fantastic number without anyone in the top 10 in the Big East individual averages. Lindsey Gosh's team best 3.19 per set average is still 13 hundredths of a kill behind DePaul's Vesela Zapryanova for 10th place. Gosh leads the Big East in service aces with .58 per set, Elizabeth Koberstein is 4th in assists, Danielle Carlson and Kelsey Mattai are fourth and seventh in hitting percentage respectively, while Mattai's one block per set is good enough for ninth best in the Big East.
#14/#10 men's soccer (7-0-0) looks to move to 8-0-0 for the first time in program history after already surpassing the best start in program history last weekend. They're tied for third in the Big East in goals at 14, but are second in assists with 13. Combine strong team play like that with Charlie Lyon's goals-against average of 0.56 (second best team mark and fourth best individual mark) and it's easy to see why Marquette is playing so well. Eric Pothast and Axel Sjoberg are twins on the stat sheet with three goals and two assists to lead MU so far this season.
#21/#17 women's soccer (5-2-1) is even better at the team play than the men's team. They're also third in the Big East in goals with 19, but they're first in assists at 22. That team play shows up in the individual stats as Kate Reigel has made just one start this season, but somehow leads the team in points with nine (3G, 3A), which is good enough for a nine way tie for ninth in the conference. I'm sensing a theme here. Second best on the team? Big East Preseason Defender of the Year Ally Miller with seven points on three goals and an assist. Sofie Schunk has the fourth best goals-against average in the conference, but Amanda Engel has started the last two matches.
Hit the jump and we'll look at the opponents!
Volleyball opens their conference slate with Syracuse (7-7) on Saturday afternoon at 2pm. The Orange have had a roller coaster of a season so far. They started off by winning the Colgate Invitational, but followed that up with four straight losses before turning around and defeating nationally ranked Iowa State in Ames. They've lost their last two matches to Binghamton and Buffalo to fall to .500 as they enter conference play. Silvi Uattara is a freshman, but still leads Syracuse in kills with 3.67 per set. I could tell you more about their team, but I'm too busy laughing at the name of Uattara's high school in Russia. Never change, Russia.
Men's soccer welcomes Anthony Selvaggi's younger brother David to the Valley as they host DePaul (2-4-1) at 7pm on Saturday night. It's Dollar Night at the concession booth and you can get a voucher for a free youth admission by Liking the MU Athletics page on Facebook. The Blue Demons are coming off a 1-1 tie against Drake on Wednesday night. You get no discussion of DePaul's stats because they're too lazy to update their stats page after the Drake match. Shape up, DePaul.
Women's soccer goes on a two match road swing through New Jersey, taking on Seton Hall (6-4-0, 1-1-0) on Friday night at 6 pm Central before heading to Rutgers (7-3-0, 0-2-0) on Sunday at noon Central. Michael LoCicero of The Marquette Tribune dug into the history books and found that this the first time since MU's first American Division title season in 2009 that they have played either team, and they haven't been to New Jersey for a match since 2006 when they lost to Rutgers and drew with Seton Hall. The Pirates are 1-4 in their last five while getting outscored 16-4, including an 8-0 (!) loss to Georgetown in their Big East opener. Freshman Gina Maiorana played all 90 minutes of that Georgetown game, so I suppose it's impressive that her goals-against average is ONLY 1.50 on the season. Junior midfielder Ashley Clarke leads Seton Hall in points with 10 (2G, 6A) while senior forward Stephanie Soma leads in goals with four.
Scarlet Knights junior forward Jonelle Filigno is second in the Big East in goals so far this season and has been named Big East Offensive Player of the Week twice already. Outstanding play like that is to be expected from someone who started for Team Canada in the London Olympics, including in that crazy awesome USA-Canada match. Rutgers had been nationally ranked before going 0-2-0 in their first two conference outings while only getting one total goal in the two contests. Naturally, the only goal came from Filigno. Senior Emmy Simpkins has started all 10 matches for RU and has a goals-against average of 0.83 on the season.