10.11 Weekend Preview: A Short List, But A Very Important One

Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

It's "Determine Your Own Fate Week," as all three teams will be facing off with their rivals for the conference championship. Oh, and Marquette Madness is tonight. Busy, busy, busy...

We'll skip out on a preview for Marquette Madness, as I think you all know how that works. Although we do have this:

Mystery guest, eh? Interesting...

We'll do the game previews in chronological order...

Men's Soccer

Marquette currently sits in first place at 3-0-0 in the Big East following their 3-2 double overtime win over #21 Butler on Wednesday night. C. Nortey has scored the game winner in all three of MU's conference matches, and he's rapidly turning into MU's version of Ronda Rousey. The armbar/game winning goal is coming, you know it's coming, you can try to defend against it, but it's hopeless for you. Nortey's six goals on the season have him tied for third best in the Big East. Freshman Coco Navarro and senior Paul Dillon are tied for the team lead in assists at five after Dillon had two helpers on Wednesday night. That puts them in a five way tie for second most in the league. Keeper Charlie Lyon's stats took a step backward after giving up two goals to Butler, but a goals-against average of 0.96 and save percentage of .744 are still pretty great.

Match 12: vs #8/#7 Creighton (6-2-2, 2-0-1 Big East)

When: Saturday, October 12, at 7pm
Where: Valley Fields
Audio/Visual: The FREE VIDEO STREAMING was working just fine for the Butler game, so you can get that here. Live stats will be over here.
Special Promotions: Faculty and staff get in FOR FREE! The first 500 students in attendance get a limited edition buff, which you can see here. It appears to be a bandana with an eagle's beak on it, which might look cooler in person than in the picture.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteSoccer

While the Bluejays aren't perfect on the season, they still have been ranked in the top ten in the country for the whole season, including a brief ascendency to #1 in the country. They lost that spot when they lost to William & Mary in double overtime, the second of five - FIVE - straight double overtime matches that Creighton has played this season. They're 1-1-2 in their last four matches, but all three matches where they didn't get a win were against high quality competition: Georgetown and Saint Louis, who are both ranked, and a 7-1-1 Michigan State team who has the best RPI in the country.

After Alex Bolowich started the first seven matches of the season, sophomore Connor Sparrow has started the last three contests. Word out of Omaha is that Bolowich is a little dinged up, but after Creighton head coach Elmar Bolowich - yes, Alex's father - benched Bolowich for Jeff Gal last year, I have no idea which keeper to expect on Saturday night. Timo Pitter leads CU with three goals on the season, but five different players have scored two goals. The same situation exists in the assists column, where Jose Ribas has three and five players have two. Fabian Herbers, Sean Kim, and Bruno Castro are the only men who live in the intersection of the "two or more" Venn diagram.

Women's Soccer

Hey, remember when Marquette was 2-2? Or even 5-3? En route to their current 11-3-0 record, Marquette has allowed just four goals in their last six matches, and two of those were scored by the two best offensive players on Louisville's squad, and they're the co-favorites to win the AAC. The Golden Eagles have four players in the top 17 goal scorers in the Big East (including ties) and it's the surprising Mary Luba leading the way with six. Maegan Kelly has broken the program's all time assists record, and she leads MU with six helpers on the year, good enough for a tie for sixth most in the league. Sophomore keeper Amanda Engel's goals-against average is down to just 1.08 after Marquette's recent run, and she's been named the league's Keeper of the Week each of the last two weeks. Don't ask about her league ranking when it comes to saves or save percentage, though. It's not pretty.

Match 15: vs #8/#6 Georgetown (11-0-2, 3-0-1 Big East)

When: Sunday, October 13, at 1pm Central
Where: Valley Fields
Audio/Visual: The FREE VIDEO STREAMING will be available here, and you can get live stats here.
Special Promotions: It's a GOLD OUT, so wear your gold to throw some fear into those Hoyas. The first 250 students in attendance get a stylish We Are Marquette rally towel, which you can see here. ALSO! The first 125 fans overall in attendance will get a ticket for the postgame pumpkin patch, where you can pick out a pumpkin to take home!
Twitter Updates: @MUWomensSoccer

Unbeaten. What else needs to be said about the Hoyas during this season so far? Their two draws so far this season came against UCF, co-favorites with Louisville in the AAC, and against DePaul in their Big East opener, which is why Georgetown's not in a tie for first place right now. Both of those matches came in Washington, D.C., and yet, the Hoyas are somehow 4-0-0 on the road this season, including at Connecticut, the only team that managed to not lose to Marquette last year in Big East play.

Senior forward Kaitlin Brenn is leading the Hoyas in goals with seven, which would tie her for best in the Big East if St. John's Rachel Daly wasn't a time traveling goal scoring robot. You'll notice that it's not Daphne Corboz, the Big East preseason Offensive Player of the Year. This is mostly because Corboz missed the first five matches of the year. She's still managed five goals this season, and Corboz is tied with teammate Audra Ayotte and Villanova's Katie Martin for the league lead in assists at nine. Honestly, that's terrifying. Emma Newins has lived up to her billing as preseason Goalkeeper of the Year, averaging half a goal per 90 minutes played and stopping 85% of the shots she faces, which aren't that many in the first place. It's worth noting that in last year's Big East Championship game, Marquette outshot Georgetown 12-3.

Volleyball

Similar to women's soccer, Bond Shymansky went out of his way to challenge his squad as much as he reasonably could to start the season. Marquette played four matches against ranked teams in their first nine contests, and they came out of it with losses to all four teams. But they won everything else, and they've won six straight since the last of those games against a ranked team. Autumn Bailey has installed herself as a heavy favorite to win Freshman of the Year awards while leading MU and ranking second in the Big East with 4.04 kills/set. That's also the third best mark by any freshman in the country. Speaking of national rankings, setter Elizabeth Koberstein ranks 22nd in the country with 11.36 assists per set and Lindsey Gosh ranks fourth in aces per set at 0.64. Gosh has appeared on the conference's Weekly Honor Roll three times this season, more than any other player. Marquette is currently the only undefeated team in Big East action, which leads us to...

Match 16: at Creighton (10-4, 1-1 Big East)

When: Sunday, October 13, at 1pm Central
Where: D.J. Sokol Arena in Omaha, Nebraska
Audio/Visual: Because Creighton has to pay the bills for their new logos, you have to pay for live video. But there will be streaming audio from local radio station 1620 AM The Zone. Live stats will be here.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteVB

The Bluejays were picked to win the Big East, and for good measure. Marquette hasn't lost to any other other schools any time recently, and Creighton is the team that bounced MU from the 2012 NCAA tournament. With a #25 AVCA ranking in hand, they started off the season with four straight wins, including one over #13 BYU in the tournament hosted by Bowling Green that MU participated in. They had a slip up again Cal, but hey, who's blaming anyone for losing to a Pac12 team? They rattled off three more wins before dropping their next two, but those were to #11 UCLA and #7 Hawaii. Not only can you not fault them, it somehow HELPED them in the poll! The losses were in two separate polling periods, and the Jays moved UP one spot each time, going from 24 to 23 to 22! Then they lost to Butler in their Big East opener, which is why MU is currently leading the conference, and why Creighton is no longer ranked.

Kelli Browning was named preseason co-player of the year along with Marquette's Elizabeth Koberstein, and she's done nothing to shake that belief. She ranks 8th in the country in blocks per set with 1.43. She also averages more than 2 kills per set and is hitting .306. Not shabby at all. Leah McNary's right back where she was in 2012 by leading the team in kills (3.19/set, 8th in the Big East), and Michelle Sicner has done an good job taking over at setter for Megan Bober, the 2012 Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year. Freshman Lauren Smith has the second best hitting percentage in the league, and she's the only player to be able to wrest a Freshman of the Week award away from Autumn Bailey.

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