I still don't know what happened.
I was in the Valley last night, and I've watched C. Nortey's goal four times this morning. I don't know what happened. I mean, I know Paul Dillon came up the left side in the 23rd minute and served it in towards the net and Creighton keeper Alex Bolowich. But it just looked like service into the box that you've seen a thousand times. Did I see a gold jersey bolting towards the net? Not really. But I saw the ball arc downwards towards Nortey, and all of a sudden...
A one touch right footed volley, and the ball was past Bolowich. "Paul gave me a great ball tonight, and I made a good run, and I just tapped it in," said Nortey after the match. "I didn't know what to do with myself, so I hugged people."
That's a simple description of Nortey's post-goal celebration. He eschewed his mostly traditional backflip celebration, and ran straight for the student section just to the left of the net, AKA The Birdcage, and hopped into their waiting arms. If jumping into the stands after a touchdown in Lambeau Field is the Lambeau Leap, did Nortey perform a Birdcage Bounce last night? A Valley Vault? So many choices...
Nortey has seven goals on the season now, giving him the third most in the league. The redshirt sophomore has scored the game winning goal in all four of Marquette's Big East matches, making my half-joking comparison to UFC Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey's armbar look more serious than I realized. It was Dillon's sixth helper of his senior campaign, tying him with Xavier's Matt Walker for second most in the Big East.
Charlie Lyon played the full 90 minutes in net for Marquette and made four saves to preserve his sixth shutout of the season and third in Big East games. While Creighton's 15 shots were split as even as can be with seven in the first half and eight in the second, and the saves were split evenly down the middle, it definitely felt as if Lyon was put to work more in the second half as the Bluejays attempted to equalize the match.
Marquette remains in first place in the Big East with twelve points. The Golden Eagles are three points ahead of Butler and Providence, both winners last night, and five points ahead of Creighton and Georgetown, both of whom lost last night.
Hey, how about the tactical highlights from the match, courtesy of the Marquette athletic department?
Up Next: Well, would you look at that. MU gets another chance to extend their league lead next Saturday afternoon, when they travel to Rhode Island to face Providence (8-2-2, 3-1-0). The Friars are currently ranked #23 in the country by Soccer America and #25 by the NSCAA.