Earlier this week, Top Drawer Soccer released their midseason rankings for both men's and women's collegiate soccer. As befitting two teams with a combined 21-6-1 record, Marquette's squads are well represented on the top 100 upperclassmen lists, as well as the top 100 freshmen lists.
On the men's side, MU has four players in the top 60. Forward C. Nortey leads the way at #11, defender Axel Sjoberg comes in at #23, midfielder Bryan Ciesiulka pops in at #56 even though he's missed six games, and keeper Charlie Lyon wraps up Marquette's participation at #59.
Marquette's four players in the top 100 is the most in the Big East. Georgetown checks in with three, while Creighton, St. John's, and Xavier all have one each.
The Big East has 10 freshmen on the top 100 list, so the future of the conference as one of the best in the country is very secure. Marquette has Coco Navarro at #31 and Louis Bennett II at #41. Georgetown's Joshua Yaro has been tabbed as the best freshman in the country, and Creighton checks in with three different players.
The women's version of the Big East is not as strong as the men's side, as Marquette's two honorees make up a full two-thirds of the players from the conference. Georgetown's Emily Menges (#65) and Daphne Corboz (#9) make up another two-thirds, with St. John's goal scoring robot Rachel Daly coming in at #26 and Villanova keeper Jami Kranich slotting at #52.
I'm not entirely sure I understand what Kranich is doing on the list as the only keeper from the Big East. Her goals-against average (1.15), save percentage (.778), and total saves (63) are all middle of the pack for the league. Georgetown's Emma Newins, the preseason Keeper of the Year, and Marquette's Amanda Engel, the reigning three time Keeper of the Week, are nowhere to be seen. TDS does have an individual conference breakdown, and Newins & Engel come in seven and nine spots lower than Menges, the Big East player ranked lowest in the top 100. I have literally no idea how to explain any of this.
If you were concerned about the future of Marquette's squad with eight seniors on the roster, you can take a deep breath. There's only three Big East players on the list of the top 100 freshmen, and two of them are from Marquette. Morgan Proffitt, who has started all 16 matches for MU this season, comes in at #40, while Liz Bartels, who is rapidly developing a knack for a well timed goal, sits at #85. Villanova's Katie Martin is the third freshman on the list, checking in at #84. Martin is well deserving of a spot, with five goals and 10 assists on the season.