With C. Nortey, the man who had scored all four Big East game winning goals for Marquette, on the bench taking a breather before the final stretch of the match, Louis Bennett II stepped into the spotlight. After senior Paul Dillon played a long pass down the left sideline in the 73rd minute, Kelmend Islami reeled the ball in and started an attack. But Islami made the smart team play and passed to Bennett, who ripped a beautiful 23 yard shot into the upper corner of the net and past Providence keeper Keasel Broome. The goal was the fourth of the year for the freshman, and his first since MU's match against Loyola on September 21st.
From there, MU's defense took the forefront. They had already been tested on the afternoon, as Providence had outshot MU 14-8 to that point, and Marquette keeper Charlie Lyon had made five saves on those shots. The defense held strong, although things got dangerous late. The Friars managed three shots in the final three minutes of the game, including two on corner kicks 14 seconds apart in the 89th minute that Lyon had to stop.
Lyon finished with seven saves for his fourth clean sheet in Big East games and seventh shutout of the season. Across the pitch, Broome had four saves on Marquette's 10 shots.
It was a physical match, with 20 fouls called by the end. In addition, five yellow cards were issued, two to Providence, and three to Marquette. Two of Marquette's cautions - one for Nick Parianos and one for Nortey - were issued in the last 10 minutes.
Marquette moves to 9-3-1 overall, and 5-0-0 in league play. The Golden Eagles are the only team with a perfect record in the Big East. Providence falls to 3-2-0 and loses their hold on second place after Georgetown's win over Butler.
Up Next: I don't know what to make of the next match. Marquette heads out to New York City on Wednesday to face off with St. John's. The Red Storm (7-6-1) were regarded as one of the best teams in the country coming into the season, and they were 5-1-0 before the conference slate started. But they're 0-4-1 in Big East matches and have tumbled out of the national rankings.