Women's Soccer Match 13 Preview: vs St. John's (7-1-2, 1-0-1 Big East)

One of Amanda Engel's 29 saves, tied for the fewest in the Big East. That's actually a good thing. - Maggie Bean/MarquetteImages.com

After 3 straight road matches, MU returns to Milwaukee to start the home end of the conference schedule.

When: Thursday, October 3, at 7pm Central
Where: Valley Fields
Audio/Visual: Live stats will be here.
Special Promotions: It's Kick For A Cure Night, as MU will be fundraising for the Milwaukee Breast And Cervical Cancer Awareness Program. Also, hot dogs, sodas, and chips are all $1 while supplies last.
Twitter Updates: @MUWomensSoccer

Back on September 16th, Marquette was sitting at 5-3-0 on the season and coming off an ugly loss to Illinois State. Since then, the Golden Eagles have won four straight, including three in the last 10 days, and have slipped back into the national rankings, sitting at #21 in the most recent Soccer America Top 25. More importantly, it looks like keeper Amanda Engel has gotten a handle on how to properly organize her defense without all-conference defender Ally Miller, as MU has only allowed one goal in the last three matches, and that one was on a corner kick that soared over everyone and bounced off the far post and went in. As a result of that outstanding effort, Engel was named Big East Keeper Of The Week.

A win over St. John's will give Marquette a bit of breathing room in the standings. Right now the Golden Eagles are tied for first with Seton Hall with six points, with Georgetown and St. John's right behind them at four points. Taking all three points from the Red Storm with games yet to come against the Pirates and Hoyas would definitely give an advantage to Marquette going forward.

With her game winner on Sunday against Villanova, Mady Vicker moved into the team lead in goals with five, which also has her tied for fifth in the Big East. Maegan Kelly has five assists to lead the Golden Eagles, and that fifth assist of the season gave Kelly the all-time program lead in career assists. Engel's 1.17 goals-against average has been slowly drifting downwards, and while her .690 save percentage is better than it was a few weeks ago, it's still the worst mark amongst the 10 Big East keepers who have been playing the most for their teams.

The Red Storm started off their season in pretty much the exact opposite fashion as the Golden Eagles. The 70th minute goal they allowed to Delaware in their opener was the only goal they allowed in the first six matches of the season. But since then, St. John's has gone 1-1-2, with the lone win coming as a 2-0 shutout of Xavier. While that's not a promising development for them, the good news is that both of the draws of the scoreless variety. The bad news is that SJU outshot Creighton 30-8 and still couldn't manage a goal. To draw their offensive futility into further clarity, Big East goals leader Rachel Daly outshot the Bluejays all on her own, 13-8.

Daly leads the conference with 11 goals on the season, while senior Amy Marron is tied for fourth in the Big East with 7 assists. Freshman Diana Poulin has been stellar in goal as you probably guessed from the lack of allowing goals discussed above. She has the best goals-against average (0.23) and save percentage (.947) in the league.

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