The semifinals will be at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania, the home of MLS' Philadelphia Union. Both matches will be streamed FOR FREE on BigEast.com/allaccess, so tune in and check that out.
Semifinal #1: #1 Georgetown vs #3 Providence
When: Friday, November 15, at 5pm Central
Live Stats: Right here.
Previous Meeting: Georgetown defeated Providence 1-0 on October 9. Goal: Goodman (69')
When you see that the #1 team in the league beat the #3 team in the league 1-0 earlier in the season, you figure it was a tight, competitive game where the road team managed to sneak out a goal late in the second half. You'd be partly right. Providence outshot Georgetown 14-7 in the game and made Hoya keeper Tomas Gomez make five saves to preserve the clean sheet. That kind of offensive output for the Friars was not surprising, as they led the league in shots with 300, 28 more than the second place team, Creighton, who played one more game than than Providence. The Friars also had the fewest shots allowed in the league this season, including holding noted Hoya goal scorer Brandon Allen without a shot, so they are a dangerous match up for any team.
Allen and Steve Neumann make a dangerous 1-2 punch for the Hoyas offense, and they're supported by outstanding freshman Alex Muyl, who is second in the league with nine assists. The Friars have six different players who have scored at least three goals this year, making for a well balanced attack. The match may come down to whether PC keeper Keasel Broome can find a way to play better than Tomas Gomez for 90 minutes.
Semifinal #2: #2 Marquette vs #6 Butler
When: Friday, November 15, at 7:30pm Central, or approximately 30 minutes after Georgetown-Providence concludes.
Live Stats: Right here.
Previous Meeting: Marquette defeated Butler 3-2 in double overtime on October 9. Goals: Steinberger (50'), Sjoberg (50'), E. Pothast (52'), Mitchell (86'), Nortey (106')
One thing I feel comfortable saying about this match: Butler's definitely not going to be afraid. They had to win what amounted to a home-and-home series with Xavier in order to first qualify for the Big East tournament and then advance to the semifinals. On top of that, they were down late against Marquette before Vincent Mitchell managed an 86th minute goal to tie the match and send it to overtime.
The good news for Marquette is that in that first match, they were able to contain the Big East's best goal scorer, David Goldsmith. The Bulldog freshman was held to just one shot in 106 minutes of action. The even better news is that they outshot Butler 21-11 in the course of the whole match, including 11-2 in the second half and 5-2 in overtime. The bad news is that it took 17 minutes of overtime to finally pick up the three points, of course.
Marquette's defense has been better this year than it has in the past two years (62 saves by keeper Charlie Lyon against 87 in the full season last year and 91 by David Check the year before), but it's the offensive end that's given them fits. Marquette scored just nine goals in league play. While seeing three of them coming against Butler may be cause for optimism for this match, you can't help but stare at those two late season shutouts, not to mention seeing only one goal against a DePaul freshman making his unexpected collegiate debut in the regular season finale.