2013 NCAA Women's College Cup First Round Preview: #2 Marquette vs Western Michigan

Maggie Bean/MarquetteImages.com

It's time for Marquette's sixth straight NCAA tournament appearance, so let's take a look at the competition.

When: Friday, November 15, 2013, at 7pm Central
Where: Valley Fields
Audio/Visual: Because Marquette loves you, there will be FREE VIDEO STREAMING for the match. You can snag live stats here.
Twitter Updates: @MUWomensSoccer

#2 Regional Seed Marquette (18-3-0, 9-0-0 Big East)

Five straight regular season Big East titles. Two straight Big East tournament titles. Quite the run here by head coach Markus Roeders and his charges, and that's not even getting around to the current 13 match winning streak, or the 18 match home winning streak, or the 22 match home unbeaten streak.

Maegan Kelly already owns the program's all time assists record, and she currently has the second most points in program history with 115. She currently sits eight points behind Marquette legend Kelly Roethe's all time record of 123. It may be out of reach for Kelly, as points will become even harder to come by as the competition will only get tougher if Marquette advances in the tournament. Kelly isn't the only offensive threat on the pitch for the Golden Eagles, as seven different players have recorded at least three goals.

As prolific as the offense has been, it's the defense that earned Marquette the regular season Big East title. MU allowed just three goals in their nine conference matches, although somehow center back Emily Jacobson didn't win Defensive Player of the Year. Sophomore Amanda Engel has been stellar during Marquette's winning streak while putting together a 2013 goals against average of 0.77 and a save percentage of 75%.

Western Michigan (11-5-5, 7-2-2 MAC)

Western Michigan has a great keeper of their own. All-MAC First Teamer Michelle Watson broke the WMU all time shutouts record this season when she recorded her 21st career clean sheet in a 1-0 win over Central Michigan. She's since recorded six more shutouts, including two to preserve draws in MAC play and each of the last two matches in the MAC tournament. Watson has a goals-against average of 0.83 on the season, and she's stopping 80.4% of shots on goal.

Counting their penalty kick victory in the MAC quarterfinals as a draw, the Broncos are 4-1-2 in their last seven matches, with the lone loss coming in the regular season finale. WMU could have clinched the MAC regular season title with a win over Eastern Michigan, but fell to the Eagles 2-1 after giving up two second half goals in the span of six minutes.

All-MAC Second Teamers Rachel Chaney and Aubrey Sudomir tied for the team high in points this season with 18. Chaney had a team high eight goals and two assists, while Sudomir went the hard way to 18 with five goals and a team leading eight assists. All told, seven Broncos have scored at least three goals this season. WMU had three different players score their three goals in the MAC tournament.

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