Adam Lysak scored his second goal in three days in the 59th minute, and by the end of 90 minutes, it would become a championship winning goal as Marquette beat Providence 3-2 in the Big East Championship.
Marquette got their first two goals on what head coach Louis Bennett called the favor of the soccer gods. Sebastian Jansson headed one over Friars keeper Keasel Broome in the 34th minute on his first touch of the match after subbing in for Lysak. Then, in the 37th minute, Nick Parianos came on for C. Nortey, who had just been inadvertently kicked in the back of the leg. The freshman forward made his first touch of the match with his head as well, but Parianos went with the downward strike instead, sending the ball bounding to the far post and past Broome.
With a two goal lead at halftime, Marquette didn't rest on their laurels. Off the restart after a yellow card on Providence's Phil Towler, Kelmend Islami feathered a pass along the top of the 18 yard box. Bryan Ciesiulka feinted his own shot, but tapped it along to Lysak on the left corner. The redshirt senior turned it back towards the middle and buzzed the turf at PPL Park, sending it to the far corner for a 3-0 Marquette lead.
To their credit, the Friars didn't hang their heads with only 30 minutes to play. PC used the confusion over the head referee and assistant referee disagreeing on the last touch before the ball went over the touchline deep in Marquette's end in the 67th minute to get a quick throw in, and Towler found Manny Andrade at the left corner of the 18 yard box. Andrade sent the ball up and in over a leaping Charlie Lyon to ruin the shutout.
With only 23 minutes remaining and no other choices left before them, Providence kept pushing. In the 87th minute, Mac Steeves found himself with space in the 18 yard box and fired a shot. Lyon made an outstanding save to keep that blast out of the net, but he couldn't hold on to it. Freshman Julian Gressel was on the right flank and found himself with the ball and an excellent angle with Lyon out of position. He sent it back in on the net and even the diving extended leg of 6'7" center back Axel Sjoberg couldn't keep Gressel's shot out of the net.
With the drama and tension immediately ratcheted up, Marquette rose to the occasion. Gressel's goal would be the last shot that Providence got off in the match, and MU was able to run out the clock to clinch the title and automatic berth in the 2013 College Cup.
With the game winning goals in both of Marquette's matches, Lysak was named the Most Outstanding Offensive Player of the tournament, and Sjoberg was named Most Outstanding Defensive Player. They were joined on the All-Tournament team by Lyon and Louis Bennett II. Inexplicably, Georgetown got two players on the All-Tournament Team, even though they played one match and scored no goals.
Up Next: With their spot in the College Cup locked up, Marquette will merely wait to see where, when, and who they will play next. The field will be announced tomorrow at 11am Central on NCAA.com.