There haven't been many doubleheaders in the Valley in the last few seasons, if any at all. But for Senior Night, Marquette's #18 men's and #7/#14 women's soccer teams turned a doubleheader into a bit of a matching pair.
Both teams won 2-1, and both of the first goals in the matches were scored by seniors with the lone assist on each goal going to a senior as well. Kate Reigle found Maegan Kelly inside the six yard box in the 12th minute of the women's match, while Adam Lysak booted a ball from deep in the right corner out to 30 yards from the net where Paul Dillon blasted a beautiful golazo into the upper right corner to put the men up 1-0 in the 8th minute of the men's game.
The similarities continue where the second goals were scored by the future of the squads. Seniors Mary Luba and Ashley Stemmeler teamed up to find freshman Ashley Handwork inside the six yard box to put the women up 2-0 in the 81st minute. Over on the men's side, they needed a goal slightly more than the women did. Seton Hall had equalized in the 47th minute, and things were still tied with less than 10 minutes to go when the elevated head of 6'7" redshirt sophomore Axel Sjoberg came in handy. Sjoberg headed the ball towards the middle where fellow redshirt sophomore C. Nortey was waiting. Nortey stepped over the leg of a defender to reach the ball and kick it to his left side, then swung his right foot around for a shot that Pirate keeper Julian Spindler had no chance to prepare for.
There was a bit of a unique start to both matches as well. Women's head coach Markus Roeders put all eight of his seniors out in the starting lineup, but after taking the opening kick, Vanessa Legault-Cordisco came off just 34 seconds into the match. Given that she went down with an injury in the DePaul match and hadn't played in last Sunday's match against Providence, this was both surprising and unsurprising at the same time. Louis Bennett threw a bit of a curveball at Seton Hall when he sent senior Andrew Krynski into the starting lineup. Krynski made his first start since 2009, and his first appearance since the match against Drake earlier this year. Making it even more confusing for the Pirates, Krynski started at striker in place of Nortey. For a while at the beginning of the match, it seemed that SHU had no idea what to make of the 6'2" Illinois native up on the top of Marquette's formation instead of the 5'8" Ghana native they may have been expecting.
As I have a knack for sitting amongst the
enemy opponent's fans down at the Valley, hearing their grousing about the Marquette women's perceived physicality long ago became a source of amusement for me. The fun twist on Saturday was that Butler was just as assertive, if not more, as they were whistled for 11 fouls compared to just six for Marquette. Yet their fans were still screaming about perceived fouls and demanding yellow cards. The Seton Hall fan contingent was much either quieter, more sensible, or just plain used to a rough game. I don't like calling any team dirty, but the Pirates do play in an aggressive style that earned them three yellows. The record should show that the third came after an incensed Victor Manosalvas started screaming at the ref after a foul was called in his favor: more amusement for me.
Hey, how about some highlights from the men's match? Dillon's goal is right off the top, while Nortey's comes at the very end.
Up Next: The women will wait to see who the winner of the St. Johns-Butler quarterfinal match is, while the men head to DePaul (4-11-2, 0-7-1 Big East) on Friday afternoon to wrap up their regular season.