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Men's Soccer: 5/3 Marquette 1, 8/7 Notre Dame 1

By tying with the Irish, the Golden Eagles miss out on slice of the division title and a bye in the Big East tournament.

Axel Sjoberg scores Marquette's lone goal in both matches against Notre Dame
Axel Sjoberg scores Marquette's lone goal in both matches against Notre Dame

Both Marquette and Notre Dame knew what was on the line when play got underway on Saturday: Connecticut and Georgetown had already closed out wins over Providence and Seton Hall respectively to lock in shares of the Big East Blue Division title. Whomever won the match at Valley Fields would share in the title and whomever lost would get to face Cincinnati after losing out a bye into the quarterfinals.

The Golden Eagles got on the board first when Notre Dame keeper Will Walsh deflected Andy Huftalin's shot, but was unable to control the ball. Axel Sjoberg scooped up the rebound for a goal, off his foot rather than his head, to give Marquette the 1-0 advantage. The Eagles had several more scoring opportunities including multiple instances in the second half where long passes found Huftalin who was not able to shake his defenders for a shot, but the score remained unchanged until the 88th minute when Ryan Finley scored to make it a 1-1 tie.

The specter of a draw is always present in a soccer match and in the waning minutes of this one, Finley's equalizing goal was a reminder that there are outcomes more painful than a 0-0 tie: believing for nearly 60 minutes only to have it ripped away at the last second. After two scoreless overtimes, neither team will get to claim co-champion status next season. Notre Dame and Marquette finished their seasons tied for third with 16 points in the Blue Division, but having won their contest three days ago, the Irish win the tiebreaker and the tournament bye. The Golden Eagles will face the Bearcats on Wednesday night at Valley Fields.

Marquette finishes the regular season 14-2-1 with an in conference record of 5-2-1.