With the debut of SB Nation United, we're going to change up the format for the weekend preview a bit. I no longer have a page jump to work with, so we'll break the post up into sections and tackle each team one by one. We'll start with the team that's playing matches at home this week.
The women's soccer team (7-2-1, 3-0-0 Big East) enters the weekend ranked 19th in the country by the NSCAA poll and 13th by Soccer America. Marquette is currently in first place in the American Division by 2 points over Syracuse. Kate Reigle has the points lead for the squad with 12 points on four goals and four assists. Maegan Kelly is making up for being less prolific in goals than last year by finding open teammates. Her six assists lead MU and are tied for fourth in the Big East.
Marquette will play two matches in the Valley this weekend, starting with Louisville (7-2-1, 2-1-1) tonight at 7pm. In addition to being the Big East home opener, it's also Social Media Night and Empty The Res Halls Night. You can print out a voucher for a free child admission by Liking the Marquette Athletics Facebook page and every residence hall with at least 30 students in attendance will get their group's picture taken at the game for a poster in the lobby. Plus: Free Qdoba taco bar at halftime!
As for the Cardinals, both of their losses and their tie on the season have come in their last six matches after starting out 4-0-0. 2012 Preseason Offensive Player of the Year Christine Exeter has had a quiet season for the Cardinals, and that's even taking into account missing the first two matches of the season to play with Team Canada in the U-20 World Cup. Exeter registered her only goal and assist of the season in UL's most recent match, a 6-0 beatdown of St. John's. The Cardinals have managed to replace Exeter's offense easily, though. Three Cardinals are in the top 10 in the Big East in points: Angelika Uremovich (4th, 18 points), Charlyn Corral (T-7, 12 points) and Erin Yenney (T-10, 11 points) Chloe Keifer has played all but five minutes in net for the Cardinals and carries a goals-against average of 0.87.
Cincinnati (4-6-1, 1-3-0) comes to the Valley on Sunday at 1pm after a match with USF tonight. The Bearcats enter the weekend having lost six of their last seven matches with the win coming in double overtime at home against St. John's. Keeper Kristina Utley leads the Big East in saves with 69. Given how Marquette typically has a dramatic shot advantage on their opponents, it could be a long day in net for Utley. Freshman Laura Rose has carried the bulk of the scoring for the Bearcats, as she's the only player with more than 2 goals.
The newly crowned Wisconsin State Champions (9-0-0) come into the weekend still ranked with the same #7/#10 ranking from earlier in the week and will be looking to extend their 10 match regular season winning streak. After the victory over Bucky, Andy Huftalin (4G, 1A) and Adam Lysak (3G, 3A) are tied atop the points list with nine each. Marquette has done such a good job sharing the offense (6 players with at least 7 points) that no one is even close to the top 10 in the Big East. Bryan Ciesiulka and Paul Dillon are tied with each other and Georgetown's Steve Neumann for 4th best in assists at four apiece.
MU's lone match of the weekend is at Providence (2-5-1, 0-1-0) at noon Central on Saturday. Wilder Arboleda and Keith Jecewiz have combined for half of the Friars' goals this season. Unfortunately for them, they're also the only two with multiple goals this season. Keasel Broome has played the most time in net for PC and has the best stats of their two keepers (1.20 GAA, .731 SV%) as well.
Volleyball (10-3, 1-0) enters the weekend with an excellent opportunity. In their Saturday afternoon match at Notre Dame (9-5, 2-0), they have the chance to defeat the team directly in front of them in the AVCA polling and knock a team out from the ranks of the unbeaten in Big East play. The Irish found themselves receiving votes after defeating Big East preseason favorite and #10 ranked Louisville at the *snicker* YUM! Center last week. ND impressively rallied after losing the first two sets to the Cardinals and ended up taking the fifth set 15-3. The Golden Eagles will be setting their Big East best hitting percentage, assists and kills against the Irish, who are the top blocking team in the conference. Toni Alugbue leads ND in kills/set at 4.02, which is also good enough for fourth best in the Big East.
On the way back from South Bend, MU will stop in Chicago for a match against DePaul (5-10, 0-2). The Blue Demons have lost four straight heading into the weekend, where they'll host Syracuse on Saturday before Marquette arrives. While DePaul ranks near the bottom of the conference in most team statistics, junior Natalie Rizzo is sixth in the Big East in hitting percentage. That ranks her just below Marquette's second best hitter, Kelsey Mattai.