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Men's Soccer Match Preview: vs #21 Butler (8-2-1, 2-0-0 Big East)

It's time for the first home match on Marquette's Big East schedule, and it's a doozy!

The new grandstand at Valley Fields, complete with fancy chairback seats!
The new grandstand at Valley Fields, complete with fancy chairback seats!
MU Soccer PA Announcer Dan Pfeifer's Twitter: @MUPfeif

When: Wednesday, October 9, at 7pm
Where: Valley Fields
Audio/Visual: Due to the completion of the new grandstand and press box, the match should be available for FREE video streaming. But this is the first match with the new setup, so take your chances on that. If you're not the video type, you can take a swing at Marquette Radio's streaming broadcast. Live stats will be here.
Special Promotions: The athletics website says that students will earn "double Fanatics points," so I'm not sure what that means.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteSoccer

It's a big night for Marquette soccer (6-3-1, 2-0-0 Big East) tonight as they play host to Butler. First, it's the first of just four home matches in Big East play. Second, it's MU's first match against the Bulldogs as part of the Big East, and third, it's the debut of the brand new grandstand in the Valley, complete with fancy chairback seats with "MU" written into them in the fine tradition of English soccer.

Marquette comes in to the match in a three way tie with the aformentioned Bulldogs and Providence for second place in the Big East. All three teams have won their first two matches and sit one point in the standings behind Creighton, which has played a third match which went to a draw. Redshirt sophomore C. Nortey has done all the goal scoring for the Golden Eagles in conference action, as they've won both contests by 1-0 final scores, and he currently leads MU with five goals on the season. Freshman Coco Navarro sits in a tie for second in the league in assists with five. Redshirt junior keeper Charlie Lyon is bouncing his way up the stat columns as he's allowed just one goal in Marquette's last four matches, assembling a season long goals-against average of just 0.88 and a save percentage of .769.

Ok, let's be honest: No one saw this coming from Butler. They were 5-8-5 a year ago and 3-5-1 in Atlantic 10 action. They weren't picked in the top five of the league's preseason coaches' poll largely because they weren't one of the five teams to make the 2012 NCAA tournament, and they had no players on the preseason all conference team. Now they're ranked #21 in the country by the NSCAA and #18 by Top Drawer Soccer. Three key results on their schedule stand out. First, a scoreless draw with Michigan State (who beat MU 2-0 in the Valley, by the way), then a 1-0 win at Louisville, then to cap things off, a 3-2 overtime home win over defending national champion and preseason #1 Indiana. Not only did they win that game, but they had to score TWICE in the final four minutes just to FORCE overtime where they eventually won the match.

The gentleman who scored both the tying and winning goals against Indiana is also a large reason for the success of the Bulldogs this season. Freshman David Goldsmith earned both of those markers and he currently leads the entire Big East in goals with nine on the season. Last year's leading scorer for Butler, sophomore Jeff Adkins has the league lead in assists with six, and he's booted in two goals of his own. Senior keeper Jon Dawson has a goals against average of 1.16 so far this season, and he's stopping 79% of shots on frame.