Marquette needed just one goal from C. Nortey to open the Big East schedule with a win over Xavier on Saturday night. The redshirt sophomore took a pass from Coco Navarro in the 31st minute, and split two Musketeer defenders on first contact with the ball. Nortey dodged a third defender making a challenge and fired a strike past Xavier keeper Eric Osswald to register his team leading fourth goal of the season.
The win is Marquette's fifth in their last six contests, and their third straight win via shutout. With two straight shutout wins since losing 2-0 to Michigan State, Marquette hasn't allowed a goal in over 219 minutes.
The Golden Eagles (5-2-1, 1-0-0) protected their lead well in the second half by keeping things as far away from keeper Charlie Lyon as possible. MU outshot Xavier 5-1 in the second half, although Lyon had to make his lone save of the game in the 78th minute on a Garrett Halfhill shot.
Xavier (3-4-2, 0-1-0) did get two quality chances to equalize in the last 30 seconds of the match, as they earned two corner kicks. Neither kick developed into a shot, however, and the Golden Eagles escaped with the first three points of the Big East slate.
Preseason all-Big East midfielder Bryan Ciesiulka made his first appearance since the season opener against UW-Milwaukee when he subbed in for Adam Lysak in the 25th minute. Ciesiulka missed the previous six games after being diagnosed with a concussion after the loss to UWM. He played 58 minutes against Xavier, registering two shots along the way.
UPDATE: Now with video, because Xavier's video didn't have MU's goal in it, EVEN THOUGH IT WAS THE ONLY GOAL OF THE GAME.
Up Next: Marquette will travel to Madison on Wednesday for a mid-week contest against Wisconsin (5-1-1). It will be the last non-conference match of the season for MU.