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Men's Soccer: Marquette 4, Drake 1

Somehow, the Golden Eagles won UWM's Panther Invitational by winning a match in Valley Fields.

Axel Sjoberg is YOUR 2013 Panther Invitational MVP.
Axel Sjoberg is YOUR 2013 Panther Invitational MVP.

Keeper Charlie Lyon was called on early to keep things knotted at zero. The junior made two saves in the first 12 minutes as the two teams traded shots. In the 24th minute, Louis Bennett II started a goal scoring streak by finding the back of the net for the second straight game and took some of the pressure off of Lyon. Less than three minutes later, Coco Navarro added a goal to the assist he already picked up on Bennett's goal. Freshman Jake Taylor sent a cross through from deep in the left corner, and the Drake defense focused on marking the always dangerous C. Nortey, but missed out on Navarro. When Nortey's glancing attempt at a header found itself at Navarro's feet, the talented freshman finished with a shot back to the post on Taylor's side.

In the 53rd minute, the Bulldogs halved the lead when Danton Irelan cleaned up the mess after Lyon couldn't put two solid hands on a Jarred Arde shot. Lyon was visibly frustrated after the goal, although it's unclear if he was upset about something the two Drake players did or at his own defenders. If Lyon was bothered by something from his teammates, he was forced to forget about it in the 58th minute, when Lyon got caught out of position trying to play a ball on the way in and Eric Pothast cleared the ball away from the net with a sliding kick.

As things started to get dicey on Marquette's defensive end, the familiar sounds of "Dancing Queen" would sound in the Valley in the 63rd minute, as Sweden's Axel Sjoberg headed home a Paul Dillon corner kick to put MU back up by two goals. Sebastian Jansson was able to tack on a fourth goal in the 88th minute when Navarro played a ball deep down the field and Drake keeper Rich Gallagher was unable to make a play on the ball just inside the 18 yard box.

Sjoberg was named MVP of the Panther Invitational mostly for his role as Marquette's center back, but that goal didn't hurt, either. The all-tournament team turned into a Golden Eagles party, as Sjoberg was joined by Bennett, Brady Wahl, and Adam Lysak on the 11 man team.

Marquette seems to have adapted well to playing without preseason all-Big East honoree Bryan Ciesiulka in the lineup as they move to 2-1-1 on the season. The senior midfielder missed his third straight game after being diagnosed with a concussion.

Who wants to see some highlights?

Up Next: It's time to show the Big Ten what for. Marquette will play two games in the Big East-Big Ten Challenge next weekend, starting with a trip to Ann Arbor to face the Michigan Wolverines (1-0-2) on Friday. One of Michigan's two ties on the season came against the Bowling Green side that the Golden Eagles beat 3-0 on Friday.