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Marquette Men's Soccer Preview: vs St. John's

The Golden Eagles look for their eighth straight shutout as they celebrate the 50th season of men's soccer.

Chris Trotman

The non-Rice Lake highlight of my week was discovering the tweets from former Marquette defender and current Angelholms defender Eric Pothast where he realized what you could accomplish during the shutout streak that Marquette men's soccer is currently riding.  At the 1:21 mark of Saturday night's match against the Red Storm, the streak will hit the 720 minute mark.  That's twelve straight hours without allowing a goal.  Goalkeeper Charlie Lyon has been spectacular, center back Axel Sjoberg has lived up to his preseason billing as the best defender in the Big East, and John Pothast has admirably stepped into the void left behind by big brother Eric after sitting out last season as a redshirt.

We must point out the efforts from Adam Hermsen, the junior stalwart on the back line who could easily get lost in the shuffle behind Sjoberg and Pothast, and Jack Alberts, the redshirt freshman who's been tasked with starting on the opposite side from Hermsen.  Alberts has already made a major impact on the 2014 season, scoring two game winning goals for the Golden Eagles, both on free kicks from Louis Bennett II.  While the 6'7" Sjoberg remains the most potent target on set pieces, having a dangerous backup plan like Alberts never hurts.

One last note on the defense.  Charlie Lyon's next shutout will be the 28th of his career, which will tie Marquette's all time record.

Marquette enters the match ranked #8 in the country by the NSCAA, #12 by Top Drawer Soccer, and #13 by Soccer America.

Big East Match #2: vs St. John's (4-4-3, 1-1-0 Big East)

When: Saturday, October 11, 2014, at 7pm Central
Where: Valley Fields
Audio/Visual: It's a home match, so that means free video streaming.  WMUR will have an audio stream for you as well.  Live stats will be over here.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteSoccer

That 4-4-3 record isn't exactly lighting the world on fire, but the Johnnies are on a hot streak.  They're 4-1-1 in their last six matches, including a double OT thriller win in their last outing against Butler.  That run of play is going to be put to the test in their next three matches, as this contest kicks off a run of three straight games against teams that qualified for the 2013 College Cup.

Things that bode well for Marquette on Saturday night: St. John's is dead last in the Big East in both total goals (12) and goals per game (1.03).  To put this in perspective: Marquette has scored the same number of goals this season, but has done it in two fewer matches.  Is there a connection between St. John's struggling to score goals and also leading the conference in offsides calls?  MAYBE.

While they haven't been scoring a lot all season, we have to keep an eye out for Luis Esteves.  The transfer from NAIA University of Mobile made his 2014 debut against Butler and scored both of the Red Storm's goals that came in regulation.  This ties him for the team lead in goals at two in just 93 minutes of action on the season.  Then again, Esteves scored one goal in two seasons with UM, so maybe not.

Jordan Stagmiller has taken over in net from Rafael Diaz, and he's been fine.  It's hard to be as great as Diaz was for the Red Storm.  Stagmiller has let in 13 goals this season while making 45 saves for a save percentage of .776.  His goals-against average checks in at 1.10.