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Marquette Women's Soccer Preview: At Providence

Two games left, and the Golden Eagles still need a point to earn a Big East tournament spot.

USA TODAY Sports

An interesting thing happened on Sunday night when DePaul's Alexa Ben slotted home a ball from a corner kick in the 104th minute: Marquette was no longer in charge of their destiny.

The Golden Eagles have won five consecutive Big East regular season titles.  Ben's goal gave the Blue Demons 17 points in the league table and kept MU down at 13 points.  With only two matches left, MU will be forced to look from outside help in order to overcome DePaul and win a sixth straight title.  Had Marquette pulled out the come from behind overtime win, they'd be in a three way tie for first place right now and would only need to win their remaining two contests in order to lock up at least a share of the title.  Now MU will need at least one non-win each from DePaul, Georgetown, and St. John's to win the league this season, while still picking up two wins in their final two matches.

That starts tonight in Rhode Island.  Also on deck for Marquette tonight: locking up a Big East tournament slot.  The Golden Eagles only need one point to clinch one of the six spots, but the three points from a win are much more important in the big picture.

Big East Match #8: at Providence (8-6-2, 4-3-0 Big East)

When: Saturday, October 25, 2014, at 6pm Central
Where: Ray Treacy Track & Field Complex in Providence, RI
Audio/Visual: Providence is going to make you pay for video, so take advantage of the free live stats.
Twitter Updates: @MUWomensSoccer

The Friars find themselves one point behind Marquette in the standings, so they're going to need a win in one of their last two matches in order to get into the conference tournament.  They'll play two home matches, closing with Villanova next week, so things seem to be in their favor in that regard.

After losing three straight to fall to 1-3-0 in league action, PC has rebounded by winning their last three contests.  It's been the Catherine Zimmerman show for Providence, as she's scored all five goals that they've recorded in that run, including a hat trick finished off in overtime against Butler.  The junior forward's scoring talents have her tied for the best mark in the Big East in goals, tied for the second most points, and tied for the fourth most assists.

Providence has only needed one goal from Zimmerman in each of their last two games, and as a result, they've got the best scoring defense in the Big East.  The Friars have allowed the fewest goals in the Big East and they're the only team giving up less than a goal per game.  They've got the best goals per 90 minutes average as a team, of course, and after Marquette pounded Seton Hall's Illissa Blackshear for three goals in just a shade over 50 minutes, PC's Kristyn Shea owns the best goals-against average in the Big East at 0.90.  The sophomore keeper has made 63 saves this season en route to stopping just a bit over 80% of the shots on goal.