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Marquette Women's Soccer Preview: At Butler

The Golden Eagles wrap up the regular season in Indianapolis this afternoon with not much on the line.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

We already know which six teams will be participating in the Big East women's soccer tournament, but no one has nailed down a specific seed in the tournament yet.  We talked about the possible scenarios involved in today's final match day of the regular season earlier this week, but these are the important parts for Marquette:

  • The streak of five straight regular season titles is over, as they can't catch DePaul.
  • MU will definitely be hosting a quarterfinal match on Tuesday, as they can't pass St. John's and Georgetown to get to second place.
  • Marquette can move up to third place with a win, but only if Georgetown doesn't win against Seton Hall today.  A loss or draw with Butler locks Marquette into fourth place.
  • MU will play either Providence or Villanova on Tuesday, and that depends on both MU's final seeding and also how today's PC-VU match goes.

Not very complicated stuff, really.  Considering the turnover after losing six seniors that played major minutes and the rash of injuries that have debilitated Marquette across the length and breadth of the season, this is still a relatively successful season for the Golden Eagles, but it would still be a positive move to close out the Big East schedule with three final points.

Big East Match #9: At Butler (8-8-2, 2-4-2 Big East)

When: Friday, October 31, 2014, at 3pm
Where: Butler Bowl in Indianapolis, IN
Audio/Visual: Live stats only.
Twitter Updates: @MUWomensSoccer

After a fifth place finish in their first year in the Big East, Butler has already been shut out of a second straight Big East tournament appearance.  The difference this season has been the production in junior Sophia Maccagnone.  In her sophomore season, the midfielder from Michigan had 10 goals and eight assists for the second best point total in the conference.  The only reason she wasn't the leading scorer in the league was because St. John's Rachel Daly was doing her best goal scoring robot impression.  This year, Maccagnone has only found the back of the net four times, but she has 10 helpers.  It's only 18 points after 28 a year ago, and with a middling record, you have to figure that just four more goals from Maccagnone would have been the difference between where Butler is now and a postseason berth.

Marquette has to be careful with this Butler squad as the Golden Eagles look to extend their streak of six straight NCAA tournament appearances.  One of the Bulldogs' ties this season was one of DePaul's two ties in league play this season and one of the Blue Demon's three non-wins all year.  All four goals in that match came in the second half, and DePaul needed a break in the 87th minute when a ball went off the post and right to the feet of Abby Reed for the equalizer.

The Bulldogs are 1-0-2 in their last three matches after dropping their previous three contests.  Elise Kotsakis has the team lead in goals at nine, which has her tied for the second most in the league.  Maccagnone leads in assists, as her 10 passes are the second most helpers in the Big East.  Mackenzie Hopkins has taken the net for the last four matches after Jayne Heinrich had played most of the season.  The junior keeper has allowed seven goals in those matches for a goals-against average of 1.57, and she's only stopping 58.8% of the shots that opponents have put on net.