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#24 Marquette Men's Soccer Preview: At Seton Hall

It's not do or die time... not quite yet.

This is the only useable picture of Seton Hall's mascot.
This is the only useable picture of Seton Hall's mascot.

At 1-3-3 and six points, Marquette has the best record in the Big East that hasn't already qualified for the conference tournament.  The bad news is that they're in sixth place, the final spot in the bracket.  The worse news that they have just a one point lead on a trio of teams tied at five points.

The neutral news is that Marquette gets to tangle with one of that trio today, and they wrap up the regular season with another.  On the upside: a chance to separate from the pack and push themselves into the tournament.  On the downside: a loss or draw today puts the postseason at risk, both for the Big East tournament, and also for the NCAA tournament.  It's not "win or go home," as they could still flip spots with Seton Hall with a win over DePaul next week and a Pirates loss to last place St. John's.  That sounds plausible, but remember: Marquette lost to DePaul in the regular season finale last year when the Golden Eagles were trying to nail down sole control of the Big East regular season title.

Mix in a healthy dose of "Marquette hasn't scored a goal in over 200 minutes" and "The defense has conceded the first goal in each of the matches in the five game winless streak" and "I miss Charlie Lyon's shutout streak," and let's just say there's reasons to be nervous about today's contest.

Big East Match #8: At Seton Hall (4-7-4, 1-4-2 Big East)

When: Saturday, November 1, 2014, at 6pm Central
Where: Carroll Field in South Orange, NJ
Audio/Visual: Paid video and free live stats
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteSoccer

Seton Hall comes in with a 1-2-2 record in their last five matches.  The win came against Georgetown, rather inexplicably, as senior midfielder Andrew LoManto found the back of the net in the 69th minute for the lone goal of the match.  The Pirates were outshot 20-8 in that game, including 7-2 after LoManto's goal, but still managed to preserve the victory.  This does kind of explain how Georgetown's in fourth place right now, though.  Anyway, even though they found a way past the Hoyas, SHU hasn't scored a goal since that match, getting shut out by Providence in a 3-0 loss and Butler in a 0-0 draw.

Seton Hall doesn't get shutout all that much, as even with those two matches, they're still averaging more than a goal per match with 17 strikes in 15 matches.  Kai Greene and Victor Manosalvas lead the way for the Pirates with five goals each this season, and both men have two helpers on the year to tie for the team lead in points, too.  Sophomore Samuel Geiler is the most successful passer on the team, as he leads with four assists.  Fellow sophomore Julian Spindler struggled mightily a year ago, finishing last in the Big East in both save percentage and total saves, meaning he was the least worked goalie but also couldn't stop shots in the slightest.  This year, he's boosted his save percentage by 18 percentage points, up to 74%, and as a result, his goals-against average is down from just a shade under two a year ago to 1.51 this season.