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Marquette Men's Soccer Preview: One Last Chance vs DePaul

It's Senior Night in the Valley, but the Golden Eagles have more on their minds than just honoring their departing players.

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Tonight, before the match against DePaul, Marquette will honor the careers of their seniors: Charlie Lyon, Sebastian Jansson, Axel Sjoberg, Luis Trude, and Brady Wahl.  Only Lyon and Jansson have spent their full four years of eligibility with the Golden Eagles, as Trude and Wahl have both transferred in to Marquette and Sjoberg is leaving as a redshirt junior with a degree in hand.  This is the bummer of sports that aren't basketball, football, or, even volleyball.  With only 9.9 scholarships to split across the entire team, Sjoberg's paying for at least some part of his schooling, so it's not the best decision for him to spend money on grad school (or even just relax his class load to spread it out) just to play his fourth season.  Thus, we're deprived of one final season with one of the best defensive players in the country and one of the most unique set piece threats as well.

As outlined in Wednesday's article, at 1-3-4 in Big East matches and 7-5-4 overall, Marquette is no longer in control of their postseason destiny.  Only the sixth and final spot in the Big East tournament is available to them, and they'll only get there with a win against DePaul and a loss or draw from Butler in their match against Xavier tonight.  I'd say that I'm confident in MU's ability to defeat the Blue Demons, but three things stop me from saying that. First, Marquette is winless in their last six matches.  Second, after reeling off eight straight shutouts in the middle of the season, goalkeeper Charlie Lyon and Marquette's defense has conceded goals in each of their last six contests, including a ridiculous 3-3 contest in their last match against Seton Hall.  Third, a year ago, when all Marquette needed was three points against a terrible DePaul team in order to clinch the #1 seed in the Big East tournament and the outright league title, DePaul got out to an early lead and fouled the living hell out of MU to preserve the win.  Guess who's leading the Big East in fouls this season, averaging a full foul more than anyone else? Yep, it's DePaul.

Big East Match #9: vs DePaul (4-9-4, 1-5-2 Big East)

When: Friday, November 7, 2014, at 7pm first kick, with Senior Night festivities before the match.
Where: Valley Fields
Audio/Visual: Home matches mean free video streaming, plus live stats.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteSoccer

I wonder if the 15 free kicks per game that DePaul concedes to their opponents every match has anything to do with the 1.53 goals they cough up on average, the second worst mark in the conference?  It might also have something to do with the fact that the Blue Demons lead the Big East in saves, both average and total, as well as sitting dead last in corner kicks attempted.

Do you get the impression that I hate DePaul soccer and all that it stands for after last year's match?  You should, because I do.

The Blue Demons are winless in their last eight matches, with the last victory coming in their Big East opener against Seton Hall.  Oh, come on, DePaul beat Seton Hall and MU had to settle for a draw?  Consarnit all.  DePaul's other wins this season came in overtime both at UW-Green Bay and at home against Drake, as well as a 1-0 home win over Utah Valley in a tournament that the Blue Demons hosted.

Jalen Harvey leads the team with five goals, while noted Great Name Hans Wustling has the team high in assists at five.  That actually ties Wustling for the third most assists in the Big East, which is a heck of an accomplishment since he had to get a helper in on 29% of DePaul's goals to do that.  Mack Robinson has played every minute in net for DePaul this season after starting his collegiate career with two years at Division 2 Ohio Dominican.