With their 4-0 win over DePaul on Friday night, Marquette moved to 2-3-4 in Big East action this season. But the most important news of the day came in from Cincinnati at halftime, where Xavier took care of business and defeated Butler 2-0. Those two results combined granted Marquette entrance to the 2014 Big East tournament as the #6 seed.
In addition to that immediate news, Marquette also made a long term impact. With no goals allowed and a save in each half, goalkeeper Charlie Lyon picked up his ninth shutout of the season, giving him 29 for his career. That moves Lyon into sole possession of the Marquette career shutouts record, one more than Jim Welch, the previous record holder. It's been over three weeks since Lyon's eight match shutout streak ended, but all that matters is the total number, not how fast you get to them.
Even though Marquette knew they had to get three points from DePaul, it was the Blue Demons with the early advantage. DePaul had four of the first five shots of the game through the first 17 minutes. The scoring got started on Marquette's third shot of the match, which came in the 27th minute. Senior center back Axel Sjoberg sent a long pass from midfield to Coco Navarro, who controlled the ball and ripped a shot that found a way past Blue Demon keeper Mack Robinson.
Marquette's next shot found its way into the back of the net just before halftime. Louis Bennett II launched a long free kick right where you'd expect: At Axel Sjoberg. The 6'7" Swede played it on to Jack Alberts, who put an easy touch onto the ball to send it past Robinson for the 2-0 lead at the midpoint.
Bennett got himself on the goals ledger just after halftime. He sent the ball out wide to Adam Hermsen, then perfectly timed a run into the box as Hermsen sent a rolling cross back into the middle. LB2 made the simplest of touches to send it past Robinson, who had no chance to stop the shot. Things wrapped up in the 73rd minute when Daniel Szczepanek sold everything out to play a through ball for C. Nortey. Robinson's only play was to charge Nortey, but it didn't work, as the Ghana native easily poked it past him. Shoutout to Nortey for resisting the urge for his trademark handspring backflip celebration, given the state of the scoreboard at the time.
Highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com:
Up Next: As mentioned, Marquette is the #6 seed in the Big East tournament, and as such, they'll travel to face #3 Georgetown on Tuesday. Due to the Hoyas inexplicably not having lights at their soccer facility, the match will take place at 1pm Central time on the Big East Digital Network. The winner will advance to PPL Park in Philadelphia on Friday to face #2 seed Xavier in the semifinals.
In the other quarterfinal match on Tuesday, #5 Villanova travels to square off with #4 Providence at 6pm Central. The victor there will take on Creighton, the #1 seed and Big East regular season champion.