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8.29 Women's Soccer Weekend Preview: At Minnesota & Vs RV/#19 Nebraska

The Golden Eagles look to rebound from a disappointing opening weekend with two matches in two states in three days.

Maggie Bean/MarquetteImages.com

Marquette women's soccer went 1-1-0 on their opening weekend of the season, defeating Loyola-Chicago 3-0 with all the goals coming in the final nine minutes, and losing 1-0 to Northwestern on an 82nd minute goal.  The Northwestern loss particularly stings, as the Wildcats are coming off a 3-14-2 season and MU hadn't lost a regular season home game in nearly four years.  Watching the Northwestern game, it didn't have the feel of past Marquette teams, where the ball largely stayed in either the midfield or Marquette's attacking third.  Head coach Markus Roeders' defensive structure usually results in very few shots ever being attempted, much less actually making it to the net, but so far this season, Marquette only has an 8-7 advantage in shots on goal.  Six of those came off the purple boots of Northwestern players, with goalkeeper Amanda Engel making five saves to keep Marquette in the game.

Marquette dropped out of the NSCAA coaches poll following the loss to Northwestern, although they still received enough votes to land in an unofficial 29th place.  Soccer America still has the Golden Eagles ranked #15 in the country, although they also list the record as one win and one draw, so there's that then.

We move on to this weekend, where Marquette continues their short tour through the Big Ten...

Match #3: At Minnesota (1-1-0)

When: Friday, August 29, 2014, at 7pm Central 5pm Central
Where: Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium in St. Paul, MN
Audio/Visual: Minnesota hates you and will only give you live stats.  Way to make use of that football money, chuckleheads.
Twitter Updates: @MUWomensSoccer

UPDATE:

I have no idea what to make of the Gophers.  They took a trip to Florida to start the season and their results are essentially useless.  They scored four times in the first 13 minutes against Stetson, including just 33 seconds in, on their way to a 10-0 win.  Then, they followed that up with a 4-1 loss to the #2 team in the country, Florida State.  It was 1-1 at halftime on a late UM goal, but they let one in less than three minutes into the second half to burn all of that good feeling from tying it up.  From there the Seminoles just dismantled the Gophs, outshooting them 11-4 in the second half and forcing keeper Tarah Hobbs to make seven saves just to make it respectable at the end.

With one shutout and one four goal loss, Hobbs has a goals-against average of 2.00 on the season.  She's only stopping 73.3% of shots on frame, though, largely because she only had to make two saves against Stetson.  Due to that goofball win over Stetson, three different Gophers have already scored two goals this season.  None of them are one of the three UM players that made the Big Ten's preseason watch list, though.  Like I said, hard to make anything out of their season so far.  For what it's worth, they were picked to finish 11th in the Big Ten (insert joke here) this season.

Match #4: Vs RV/#19 Nebraska (1-1-0)

When: Sunday, August 31, 2014, at 1pm Central
Where: Valley Fields
Audio/Visual: Marquette loves you, so you get free streaming video on top of your live stats.
Special Promotions: Are you part of a U14 or younger team?  Wear your kit and get in free!  Plus, hot dogs, sodas, and chips all for just $1 each.
Twitter Updates: @MUWomensSoccer

Nebraska finds themselves in the position that Marquette finds themselves in, namely already carrying a loss against a team that they probably should have beaten.  In the Huskers' case, though, that team was DePaul, and the Blue Demons are probably a much better squad than Northwestern.  Nebraska is coming off of a Big Ten regular season and tournament championship in 2013, and given their preseason rankings, they should have been able to cajole a win from DePaul.  Instead, they followed up a 4-0 win over SMU with a 2-1 loss to DePaul, and only an 89th minute Nebraska goal made that game look closer than it was.

That 89th minute goal came off the boot of sophomore forward Jaycie Johnson, who currently leads Nebraska with five points (2 G, 1A).  The only other Husker to put a number up in both goals and assists so far this season is also a sophomore, midfielder Caroline Flynn, who has one of each.  Sophomore Kelly Schatz has handled all the work in net so far for Nebraska, and she has a goals-against average of 1.00 and a save percentage of .818 to show for her efforts so far.

Nebraska will be in Indianapolis to face Butler on Friday before traveling to Milwaukee for Sunday's match.  It's slightly odd that Nebraska is going through three Big East teams the same way that Marquette is going through three Big Ten teams, but such is life.