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Men's Soccer Preview: The 2014 Milwaukee Cup

It's one of the best rivalries in college soccer and one of the few derbies in the country. Marquette is looking to take back the trophy from UW-Milwaukee tomorrow night in the Valley.

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

This is the 42nd edition of the Milwaukee Cup, one of the rare derbies in collegiate soccer.  UW-Milwaukee holds a 28-10-3 advantage in what College Soccer News named one of the 10 best rivalries in college soccer, but that only tells part of the story.  Marquette head coach Louis Bennett used to coach the Panthers, and ever since he moved from the east side of Milwaukee to the near west side in 2006, UWM has won four times, including last year, Marquette has won three times, and the teams have played to a draw once.

Marquette's most recent win was at home in 2012, and that one looked kind of like this:

No, I don't get tired of watching Sebastian Jansson bury a game winning goal as time expires, why do you ask?

Marquette comes in ranked #17 in the country by the NSCAA and #19 by Soccer America.  As befitting those rankings, the Golden Eagles are rolling, having recorded three straight shutouts after starting out 0-2-0 against the last two teams to win the national championship.  On their three match winning streak, Marquette has picked up goals from four different players, including three from junior forward David Selvaggi.  The transfer from DePaul has jumped into the Golden Eagle lineup and provided quite the offensive punch alongside striker C. Nortey.

While the offense is clicking along, we can't ignore the defense.  Charlie Lyon and friends have held opponents scoreless for over 328 minutes now, and both John Pothast and Axel Sjöberg have earned Defensive Player of the Week honors from the Big East.  Making this performance by Pothast and Sjöberg even more impressive is the fact that the guys working with them have been a bit scattered.  While Adam Hermsen is back in the lineup and has started every match, Jack Alberts has earned two starts so far this season after redshirting last year, as has Jake Taylor.  Sebastian Jansson got a start on the back line, but he's out with a leg injury now, and Brady Wahl, who is always reliable in the midfield, missed the Oregon State game with a late illness.

Match #6: vs UW-Milwaukee (3-3-0)

When: Wednesday, September 17, 2014, at 7pm
Where: Valley Fields, and ARRIVE EARLY.  Parking is limited down in the Valley, and it's funny to make UWM fans park somewhere else.
Audio/Visual: No streaming video, as the match will be broadcast on Time Warner Cable Sports 32!  Live stats will be here.
Special Promotions: You get to watch Marquette take back the Milwaukee Cup.  You need more than that?  OK, FINE.  If you're a student that attended the women's match vs UWM AND you attend this match, you get a mini-megaphone.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteSoccer

We find ourselves in an interesting position, where Marquette and UW-Milwaukee have three opponents in common this season.  Of course, two of them came as a result of the Panther Invitational, so I guess it's not that surprising that both teams dialed up Drake for a non-conference match.  While Marquette earned shutout wins against all three teams, UWM defeated Gonzaga 2-1 and Drake 2-0, but lost to Oregon State 2-0.

UWM is coming off of two straight losses, but both were on the road and both were against ranked teams.  The bad news is that #22 George Mason and #19 American both shut out out the Panthers while combining to total five goals.

All six of Milwaukee's goals on the season have been divided evenly by three men, none of whom is 2013 Horizon League Player of the Year Laurie Bell.  The senior midfielder from England is in the middle of a three way tie for the team lead in assists with two helpers, though.  The UWM goalkeeping situation is an interesting one.  Sophomore Liam Anderson started the first three matches of the season, but was replaced for two matches by freshman Agustin Rey.  Anderson was back in the lineup against American on Sunday, so I presume he'll be back in net again tomorrow night.  Anderson and Rey both have a goals-against this season of 1.50, while Rey (80.0%) has been slightly better at stopping shots on net than Anderson (72.7%)