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Men's Soccer: Marquette 2, Gonzaga 0

A pair of first collegiate goals push the Golden Eagles past the Bulldogs in home opener.

Alex McBride's first career goal was the winner in the Golden Eagle's home opener.
Alex McBride's first career goal was the winner in the Golden Eagle's home opener.
Maggie Bean, Marquette Imaged

It was a gorgeous evening at on Friday as the Golden Eagles hosted their first home match of the 2014 campaign: the sun was coming back out after a light rain shower and a rainbow ending in the heart of Marquette's campus arched over the east side of Valley Fields.

Marquette, in search of their first W, wasted no time peppering several shots at Chris Lowrimore early on, and with just five minutes off the clock, lined up to take their second corner kick of the match.  The shot found John Pothast whose head deflected the shot out to a waiting Alex McBride just outside the box: the redshirt freshman launched the ball past a completely unprepared Lowrimore for his first collegiate career goal to give the Golden Eagles the early lead.

The score didn't change, but Golden Eagles dominated and outshot the Bulldogs 13-4 in the first half.  For those of us that wring our hands that the Marquette offense leans too heavily on C Nortey for goals, it was heartening to see multiple players be part of the offensive barrage.  Nortey, David Selvaggi, Coco Navarro, and Louis Bennett II all had good tries at the net and it felt like a only a matter of time before another would get past Lowrimore who was not getting the help he needed from his defense.

It was another redshirt freshman, Daniel Szczepanek, who scored the insurance goal just before halftime.  Lowrimore came out to the top of the box to challenge but couldn't quite get to the ball before the charging Szczepanek shot it past him for his first collegiate goal.

The Bulldogs showed some spark after halftime and the frenetic pace they played at in the closing half hour got Gonzaga more chances.  They had a good chance to score in the 74th minute, but Charlie Lyon timed his challenge perfectly ending the threat with a sliding save before the Bulldogs attacker was able to get closer to the goal.  The Marquette defense was then able to run out the clock and Lyon posted his first shutout of the season, moving him one closer to Jim Welch's all time record.

The Golden Eagles did suffer one notable loss in the second half: Sebastian Jansson had to be helped off the field by staff with what appeared to be a knee injury and did not return to the field.

Can I interest you in highlights, courtesy of MU's YouTube channel?

Up Next: Turning over half of the hosting duties for the Panther Invitational hasn't worked out too well for UW-Milwaukee: Marquette's match up against Oregon State at noon today will be for the tournament championship.  The winner will claim the trophy from the hosts who have won the tournament the past 2 years.