Matt Vasquenza slipped a low angle shot past Marquette keeper Luis Barraza in the first overtime session, and Xavier picked up the 1-0 win over the Golden Eagles on Saturday night.
Marquette drops to 1-4-1 in Big East play and 5-7-2 overall. That keeps the Golden Eagles in ninth place in the Big East standings, which is outside and looking in on the Big East tournament with three matches to play.
Vasquenza's goal came in the 95th minute, on a ball booted high down the left side. Vasquenza was able to out-maneuver MU's Ruben Sanchez for control and possession, and he zipped towards the near post. MU's defense was slow in retreating to help cover up for Sanchez, but Barraza cut down Vasquenza's angle as far as he could. The sophomore from East Hampton, CT, was able to put a line on the ball that first fooled Barraza as he couldn't make a play on the ball and then stayed just bent far enough where it went into the far wall of the net for the game winner.
You can't really fault Barraza here. The freshman keeper had already made an outstanding alert play in the 74th minute to clear away a Xavier break on the outside edge of the 18 yard box. Wicho not only cleared it off the attacker, but also realized that he was sliding outside the box while wrapping it up, so he let go as he left the box. He was the only one who was aware that he didn't have control of the ball, and quickly hopped to his feet and played it away to his defense with his feet.
We saw two different halves in this game. The first half was a thrill a minute, or at least every third minute, as the two teams combined to shoot 17 times. The shots were as evenly split as you can get, with Xavier taking a 9-8 advantage. The second half was a different story, as the two teams only managed three shots between them, with the Musketeers leading 2-1. Things may have been slightly muted by ongoing rain in the Cincinnati area, but that's a pretty big drop off in offense.
While Marquette remains in ninth with a scant four points, hope still burns for the Golden Eagles. Fifth and sixth place in the Big East are the final conference tournament slots, and they're currently occupied by two teams with just seven points. Luckily for MU, those two teams are Providence and DePaul, both of which still lie in front of the Golden Eagles on the schedule. Wins against those two would certainly do a world of good towards getting MU into the postseason, plus they've got a home game against third place Butler scheduled for Senior Night as well.
Up Next: It's that aforementioned match against the Friars. Providence (6-5-2, 2-3-1 Big East) comes to Valley Fields on Wednesday night, following up a scoreless draw with DePaul on Saturday night.