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Marquette Men's Soccer Preview: vs Providence

The Golden Eagles host the Friars with a need for three points in the Big East standings.

Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Three matches left, three chances for points.

Marquette badly needs points in the Big East table.  The Golden Eagles are in ninth place with four points right now, and only the top six squads qualify for the Big East tournament.  I know this sounds bad.  But here's the signs for optimism: Fifth and Sixth place in the standings are tied right now at just seven points AND Marquette still has to play both of those teams.

One of those teams is Providence, which just happens to be Wednesday's opponent.

The other one is DePaul, which is Marquette's season finale.  That's still a week and a half away, so there's no need to think about that match yet.  What matters right now is taking three points from the Friars and pulling into a tie with them for wherever that lands MU in the standings given everyone else's results.  At face value, Marquette just needs the points to get into the postseason, but there's another angle on this.  The possibilities of needing tiebreakers to get in is also out there, and by merely defeating Providence, the Golden Eagles earn the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Friars if it comes down to that for that sixth and final spot.

Big East Match #7: vs Providence (6-5-2, 2-3-1 Big East)

When: Wednesday, October 28, 2015, at 7pm
Where: Valley Fields
Audio/Visual: The Big East Digital Network on Fox Sports Go has the video stream, plus there's live stats.
Special Promotions: Ok, the website says "FREE WINGS" for the first 200 students, but it does not clarify that it means chicken wings.  Twitter says 150 students get wings, but again, no confirmation that it means chicken.  Attend at your own discretion.
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteSoccer

Whatever you want to say about this season, this can not be how Providence wanted to follow up a trip to the NCAA tournament Final Four a year ago.

In a measure of defense of the Friars, they only returned four guys from the 12 men who saw action in the semifinal match against UCLA, and they do return two more guys who played significant minutes for them throughout the 2014 season.  But it's hard to bounce back from losing so many seniors, especially when almost all of them composed the PC defense.  Marquette knows the pain of having to replace core defenders, whereas Providence is replacing four defenders and Keasel Broome, their three year starting keeper.

While they have been reassembling their defense on the fly this season, the offense has returned essentially intact from 2014.  Mac Steeves and Julian Gressel have been stout scorers for the Friars this season, with Steeves ranking second in the Big East in goals with 10 and Gressel sitting in a tie for fourth in assists at five helpers on the year.  Steeves is actually one of just two players in the Big East that have scored 10 or more goals this season and seeing as he's coming in second to national player of the year candidate Fabian Herbers from Creighton, that's nothing to be ashamed of.

Ben Seguljic is the keeper that's taken over for Broome this season.  He's been with Providence since 2013, redshirting all of that season, and then just sitting out behind Broome a year ago.  Seguljic has been.... fine.... for Providence this season.  He's middle of the pack at best in the Big East when it comes to statistical markers, ranking fourth in goals against average (0.88), but eighth in save percentage (.733)