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Marquette Women's Soccer Preview: at St. John's

The Golden Eagles are left trying to salvage points out of their first weekend on the road in conference play after losing to Seton Hall on Thursday night.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Job #1 after Thursday night is figuring out what went wrong.

Marquette lost to Seton Hall for the first time in program history after the Pirates plunked a cross off of MU defender Kirsten Timmer and into the net for an own goal.  The Big East Digital Network broadcast repeatedly pointed out that SHU head coach Rick Stainton was fine losing to Marquette as long as it wasn't on set piece goals.  The Pirates gave up three of those a year ago in a 3-0 Marquette win, and MU scored three goals against Creighton last Sunday in the same manner.

If goal #1 for SHU was "don't give up goals on set pieces," I don't know what the plan was to help them out on that regard.  Marquette had eight corner kicks in the game, compared to just one for the Pirates.  In the end, though, Seton Hall's defense stood up through all eight corner kicks and through MU's 16-5 shot advantage, and the Pirates took all three points at home.

So what went wrong?  You're not going to score goals on set pieces at the rate that Marquette did against the Bluejays, so you can't point to that.  Marquette dominated possession against the Pirates.  Even on the own goal, Timmer was doing the right thing: running back to help protect keeper Amanda Engel.  She just became a victim of a fluke of physics when the ball deflected into the net after it struck her in the shoulder.

Something went wrong, though.  Marquette had no business losing to a Seton Hall team that had just one win to its name this season coming in and had gone all of 2014 without a win in Big East matches.  Something went wrong and something needs to be corrected.  Quickly.

Big East Match #3: at #19 St. John's (10-1-0, 2-0-0 Big East)

When: Sunday, October 4, 2015, at 12pm Central
Where: Belson Stadium in New York, NY
Audio/Visual: Big East Digital Network on Fox Sports Go has the video stream, and there's live stats.
Twitter Updates: @MUWomensSoccer

That correction needs to come quickly, because St. John's is going to be a load to deal with.  They've scored three goals in four of their last five matches.  That would almost be enough to cause problems for Marquette, but it gets worse.  They've also given up just one goal in the last 740 minutes.  That goal came late in a match against Fairleigh Dickinson when they were already up 2-0, and then Rachel Daly wiped that goal out with one of her own less than five minutes later.

Speaking of Rachel Daly, well, the senior from Harrogate, England, has bounced back to sophomore year form quite well after a down year in 2014.  Daly was the obvious Big East Offensive Player of the Year in 2013 when she scored 23 goals and dished four assists in her first year of eligibility at St. John's.  Things went backwards for her last year when she "only" had eight goals and two helpers, which would obviously be a career year for a wide majority of collegiate soccer players.  She's already surpassed those 2014 totals with 22 points on nine goals and four assists, which has to be terrifying for opposing coaches and defenses.

Making things even more nightmarish for those opponents is what St. John's is doing in net.  Diana Poulin was Big East Goalkeeper of the Year last year, regardless of how much I tell you that's insane and DePaul's Alejandria Godinez deserved it.  Apparently that wasn't good enough for Red Storm head coach Ian Stone, because he went out and added graduate transfer Katie DeVault to his roster.  DeVault had a decorated career playing for Fresno State, and after a brief struggle over who deserved the minutes in net, Stone has finally figured out a plan: DeVault starts matches and Poulin finishes them.  This is kind of surprising, as DeVault has yet to give up a goal while in a SJU uniform, but it seems to be working out for them.