Kelmend Islami's outstanding senior season continued on Wednesday night when he battered home the game winner in Marquette's 1-0 win over Wisconsin.
It's MU's first win in their last five matches, and it's the first win for the Golden Eagles in Madison since 1999. MU had played seven matches at McClimon Soccer Complex with a record of 0-4-3 since Marshall Morehead and Ryan Taylor scored approximately six minutes apart to earn an eighth straight win for then head coach Steve Adlard. Yeah, it's been THAT long.
Current MU head coach Louis Bennett made a few adjustments to his starting lineup for Wednesday night's match against the Badgers, including inserting freshman Ben Tweedie for his first career start in his first career appearance for Marquette. The change in arrangements looked like it threw Wisconsin off during the first half as Marquette outshot the Badgers 12-8 in the first 45 minutes. While MU carried an offensive advantage in the opening period, including a corner kick advantage of 5-2, they weren't able to punch the ball past UW-Madison keeper Adrian Remeniuk.
After they had a chance to regroup at halftime, the Badgers turned the offensive tables on Marquette. UW outshot MU 7-4 over the final 45 minutes. But it was Marquette's third shot of the second half that would pay dividends. That came in the 77th minute when Adam Hermsen lofted a ball towards the far post. That's where Islami was waiting, and he put it away for the 1-0 advantage. Wisconsin would have two chances to score in the final 13 minutes, but Sam Brotherton hit the post in the 82nd minute, while Christopher Mueller had a last second (and I mean that literally, the shot is credited at 89:59) opportunity vacuumed up by MU keeper Luis Barraza, who made that one and one save in the first half to earn his third clean sheet of the season.
Up Next: Marquette looks to keep the good vibes going, as they return to Valley Fields for the first time in over a month. They'll be hosting Seton Hall (0-8-1, 0-2-0 Big East) on Saturday at 7pm as Big East play begins in earnest from here on out.