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2015 Season Preview: Three Questions For Marquette Men's Soccer

1) Who will be the primary goalkeeper?

As things stand right now, we don't even know who is going to start against Oregon State tomorrow. Even worse, we don't even have a reasonable guess. Marquette used three different starters in their three exhibition matches.  Brady Walsh started the first match, but was demoted to third string in match #2, and didn't play at all in the third.  Mac Wheeler started the second match, but ceded that spot to freshman Luis Barraza for the third game. Barraza had been the first substitute in both of the first two matches, so maybe he has the inside edge.

In any case, we have no idea right now.  According to Jack Goods from The Marquette Tribune, head coach Louis Bennett hasn't ruled out using two different starters in MU's two matches this coming weekend. Eventually, though, someone has to seize control of the starting spot, but it might be October before we really know who is going to step up and take full control as The Guy.

2) Can this team improve on offense?

Last season, the Golden Eagles set a program record for both consecutive shutouts and longest shutout streak.  But, once the Big East schedule started, the scoreless streak ended, but the goals on the other end of the field didn't come along with it to help them out.  They had one scoreless draw, two 1-1 draws, and two 1-0 losses in league play in 2014.

This year, even though they return three back line starters, the defense is going to take a step backwards. It has to, because that's what happens when you lose arguably the greatest goalkeeper in MU history (Charlie Lyon) as well as a center back that immediately stepped into an MLS starting lineup (Axel Sjoberg).  In order to counteract that step backwards, the offense must improve over last season.

3) Is this an NCAA tournament team?

I can't honestly predict Marquette will make it back to the College Cup this season.

There's too many question marks on both ends of the pitch in the first place.  On top of that, the Big East has the look of a death machine this season. Three teams - Creighton, Georgetown, & Providence - are all ranked in the top ten of the NSCAA's preseason poll, and Xavier's included in the top 25.   Presuming a reasonably positive set of results in the non-conference schedule, MU would have to essentially sweep the bottom half of the league while figuring out a way to just split against the top half to have a chance at the postseason.

Possible?  Sure.  Likely?  I don't see it.