Well, here we are. Your Marquette Golden Eagles sit at 3-3-1 through four weeks of the schedule. Big East play is bearing down on us (Just 10 days away!), and MU has been struggling to get positive results on the field.
Here's the good news, though: They appear to be playing the way that head coach Markus Roeders wants them to play. On the season, Marquette is outshooting opponents 116-71 for a shot percentage of 57%. Yes, that is slightly behind where they ended last season and off the pace that they had set when they were going to NCAA tournaments on a regular basis.
BUT. Last weekend, MU outshot their two opponents 51-13, and that ends up as a shot percentage of 80%. The issue now is turning those shots into goals. The Golden Eagles have two overtime losses on their record this season, including a 1-0 heartbreaker to Utah to open the campaign, and just this past Sunday, they went to a draw with South Dakota State. Three extra regulation goals across a 270 minute stretch, and we could be looking at a 6-1-0 team instead. The form is there, now they just have to find the results.
Match #8: at South Alabama (5-2-0)
I'm going to do USA head coach Graham Winkworth a favor. I know he's not reading this website, but it'll still be worth it. As a part of writing this preview, I went over to check out South Alabama's preview on their website. I found this quote from Coach Winkworth:
"It's difficult to prepare for Marquette, unlike our preparation for Auburn, because we're able to watch Auburn on the SEC Network week in and week out. Marquette aren't on local TV stations down here so we don't know what to expect. We're just going to focus on us and try to be as prepared as we can."
Ok, I get what he's saying, as USA is just three hours away from Auburn. But I think Coach Winkworth should check out the GoMarquette.com schedule page, because there are links to full video of six of Marquette's seven games, because MU streams every home match. Just sayin'.
Yes, the Jaguars have a pretty nice record on the season. But they're 1-2-0 in their last three, including a loss to #9 Auburn in their most recent contest. USA actually led in that match on a 22nd minute goal from Hannah Godfrey, but the Jaguars conceded two markers before another five minutes wound off the clock. They did end up playing the Tigers fairly evenly (both teams had 13 shots), so even though USA has lost to quality opponents lately, they're still going to put up a fight.
Sophomore forward Charde Hannah is tops on the scoresheet with four goals for South Alabama this season. They're a really good passing team, too, with four players recording multiple assists already, led by three from senior forward Jordan Duncan. As far as goalkeeping goes, I have no idea who's going to play for the Jaguars. Junior Sarah Hay has gotten four of the starts this season, and she's played three of the last four games. That means that she's taken both of USA's losses, though, so it's possible that they'll go back to sophomore Courtney Baum for this one. They're both averaging just one goal every ninety minutes, but Hay (.857) has a much better save percentage than Baum (.500).