Marquette bounced back from a terrible first half in Omaha to pull even with the #6 team in the country, but an 80th minute goal gave Creighton the 2-1 win on Saturday night. MU falls to 3-5-4 on the season and 0-3-2 in the Big East. As we pass the midway point of the league schedule, the Golden Eagles have just two points in the table and trail the sixth and final conference tournament spot by five points.
Creighton used a 9-0 advantage on shots in the first half to assert their control of the match. The advantage officially paid off in the 37th minute when Ricardo Perez was able to collect the ball after MU tried to clear it following a terrific diving save by keeper Luis Barraza. Perez steadied the ball at his feet and launched it into the net along the left post for the match’s first goal.
After being held without a shot in the first half, Marquette bounced back in a big way in the second, outshooting Creighton 8-3. The Golden Eagles got level in the 72nd minute when freshman Luka Prpa drew Jays keeper Alex Kapp out to the top of the 18 yard box and then just floated a ball over him for fellow frosh Jan Maertins to run under and tap in. If you watch the replay of the goal, I can’t help but wonder why Kapp wasn’t issued a card of some sort for his incredibly dangerous and largely stupid challenge from behind as Maertins poked the ball into the net.
Skip ahead to the 1:28 mark to see the play that led to the Maertins goal and the needless takedown from behind by Kapp.
Just eight minutes later, Perez would be credited with his second goal of the game. It came on a free kick, not that far outside the box, and his hard low liner deflected off of someone in the MU defensive wall and into the net. MU would manage just one more shot in the final 10 minutes, a blast from Jack Alberts that went wide, and that was that.
If you ignore the two goals conceded due to their slightly fluky nature, and and focus on the fact that they were playing a team that could challenge for a national championship, Barraza played a pretty great game for Marquette. He had a few highlight reel saves to keep things either even or close in the match, finishing with six saves to keep the Golden Eagles competitive. On the other side of the field, Marquette only challenged the Bluejays enough to get Kapp to make just one save to move Creighton to 8-2-3 overall and 4-0-1 in Big East action.
Up Next: Speaking of Big East action, that rolls on for Marquette in the form of Xavier on Saturday night at Valley Fields. The Musketeers are 7-3-3 on the season and sit in second place in the Big East at 3-1-1 (10 points) after a 2-2 draw with Villanova on Saturday.