I have to keep telling myself that there was a strong chance that the 2016 Marquette men’s soccer season was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad season. 13 newcomers, no one returning who had scored a goal in 2015, multiple players returning from season ending injuries being asked to contribute in major roles.
It’s that kind of thing that I have to keep thinking about when I think about Marquette’s current six game winless streak that has them at 3-4-3 on the season. Now, that streak also shares three draws at the front end with a six game undefeated streak. It wasn’t that long ago where things were looking pretty good for Marquette this year, which is why I have to keep reminding myself for the potential for problems.
The biggest issue for Marquette lately has been the lack of goals. After recording 16 goals in the first six matches of the season and jumpstarting Luka Prpa Fever after back to back six point performances, the Golden Eagles have found the back of the net just once. After a scoreless draw with St. John’s, MU dropped a 2-1 decision to Villanova on a very late goal by the Wildcats, and now it’s been nearly 220 minutes since Marquette scored. It’s been over 420 minutes since one of Marquette’s forwards or attacking midfielders scored a goal.
There are also questions to be answered at goalkeeper. After opening up Big East action 0-2-1 with sophomore Luis Barraza in net, head coach Louis Bennett moved to redshirt senior Mac Wheeler for Wednesday night’s match against Wisconsin. Wheeler was fine, making two second half saves while allowing one goal while his defense scrambled to get back in position in transition. Wheeler and Barraza had alternated starts before Big East action started, with Bennett saying we hadn’t seen the last of Wheeler when going to Barraza for conference play. Is Wheeler going to get a shot at the Hoyas, or is it back to Barraza for Saturday afternoon? Which keeper gives Marquette the best chance to salvage some wins out of the remaining six matches this season?
Big East Match #4: vs Georgetown (3-7-0, 1-2-0 Big East)
When: Saturday, October 8, 2016, at 1pm CT
Where: Valley Fields
Audio/Visual: The Big East Digital Network on Fox Sports Go has the video stream & there’s live stats.
Special Promotions: FREE breakfast sandwiches & donuts for brunch for the students in attendance. MU employees & their families get in for free.
Twitter Updates: @marquettesoccer & @GUHoyasMSoccer
Marquette has a 1-11-1 all time record against Georgetown, so this will be an uphill battle one way or another. Marquette’s lone win over Georgetown was a 1-0 victory back in 2009, and MU has lost each of the last two encounters.
Believe it or not, Georgetown started out the season ranked #10 in the country. Then they lost their first four matches of the season. Now, in their defense, they gave up a 90th minute goal to #2 Akron in a 1-0 loss and a 90th minute goal to #7 Maryland in a 2-1 loss. It might be a little unfair to judge them on those losses. They also have suffered four 1-0 losses this season, including that outing against Akron, so they’ve been a little bit of a victim of bad luck on some level.
The Hoyas are struggling to assemble a coherent roster after losing six players from last year to Major League Soccer, which is a reasonable explanation for how they’re playing this season. It does make you wonder why the hell they were ranked #10 in the country to start the season, though.
Brett Campbell leads the team in goals this season with three of their eight markers. Seven different Hoyas have recorded an assist, with Christopher Lema getting two to even out their goals and assists totals at eight each. J.T. Marcinkowski has played all but one match in net for Georgetown, getting the day off in their 3-1 win over American. Marcinkowski is playing reasonably well for a goalie who backs up a team that’s allowing more shots than they take, posting a goals-against average of 1.33 and a save percentage of 78.9%.