FINALLY THE GOLDEN EAGLES HAVE COME BACK TO VALLEY FIELDS. [/Rock voice]
Marquette comes in at 1-2-0 on the season after picking up their first win of the season on Thursday night against Illinois State. Three straight road matches scattered across the Midwest to start the season might not have been the most fun for the team both from a travel perspective and a results perspective, but think of it this way: It’s three matches off the board before the students arrived back on campus, plus nine of the remaining 16 matches on the season are down at Valley Fields.
Not only did Marquette pick up their first win of the season on Thursday, they also played their most coherent 45 minutes of soccer after halftime against the Redbirds. It’s probably not a coincidence that it was the first time this season that striker Darian Powell played more than six minutes in a half. Powell came on in the 40th minute, but then started the second half and played 34 of the 45 minutes. She also scored the game winning goal, so it was pretty much a win all around for the redshirt senior as she recovers from offseason ankle surgery.
I don’t want to overstate the importance of Marquette putting together a good performance on Sunday afternoon, especially given what happened in Michigan’s most recent contest. However: Marquette’s next two games are out in California against teams that are currently ranked in the top 15 in the country. A high quality showing against the Wolverines will be quite the boost for the Golden Eagles heading into that road trip.
Match #4: vs Michigan (2-0-1)
When: Sunday, August 28, 2016, at 1pm CT
Where: Valley Fields
Audio/Visual: GoMarquette.com will have a free video stream, plus there’s live stats.
Special Promotions: Free MU soccer shirts for the first 200 students.
Twitter Updates: @MUWomensSoccer & @umichwsoccer
Michgan beat #12 Notre Dame on Thursday night.
Let me rephrase that. Michigan, who did not get a single vote in the latest NSCAA top 25 poll, shut out #12 Notre Dame, 2-0, on Thursday night for their first win over the Irish in the regular season since 2003.
They scored goals less than three minutes apart and held the powerful Irish offense (18 shots a game) to only seven shots and only three on goal. This is against a Notre Dame team picked to finish sixth in the ACC this season and came less than a week after going to a 2-2 draw with a Pittsburgh team that finished 11th in the ACC preseason poll. Go figure, huh?
This match will be Michigan’s first trip away from Ann Arbor, though, so we’ll see what they’re capable of when they have to ride a bus for five hours to get to Milwaukee for the game. Even though the Wolverines haven’t lost yet, they’re only outshooting their three opponents by a combined six shots on the season. They are putting more shots on goal than their opponents, with 20 their shots either going in or getting saved, while only 11 opponent shots have been on frame.
Part of the reason for the turnaround for the Wolverines since that draw against the Panthers might be a change at goalkeeper. Junior Megan Hinz played the full 110 minutes against Pitt, but redshirt sophomore Sarah Jackson played every minute of the next two matches. She’s made five saves and allowed just one goal, a largely meaningless 56th minute strike by Marshall when Michigan already had a 3-0 lead.
Nicky Waldeck and Ani Sarkisian have scored twice for Michigan this season, and they both have two assists as well. Reilly Martin has only found the back of the net once this season, but she’s chipped in three helpers for the Wolverines.
This will be the fourth meeting between the two squads and the third in the regular season. Marquette has a 2-1-0 record against Michigan, losing to them in the 2001 NCAA tournament, but getting two shutout victories in 2007 and 2009.