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Marquette Men’s Soccer Preview: At Saint Louis

The Golden Eagles head down to Missouri with an eye on keeping their high octane offense in gear.

The Billiken, mascot of St. Louis University
Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

At this point, the only thing keeping me from completely flipping out in regards to what freshman midfielder Luka Prpa is doing is the season opener against Kentucky. The Golden Eagles were shutout, 4-0, even though you could make an argument that they actually played pretty well for more than 80% of the game.

Since then, though..... WHEW.

Prpa is currently second in the country in points (15), tied for fourth in goals (5), and tied for second in assists (5). IN THE COUNTRY. Kelmend Islami led the team in points a year ago with 17 on eight goals and an assist. In 17 matches. Prpa has 15 through four matches, and he’s actually only recorded points in three of them.

Averaging just short of four points per game is totally bananas, and there’s absolutely no reason to believe that Prpa can maintain this pace. Zero. None. I’ve looked at the all time scoring records and the freshman season scoring records for Marquette. The temptation to say “There’s 12 regular season matches remaining, and Prpa can’t be held scoreless for all of those” is strong. But it’s really only been just a three match explosion. We can’t get out of control expecting things to transpire. Not yet. Let’s give it two more matches - until the start of Big East play - before we get completely out of control.

One minor roster note for Saturday’s contest: Redshirt senior Mac Wheeler is serving a one game suspension because of the red card he was issued on Monday night against Northwestern. The good news, if you want to think of it that way, is that sophomore Luis Barraza was already slated to start today. Head coach Louis Bennett has been flipping back and forth with his two keepers, and that meant it was Barraza’s turn. However, Wheeler can’t serve as his backup, which means freshman Noah Heim will be on standby.

Match #5: at Saint Louis (1-1-1)

When: Saturday, September 10, 2016, at 7pm CT
Where: Hermann Stadium in Saint Louis, MO
Audio/Visual: There’s a video stream through, plus live stats.
Twitter Updates: @marquettesoccer & @SLUMensSoccer

Saint Louis holds a 20-3-1 all times series advantage against Marquette. Again: Marquette has won just three times in 24 attempts against Saint Louis in program history. They haven’t played each other since Marquette left Conference USA following the 2004 season, which means that MU has not scored a goal against Saint Louis since 2002.

Things started off pretty great for Saint Louis this season. First, they were picked to win the Atlantic 10 after going 8-7-2 in 2015. Then, the Billikens beat preseason #5 Wake Forest in their opener. Losing 3-0 to #8 North Carolina was no big deal after that, as anyone would happily take a road split against two top 10 teams. Soccer America was very impressed with them, boosting SLU up to #19 in the country for their home opener...... and then they drew with Tulsa. Not great, guys.

Anthony Brown and Grant Owens have the two goals for the year for Saint Louis, and Brown’s game winner over Wake was pretty impressive.

Hilariously, both men assisted on the other one’s goal, so they’re tied for the team lead in that stat, too.

Sascha Otte has played every minute in net for SLU so far this year. He’s allowing 1.24 goals per 90 minutes, which isn’t super. His save percentage of 84% is pretty great, though.