Marquette held the advantage of possession in Saturday night’s match against Villanova, but it was the Wildcats that had the 2-1 lead when it was over. Marquette drops to 0-1-1 in league play and 3-2-3 overall on the season.
After the Golden Eagles had a 10-3 advantage on shots in a scoreless first half, Patrick Seagrist turned things in Marquette’s favor early in the second half. The freshman from Streamwood, Illinois, made a terrific first touch volley from midfield, and Toby Howell’s defender elected to try to slide tackle it away. He missed badly, freeing up Howell to fly down the field. Seagrist stayed with the play as Villanova tried to collect their defense, slipping out to the middle of the 18 yard box where Howell connected with him on a pass. Seagrist launched a boomer that deflected off VU keeper Will Steiner up into the top of the net for the 1-0 Marquette lead in the 51st minute.
Steiner would be the story of the match eventually, but not until his teammates staked him to a 2-1 lead. The first Nova goal came in the 62nd minute, when the Wildcats sent a cross through the box harmlessly. Seemingly harmlessly, at least, as it ended up at the feet of Miguel Polley. He sent it back in where Jacob Anderson one-hopped a header into the far right side of the net past a diving Luis Barraza.
Villanova’s second goal had the same players in the same roles, but in a mirror image. After a poorly taken foul by Marquette in the 86th minute, the Wildcats had a free kick at the 18 yard line extended, all the way out by the right sideline. Polley lofted it into the middle where a leaping Anderson connected with a much stronger header that rifled quickly past Barraza who never had a chance at a save.
Amazingly, Marquette would have two fantastic chances at an equalizer, even with so little time remaining. But as I said earlier, it was Steiner who would save Villanova’s bacon. First it was a terrific diving stop by Steiner in the 89th minute on a powerful Danny Jarosz shot that was deflected on its way in, then, after the ensuing corner kick, it was a leaping poke on a header from Seagrist that was ticketed for the net before Steiner shoved it up and over the crossbar. Marquette’s final corner never materialized into anything of quality, and the Wildcats walked away with the win.
The two saves in the closing moments gave Steiner six for the match, while Barraza made two of his own, both in the first half. Marquette finished the match with a 20-7 advantage in shots and an 8-0 advantage in corner kicks.
How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com & Marquette Wire?
Up Next: The Golden Eagles will be off until next Saturday when they play their first road match of the Big East schedule. They’ll be out in New Jersey to face Seton Hall, who dropped to 2-5-1 on the season and 0-2-0 in Big East play after a Saturday night 1-0 loss to St. John’s.