Connor Alba put together a textbook example of “right place, right time,” as he scored a golden goal for Marquette on Saturday night, lifting the Golden Eagles past St. John’s, 1-0. MU is now 2-8-2 on the season, but more importantly, 2-2-1 in Big East play. That’s seven points for the Golden Eagles, and that’s currently good enough for a three-way tie for third place in the Big East.
Alba’s game winner came with just 26 seconds left in the second overtime session, as the two teams had combined for 20 previous shots in the match, but hadn’t propelled one into the net. The argument can be made that MU was building to Alba’s strike, as it came on their fourth shot of the 10 minute extra session. What ended up happening was Alba was right out in front of the net when Brody Kraussel popped a cross towards the net at the last second before the ball went over the goal line, and Alba’s redirection caught SJU keeper Andrew Withers off balance and unable to make his fifth save of the match.
The King of Queens... For a night! Alba makes up for hitting the bar earlier in the game and sends the Golden Eagles home winners over St. John's! #MarquetteSoccer #BEfútbol pic.twitter.com/oioIwkTMaV— Marquette Soccer (@marquettesoccer) October 15, 2017
Ok, now go watch the GIF again to see the St. John’s player kick the post in frustration. Ok, now go watch the GIF again to see that same player swing his leg in frustration before he kicks the post. Ok, now go watch the GIF again to see what I think is Daniel Szczepanek’s Roman Reigns-esque goal celebration out near the penalty kick spot.
Here’s a GIF of the team celebrating Alba’s goal in the corner. I have to say I really do not recommend anyone jump on a pile of their teammates like Luis Barraza does at the very end.
✅Score the game-winner in double-OT— Marquette Soccer (@marquettesoccer) October 15, 2017
✅Move into a tie for 3rd place in the #BEfútbol standings
✅Nail the team celly!#HappyHumans #WeAreMarquette 〽️ ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/qbQIrckkKq
The goal was the first goal in a Marquette/St. John’s match since C. Nortey scored with three seconds remaining in regulation on October 11, 2014. That was in a 2-0 Marquette win at Valley Fields, and the two teams played scoreless draws in each of the past two seasons. It’s the first goal scored by either team in New York since Calum Mallace scored at the 79:36 mark to put Marquette up 3-1 in the first round of the Big East tournament...... back on November 3, 2010. Mallace is currently in his sixth season in MLS to give you an idea of how long it’s been since a goal was scored at Belson Stadium.
Marquette now has just four matches remaining in Big East play, and just three points separates third place and tenth place in the league table. The Golden Eagles will play all four of those matches in a 12 day period, so it will be a short and hard fought path to the top six teams qualifying for the conference tournament.
Up Next: Remember when I said “hard fought path?” Yeah, well, MU will be in Cincinnati on next Saturday to face Xavier. The Musketeers (7-4-2, 2-3-0 Big East) are currently part of a three-way tie for sixth place in the league at six points after a 4-1 loss to Creighton on Saturday night and will be just as desperate for three points as the Golden Eagles.