Unlucky bounces did Marquette in on Saturday night, as they lost 1-0 to Xavier. The Golden Eagles drop to 2-9-2 on the season and 2-3-1 in Big East action and slip from a tie for third down to sixth place in the league standings with three matches left to be played.
After a solid defensive first half where Xavier only managed to put two of their 10 shots on goal, an errant bounce or two was all that the Musketeers needed in the 49th minute to end up with the win. MU’s Brendan Skinner made an adept leap to head away a cross into the box, but physics dictated that the ball went to the right of the goal. Patrick Seagrist was over there, but thanks to some jostling with Xavier, he wasn’t able to get velocity behind his header attempt to push the ball back up the field. That left XU’s Josh Grant with an open lane to snap a right footed shot on his second touch and beat MU’s Noah Heim for the game’s only goal.
After being outshot 10-3 in the first half, Marquette narrowed the margins in the second half. They ended up outshooting the Musketeers by a 7-6 margin, although at least some of that has to be credited to Xavier merely protecting their one goal lead. MU’s best shot may have come in the 62nd minute, when Xavier’s Colin Hanley got just enough of a glove onto a diving Brody Kraussel shot.
62' | CHANCE! Kraussel puts one on frame, but a fantastic save made to keep the Golden Eagles off the board. pic.twitter.com/FmhNRBGlFw— Marquette Soccer (@marquettesoccer) October 22, 2017
Redshirt freshman Noah Heim made his third start of the season and made four saves to keep the Golden Eagles in the mix. Redshirt junior Martin Alba made his return to the pitch after missing the last nine matches due to injury. Alba came on in relief for the Golden Eagles here, but he’s been a regular starter for MU when healthy, so it’s a good sign to get him back and active.
Here’s head coach Louis Bennett talking about the contest after things wrapped up.
Up Next: Marquette returns to action on Wednesday, when they host Creighton at Valley Fields in a very important late season meeting when it comes to the six team Big East tournament field. The Bluejays are 8-4-2 on the season and 2-2-2 in league play after a scoreless draw with Providence on Saturday night.