The Marquette Golden Eagles clinched the fourth seed in the Big East tournament with a 2-0 victory over the Seton Hall Pirates on Thursday night. Before this game had begun, Marquette knew that a win would give them the fourth seed due to Xavier losing 1-0 to Georgetown early Thursday afternoon. More importantly, the Golden Eagles will finish with 15 points this season — one point ahead of Xavier’s 14 points. Coincidentally, due to a DePaul victory against St. John’s, MU will play the Xavier Musketeers at Valley Fields on Sunday as the #4 seed will host the #5 seed. DePaul’s victory gives them the sixth and last spot in the tournament and knocks out St. John’s.
Carrie Madden was the player of the game very heavily involved in both of Marquette’s goals. After Darian Powell made a superb play after getting tangled up and knocked down, Eli Beard switched the field well finding Kylie Sprecher open on the left side of the field near the edge of the 18-yard box. Sprecher collected it and found Madden wide open in the box and Madden gathered in the ball and fired it towards the goal. She will get credited with the goal in the 22nd minute even though It took a deflection off of a Seton Hall defender before rolling into the bottom left corner of the net. It was a lucky deflection because it looked like Seton Hall goalkeeper Laura Dramis had the initial shot covered.
Madden's goal comes off a great individual play from Powell to maintain possession. Beard then serves it to Sprecher, who gets it to Madden. pic.twitter.com/wHwvNE8XDi— MARQUETTE Soccer (@MUWomensSoccer) October 26, 2017
MU’s second goal of the game came in the 63rd minute of of the second half. Madden beat her defender off a corner kick seemed to get a slight deflection on the ball before it hit off the back of an SHU defender and curled over Dramis and into the net. Worst case scenario, Madden’s aerial work to try to put her head on it caused the SHU defense to misplay the ball into the net for the own goal.
Here's a look at Marquette's second goal off Celarek's corner kick. Ball hits an SHU player between Madden and Powell and goes in. pic.twitter.com/x5SeLJsYj5— MARQUETTE Soccer (@MUWomensSoccer) October 27, 2017
Madden’s goal in the first half is her seventh of the season. This marks a career high in goals for Madden as she tops her six goals last year. She has now scored three goals in the last two games and is the leading goal scorer for MU. Madden is heating up at the perfect time as the Big East tournament looms over the weekend.
Seton Hall started out quickly in both halves pushing forward to get a goal. They actually out shot the Golden Eagles 6-3 in the first period and forced Maddy Henry to make three stops. They put forward eight shots in the second half but those were less of a threat for Henry as she only had to make a save on two occasions. SHU pressed forward in waves and the Golden Eagle defense put up a solid performance limiting the Pirates’ attack to half-chances. The Golden Eagles executed their game plan well in a tricky game where Seton Hall was giving it their all on Senior Night.
Here’s what Head Coach Markus Roeders had to say after his team clinched a home game in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament:
Let’s take a look around the Big East at the other results from Thursday’s games. As I mentioned before, Georgetown beat Xavier 1-0 to clinch the #1 seed and knock Xavier down to #5. DePaul defeated St. John’s 1-0 to clinch the final playoff spot and knock the Red Storm out. #20 Butler had a scare against Villanova and was down for the majority of the game before getting the equalizer in the 80th minute off a Paige Monaghan penalty kick. Villanova was 10 minutes away from pulling off the biggest upset Big East play... but it wasn’t so as Butler wasted no time in overtime scoring 25 seconds in again courtesy of Monaghan. The Bulldogs secured the #2 seed but looked far from convincing. The upset of Thursday night came when Creighton defeated Providence in Omaha. The Friars netted the first goal but were unable to hold on and lost 2-1. It doesn’t affect their position in the standings as the stay in 3rd place and will host the DePaul Blue Demons in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament. You can check out the final regular season standings here.
Up Next: Your Marquette Golden Eagles are the hottest team flying (sorry I had to use that joke eventually...) into the Big East tournament. MU will play #5 seed Xavier (8-7-4, 4-3-2 Big East) at Valley Fields on Sunday afternoon in the opening round of the Big East tournament. Get excited, y’all: the playoffs have officially begun!!!