The Marquette Golden Eagles beat the Xavier Musketeers 3-0 on Sunday afternoon at Valley Fields. They advance to the semifinals of the Big East tournament and will play #1 seeded Georgetown in D.C. on Thursday.
But wow... what a fun game to watch!
The Golden Eagle offense was on fire with a 6-2 shots on goal advantage over the Musketeers. At no point in the match did I think Marquette was in trouble of surrendering a goal. Everything was clicking for them as their offensive leaders ran all over the Xavier defense. All-Big East First Team honoree Carrie Madden continued her run of good form with assists on each of MU’s first two goals in the game. Eli Beard had a big game as well doubling her goal total this year and giving herself a new career high for the season with a brace.
The Golden Eagles got their first goal of the game in the 11th minute after a poor turnover from the Xavier defense was intercepted by forward Carrie Madden. She then played an accurate cross to Kylie Sprecher on the left side of the box near the end line. Sprecher was able to somehow direct her header at a crazy angle over Toni Bizzaro’s head and into the net. The Golden Eagles got their second goal in the 51st minute when Beard got on the end of a Madden cross from the left flank and buried it into the right corner of the net. Twenty minutes later, Beard got her second goal and MU’s third when Jamie Kutey played in a cross from the right side and found Beard with space at the penalty spot. She latched onto the cross with a nice half-volley that flew right passed the diving Bizzaro.
Below is a look at MU’s three goals in quick succession:
Here's a look at Sprecher's goal to put the Golden Eagles on the board first against the Musketeers: pic.twitter.com/iU5qi6HwJi— MARQUETTE Soccer (@MUWomensSoccer) October 29, 2017
Beard goes bar down for MU's second goal against Xavier. pic.twitter.com/NQJ1R89wRE— MARQUETTE Soccer (@MUWomensSoccer) October 29, 2017
Want to see some reactions from Coach Roeders and his team?
Hear from Carrie Madden and Markus Roeders following Marquette's quarterfinal win over Xavier. pic.twitter.com/qL1ey5z1Pp— MARQUETTE Soccer (@MUWomensSoccer) October 29, 2017
The Golden Eagles have now won three straight games by way of shutouts. Maddy Henry deserves a lot of the credit with key saves in each game. She had a great leaping save late in the first half to keep the Musketeers off the board. Marquette has now won all seven meetings against Xavier and has made it to the semifinals of the Big East tournament in 10 of their 13 seasons in the conference. On four of those occasions, they have reached the championship game. It will be tough to get back there as they will travel to play first seeded Georgetown on Thursday. It will be interesting to see how the Hoyas play after having the first round bye. Hopefully the Golden Eagles can carry this momentum into the game against Georgetown.
In the other first round game on Sunday, the Providence Friars won a wild one against DePaul to advance to play Butler in the other semifinal game. Providence struck first late in the game but DePaul equalized with less than a minute to play. After a scoreless overtime, the Friars bested DePaul in penalty kicks. Like MU, the Friars will have a difficult matchup playing the #20 ranked team in the nation.
Up Next: The Golden Eagles will visit the Georgetown Hoyas for the second time this season Thursday afternoon. The Hoyas finished the regular season 12-3-3 and 6-1-2 in the Big East. The last time they played, Marquette fell 3-0 to the Hoyas on October 19.