For a brief shining second on Wednesday afternoon, everything seemed to be coming up Milhouse.
Wasting little time, Grant Owens scores to give the Golden Eagles an early, yet brief advantage! pic.twitter.com/f7Js2NCipg— Marquette Soccer (@marquettesoccer) November 1, 2017
Needing a win to make their path to the Big East tournament as easy as possible, Marquette was off to a good start...... right up until DePaul scored 69 seconds later.
DePaul would score two more times, both in the second half, one with only 10 men, to get the 3-1 win and force the Golden Eagles to wait for the conclusion of the St. John’s/Providence match to learn their postseason fate. When the Red Storm and the Friars went to a scoreless draw, Marquette was officially settled into seventh place and left out of the six team Big East conference tournament. Thus, the 2017 season is over.
DePaul’s second goal of the match came in the 50th minute as keeper Noah Heim was unable to control a Zach El-Shafei shot, and Bryan Simons sent it home for what would turn into the game winner. MU caught a break in the 67th minute when DePaul’s Sasa Labovic ate his second yellow card of the match and was sent off, leaving the Blue Demons with just 10 men for the remainder.
Things tilted heavily in Marquette’s favor from there as they outshot DePaul 12-1 over the final 23 minutes, but a number of those Marquette shots were blocked by Blue Demon defenders and never even reached Low to force him to make a play. El-Shafei made his presence known again in the 87th minute, as he sent home a long pass from Michael Mojarro for a short-handed goal and put a bow on the proceedings and, as it would turn out, the season.
It’s been a bit of a ragtag season for the Golden Eagles. They lost a number of players since last season and have been trying to reassemble a competitive squad that required great performances from newcomers. It has, unsurprisingly, been difficult to get consistent performances, and that’s been made even more difficult by injuries. Only six Golden Eagles played in all 16 of Marquette’s matches this season. Not started, played in. Only two players — Luka Prpa and Brendan Skinner — were in the starting eleven each and every time.
It’s not a good way to go through a season, and that was shown pretty clearly in MU’s 3-11-2 record.
Marquette was a young team, though, so perhaps there’s signs of life and excitement for the future as the freshmen and sophomores on this roster continue to develop over the next few years.
We have to close with a rousing THANK YOU to Daniel Szczepanek, Jack Alberts, Brody Kraussel, and Jason Davis. Szczepanek and Alberts are fifth year seniors on this team, which means they were here for the highs of winning the Big East tournament and getting the program’s first ever NCAA tournament win. They’ve also been at Marquette for some leaner times over the past few seasons, but that hasn’t affected their hard work and determination, and we thank them for that. Kraussel and Davis have only been in Milwaukee for the 2017 season, but that hasn’t deterred them from having an impact on the Golden Eagles. Kraussel was one of the few guys to appear in every match this season, while Davis worked his way up from joining the team in August to starting six matches while appearing in eleven total. It’s been short tenures for both men, but they put everything they had into being a Golden Eagle this season, and that has to be respected and commended.