It’s a doozy of a schedule, too, and not just because the Big East is a Football Conference.
After exhibition matches against Green Bay and Loyola-Chicago, Marquette opens up the season with four of their first five matches against NCAA tournament teams from a year ago. They kick things off with a road trip to Lexington to face Kentucky as a return bout from last year’s opener, where MU lost 4-0 at home to the Wildcats.
From there, MU returns home for the next three contests. They get two more NCAA tournament teams in their first two home matches, first against Illinois-Chicago, then against New Mexico, with those two games just three days apart. MU closes out their three match homestand with another return bout from 2016, hosting Saint Louis.
The last non-conference match before league play starts comes on a road trip out east where MU will tangle with Virginia. You might remember the Cavaliers from MU’s lone NCAA tournament Sweet 16 appearance in 2013 when UVa went down to just 10 men very early in the match, but still prevailed 3-1.
Big East action starts off with a visit to Villanova on September 16th. Marquette drew the short straw this season and will have to play five of their nine league games on the road. MU will play one more league date, a home game against Seton Hall, before sandwiching their next Big East game against Georgetown with two road non-conference rivalry games. The 45th Milwaukee Cup will be contested on September 26th as Marquette looks to retain the cup for a fourth straight season. If the Golden Eagles are successful in gaining a win or a draw against the Panthers, it will be the longest that MU has held the Milwaukee Cup in the history of the rivalry. After visiting Georgetown, Marquette will be heading a bit west to square off with Wisconsin for their final non-conference match.
Senior Night will be on October 28th when Butler comes to the Valley, while the regular season will wrap up on the afternoon of November 2nd on a trip down I-94 to tangle with DePaul. It’s the fifth straight season where the Blue Demons mark the last game before the Big East tournament for Marquette.
The conference tournament will be held between November 5th and November 12th, with six teams participating and the higher ranked seed hosting each match in the three round competition.
Here’s what head coach Louis Bennett had to say about his 2017 slate in the press release:
"I'm really happy with the schedule," said Bennett, who enters his 12th season at the helm. "We spent a lot of time discussing how we wanted it to look and I think the strategy was to get the best possible team to play at the most appropriate time. I'm very pleased that we were able to schedule ample recovery time between games as we have at least two days between games and even more during BIG EAST play."
"Opening up against Kentucky and then three games against tough opponents is a great way to start the season," Bennett said. "When you look through the teams that we scheduled during the non-conference portion, those teams are going to be pushing to win their respective conferences, so they're going to be successful teams. Hopefully, we can stack up some invaluable experience for the bulk of our conference games."
"The season is always more challenging because of the imbalance of the conference," Bennett said of having to play five league games on the road versus just four at home. "When you go to someone's backyard, it has different challenges than if you're playing on your own turf. When we go away to teams like Kentucky and Virginia, we are going to build invaluable experience for when we play league games against the likes of Xavier, Georgetown and Villanova."
"Our conference is going to be very strong once again," Bennett said of the BIG EAST Conference, which sent three teams to the NCAA tournament in 2016. "It's really exciting to be a part of a league like this with teams that play such different styles and do so successfully.
"We'll have eight new players, but a lot of returners with valuable experience against those teams. The schedule is going to be challenging, but rewarding as we begin to put results together."
Marquette will be looking to improve on their 5-7-4 overall record in 2016, as well as their 2-5-2 record in Big East action. The Golden Eagles will also be hunting for their first Big East tournament appearance since 2014, when they lost to Georgetown in the quarterfinals.
Here’s the full schedule for your perusal.
2017 Marquette Men’s Soccer Schedule
|Friday, Aug. 25||at Kentucky||6:30 PM|
|Friday, Sept. 1||UIC||6:00 PM|
|Monday, Sept. 4||New Mexico||7:00 PM|
|Saturday, Sept. 9||Saint Louis||7:00 PM|
|Tuesday, Sept. 12||at Virginia||6:00 PM|
|Saturday, Sept. 16||at Villanova||12:00 PM|
|Saturday, Sept. 23||Seton Hall||7:00 PM|
|Tuesday, Sept. 26||at Milwaukee||7:00 PM|
|Saturday, Sept. 30||at Georgetown||12:00 PM|
|Wednesday, Oct. 4||at Wisconsin||7:00 PM|
|Saturday, Oct. 7||Providence||1:00 PM|
|Saturday, Oct. 14||at St. John's||6:00 PM|
|Friday, Oct. 20||at Xavier||6:00 PM|
|Wednesday, Oct. 25||Creighton||7:00 PM|
|Saturday, Oct. 28||Butler||7:00 PM|
|Thursday, Nov. 2||at DePaul||TBA (afternoon)|