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Marquette Men’s Soccer Closes Exhibition Play With 1-0 Win Over Loyola-Chicago

Sometimes one goal is all you need.

Marquette men’s soccer
Manuel Cukaj had the lone goal of the game on Saturday night.

Marquette men’s soccer finished exhibition play in 2017 with a record of 1-0-1 after getting a 1-0 win over Loyola-Chicago on Saturday night.

Freshman Manuel Cukaj was in the right place at the right time in the 18th minute when he made a dive to put a head on a Brody Kraussel cross and put it past Rambler keeper Aiden Aylward. I’d love to provide you with video of this dazzling play, but Loyola cut together a highlight package for the game that does not show the lone goal in the match because it was scored by the opposition. Disappointing, to say the least.

Want to see the scariest tweet I’ve seen all week? Brace yourself.....



It seems that head coach Louis Bennett is pretty set on his starting 11 for the season, with seven players going the full 90 minutes and three more guys getting over 85 minutes of action. Prpa only came off the field for his injury scare and Ruben Sanchez was issued a red card just past the 88 minute mark, so those two gents clearly were going to be going the full 90 if not for those slight hiccups. Grant Owens was the lone starter to get significant rest, playing just 61 minutes with his remaining time getting split between Tode Atlija and Diego Nunez.

I don’t want to get you overexcited for the 2017 season, but I feel it’s important to point out that Loyola is currently ranked #25 in Top Drawer Soccer’s preseason rankings and that the Ramblers went undefeated at home last season. It’s hard to say that this game is particularly indicative of what Loyola will be across the length of the season due to the exhibition nature, but it certainly can’t be a bad sign for the Golden Eagles.

With exhibition play wrapped up, it is somewhat interesting to note that Christian Albelo did not see the field for the Golden Eagles. You’d think that the highest ranked recruit in program history could find his way onto the pitch, but Albelo is listed as a midfielder, and that’s the position where Marquette has the most veteran depth this season.

The 2017 season starts for realsies on August 25th when Marquette makes the trip down to the Commonwealth to take on the Kentucky Wildcats. First kick in Lexington is scheduled for 6:30pm Central.