The #19 Marquette Golden Eagles fell 2-1 to the Milwaukee Panthers Sunday night in a game which featured a lot of firsts. It’s the first time the Golden Eagles were trailing since the season opener against Stanford. It’s also the first time they’ve given up two goals since that game. Jamie Kutey provided a little silver lining for MU as her 86th minute goal was the first goal UWM had allowed all season. It’s also her first goal since her freshmen year back in 2015.
The Golden Eagles dug themselves into a hole too big to get out of against a very good UWM team. So what went wrong for the Golden Eagles?
Remember when I said how important it was for MU to get off to a fast start? Well, they didn’t do that. They gave up the opening goal to the Panthers in the 19th minute. It’s never easy being down a goal early in the first half, but being on the road makes it that much harder, and being on the road against a team that hasn’t given up a goal at all really puts you behind the eight ball. Marquette got two clear chances to score in the first half, first on a 15th minute free kick by Eli Beard that flew juuuust wide of net and Madison Dunker’s header off a Beard corner also barely missed equalizing the match in the 35th minute.
The Golden Eagles mounted a huge offensive effort in the second half to try and get level. They held a 5-0 corner kick advantage over UWM in the second period. Then Aubrey Krahn scored her second goal of the game in the 77th minute just when it looked like the Golden Eagles would find the equalizer. Credit the Golden Eagles who kept pushing forward even when they result seemed out of reach. After a nice pass from Beard, Kutey got past her defender and beat UWM goalkeeper Mallory Geurts near post.
Coach Roeders didn’t think the Golden Eagles got going early enough and I completely agree:
Markus Roeders shares his thoughts following the 2-1 loss at Milwaukee. pic.twitter.com/GnaUpcenfF— MARQUETTE Soccer (@MUWomensSoccer) September 18, 2017
This wasn’t the way the Golden Eagles wanted to end non-conference play. We were hoping their draw to Illinois State was just a fluke: an inevitability after their seven match winning streak. Now there is a little cause for concern and MU will have to work hard in practice this week to regroup and find their finishing touch again. It is important to remember just how good this UWM team is at the moment. Marquette scored the first goal they’ve allowed ALL season. Geurts’ shutout streak ended at 917:25 which is the 9th best mark in NCAA Division 1 history. UWM also has three players who now have double-digit points on the year. Krahn’s two goals moved her up to second on the team with 13 points. I wouldn’t be surprised if this performance bumps UWM in to the top 25 in the new United Soccer Coaches poll that will come out Tuesday.
The good news for the Golden Eagles is that they will get a full week to prepare for their Big East opener against Butler on Sunday. In some ways, it’s good that Marquette lost before Big East play because now they look at the tape and learn from their defeat. Sure, non-conference play is important but Big East play is what really matters for Golden Eagles to get back to the NCAA tournament. They are in great position in the conference only behind Butler in win percentage with the Bulldogs playing one less game than the Golden Eagles. The great thing is that Marquette can change that right away on Sunday.
Another positive for Marquette is the return of their star striker Carrie Madden. She came on as a substitute at the start of the second half and played 22 minutes. She had one shot in her limited time on the field which is good to see after she missed three games due to injury. Despite her absence, Madden is in a three-way tie for second on the team in points with seven. The Golden Eagles will hope to include her more in the attack next weekend when they’ll need all their arsenal against a red-hot Butler side.
How about some highlights, courtesy of MKEPanthers.com and The Horizon League on ESPN3?
Up Next: The Golden Eagles will travel to Indianapolis to face the Butler Bulldogs on Sunday to kick-off Big East play. The Bulldogs are 6-1-1 this season.