Marquette scored first and they scored last on Friday night at Valley Fields, but that only meant they went to a 2-2 draw with Illinois-Chicago in the home opener for the Golden Eagles. MU is now 0-1-1 on the season after going to overtime in both matches.
Freshman Brendan Skinner got the Golden Eagles on the board first in the 9th minute. He took advantage of his height and forward positioning on a Connor Alba corner kick to fly through the air with the greatest of ease and send a header home for the first goal of the game. For those of you long-time MU fans out there, you might have thought you were seeing Axel Sjoberg back in action.
UIC didn’t waste much time leveling the match. Oscar Gonzalez ran in behind a long ball from Jesus Perez and made the easy chip past MU keeper Luis Barraza just 11 minutes after Skinner’s marker to knot things at one each. After that, the tie didn’t make it to halftime. There was a bit of similarity to Jose Fuentes’ goal in the 34th minute as the ball was slipped through the MU defense for Fuentes to pop past Barraza who was several feet off his line.
Marquette held a 9-8 advantage in shots at halftime even though they trailed 2-1 on the scoreboard. That shot advantage thing continued after the break, as MU outshot the Flames 11-7 in the last 45 minutes of regulation, and eventually UIC’s defense broke.
Sophomore Patrick Seagrist found a ton of time and space coming up the left side in the 80th minute, way more than UIC should have known to allow him. Seagrist snapped a low cross out towards the middle where fellow sophomore Luka Prpa used his head — literally — to redirect it into the far wall past Flames keeper Sawyer Jackman for the equalizer.
After no one else managed a goal in the final nine minutes, things headed to extra time. Marquette continued their aggression, managing a 4-1 shot advantage in the two 10-minute overtime periods, but none of those shots found their way into the net for a game-winner.
While Barraza didn’t look particularly outstanding on UIC’s two goals, he did make three second half saves to keep Marquette in the match, as well as a stop on the Flames’ only shot of overtime to preserve the draw.
How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com and Marquette Wire?
Up Next: Marquette continues their search for their first win of 2017 on Monday night. They’ll be hosting New Mexico with the Lobos carrying a 1-2-0 record after beating UNLV in their home opener on Friday.