Grant Owens lined up a header on a Brody Kraussel cross, and in the 24th minute, the Golden Eagles were tied 1-1 with the Lobos. It was the first goal in a Marquette uniform for Owens, a transfer from Saint Louis, and the first point in a Marquette uniform for Kraussel, a transfer from Loyola-Chicago.
First half highlight: Grant Owens connects on a header for his first MU goal on a beautiful cross by Brody Kraussel in the 24th minute. pic.twitter.com/M6tY9uOsic— Marquette Soccer (@marquettesoccer) September 5, 2017
That was pretty much it as far as fun moments go, as New Mexico scored 61 seconds later off a deflection out in front of the net to retake the lead. The Lobos would go on to score again before halftime and once more in the second half to end up with a 4-1 win at Valley Fields.
Marquette drops to 0-2-1 on the season, while New Mexico moves to 2-2-0 with the victory.
The main takeaway from the night seems to be MU’s inability to clean things up along the backline. UNM’s first goal of the night came off of a save by keeper Luis Barraza and the second goal was the aforementioned deflection that was pounced on by Nick Taylor. Luke Lawrence scored New Mexico’s third goal by poking it home on the back post off of a corner kick, and the final marker of the night came as Wedner Delmonte slipped through the Marquette defense to use his head to redirect a Devin Boyce cross into the far side of the net. I don’t want to make too much out of one 90 minute performance, but through exhibition play and the first two matches of the season, Marquette had not given up more than two goals in a game. It had seemed that the Golden Eagles defense was coming together quickly, which was impressive given that head coach Louis Bennett was playing two freshmen and a transfer in his back four. This changes things, at least a little bit, heading into next weekend.
To his credit, Barraza made a career best 10 saves in the match, with five in each half. The problem, of course, is that you actually don’t want your goalie to make a lot of saves. That means there’s a a lot of shots aimed at the net, which speaks to a bigger problem with the defense. To wit: New Mexico outshot Marquette 23-12 in this match.
Here’s a highlight package, courtesy of GoMarquette.com. Shoutout to the MU staff for, y’know, actually including all of the goals in the match, unlike a lot of schools who will just put in the nice things that their team did.
Up Next: The Golden Eagles will have the rest of the week to iron out their difficulties from Monday night. Saint Louis comes to town on Saturday for a 7pm start at Valley Fields. The Billikens are 0-3-0 on the season, but there is a catch: They’ve played three ranked teams, including two in the top 10.