There are three regular season matches left on the Marquette women’s soccer schedule. All three are part of Big East play, where MU currently sits in ninth place with four points. Only the top six teams in the league qualify for the conference tournament.
You can see that things are going to be rough for Marquette in that regard.
It’s not impossible, though.
With 12 points left to earn, Marquette is only currently officially eliminated from winning the regular season title, as #4 Georgetown already has 18 points. As you can tell from the top of the page, Marquette plays the Hoyas tonight, and, well, given that they haven’t lost to anyone at all this season, beating them might be too tall of a task for the Golden Eagles.
In that case, let’s look at the standings with the mind of having just six possible points laying ahead.
Well, it’s bad.
If you go ahead and give Marquette six points from their final two matches of the season, that would give them 10 on the year.... which is only good enough to tie Xavier and St. John’s for third place.... and doesn’t take any of the final three matches for those two teams into account. It also doesn’t address Villanova and Creighton tied for fifth with nine points, nor DePaul and Providence tied for seventh with seven points.
No matter what the math of it is, I think it’s safe to say that 10 points won’t be enough for Marquette to reach sixth place and earn a Big East tournament berth.
It’s going to require all 12 points most likely, all to make sure that Marquette doesn’t miss the Big East tournament for the first time ever. In fact, I can say it would mean missing the conference tournament for the first time ever, because the official MU record book shows an appearance in every single season dating back to 1994. That was the second year of the program, and Marquette didn’t play in a conference for their first ever season. Now, sure, Marquette went 1-2 in league play that year and still made “the conference tournament,” so I suspect the bar may have been kind of low. Same thing for 1995, where MU finished 8-11-2 and 1-4 in Conference USA play. But they still count, so the following sentence is accurate:
Avoiding the first missed conference tournament in program history is going probably to require handing #4 Georgetown their first loss of the season.
That’s what we’re dealing with here. No, it’s not good, nor is it fun, nor is it any other positive adjective that you want to attach to anything here. That’s the facts of the matter, though.
Big East Match #7: vs #4 Georgetown Hoyas (13-0-2, 6-0-0 Big East)
Marquette is 3-6-1 all time against Georgetown. That is the worst record in any of the Big East series, and it’s going to stay that way for a while, given how lopsided most of the other ones are. MU has not beaten Georgetown since a 4-0 victory back in the 2013 regular season, and after a 2-2 draw during the 2015 season, Marquette has also not scored against Georgetown. That’s four straight shutout losses, and five shutout losses in the last six meetings. Each of the last three meetings were in Washington, D.C., but that’s more of an affect of two of them coming as part of the Big East tournament than anything else.
So, yeah, Georgetown’s pretty great this season, as you can tell from their national ranking and the big goose egg in the loss column. They’re on a 12 match winning streak right now, as the two draws in their record came in match #2 (1-1 at Virginia Tech) and match #3 (0-0 vs then-#11 Duke) of the season. During their winning streak, the Hoyas have surrendered just four goals. they come into this match on a shutout streak of over 222 minutes after Creighton snapped a streak of over 438 minutes. Is one goal allowed while holding a five goal lead at the time in a stretch of 660 minutes good? I feel like it’s good.
The Hoyas are scoring just over two goals per game on the season, and in Big East play, that’s jumped up to three on the nose. That is boosted a bit by their 7-1 win over Creighton, but if you toss that out, the average is still over two per game. They have struggled ever so slightly to score in the last two outings, though. It took an overtime goal to beat Villanova on October 7th, and then it was a goal in the 83rd minute that came off a deflection to beat Providence on October 14th. They outshot the two teams by a combined margin of 38-13, so it wasn’t a case of Georgetown not controlling the action. They had a firm hand on the direction of the match, they just weren’t able to put it in the net.
Caitlin Farrell was the goalscorer in both of those circumstances, and if you had to pick a name off of the statsheet, you would have picked her. She now has 14 goals on the season, with nine coming in Big East matches. She has scored a goal — not recorded a point, scored a goal — in nine consecutive matches. Farrell leads the Big East in points and goals, and stands tied for seventh and tied for third nationally in the two categories respectively.
To make things worse from an opposition standpoint, she’s not out there by herself, either. Kyra Carusa (6G, 7A) is always dangerous with the ball at her feet, and Paula Germino-Watnick (3G, 4A) isn’t exactly just standing around out there. Grace Nguyen has only scored one goal, but she’s accounted for five of Georgetown’s 26 assists on the season, so MU is going to have to keep track of her as well.
As you can expect from the pair of shutout streaks I mentioned earlier, Arielle Schechtman may as well be dressing as the Great Wall of China for Halloween. Opponents have had just about as much success putting a goal past her as they would said wall. Thanks to taking two matches off this season, she’s allowed just three goals in over 1,200 minutes played. To put it another way, she’s letting one in every 400 minutes on average. Yay. She stops nearly 95% of shots on goal, which does lead to something of a hopeful glint for Marquette. Schechtman is averaging over four save per game. Georgetown is doubling up teams in terms of shots per game this season, but they’re allowing nearly 60% of said shots to be on frame. They’ll be few and far between, and Schechtman will be waiting for them, but the Hoya defense will give up the chances at quality shots.