Okay. Well. We’ve reached a point in covering Marquette women’s soccer on this here website that I never thought we would reach.
Marquette currently sits at 3-11-2 overall this season. This ties the program record for the most losses in a season, which was set back in 1995, the third season competing at the Division 1 level. It’s just the third season where Marquette has ever suffered double digit defeats, with the first two coming in year #1 and year #3. Current head coach Markus Roeders was promoted to the top spot for the start of year #4, so yes, this is his worst season running the show at Valley Fields.
It’s not just that the overall record is sub-par for this program this season. We’ve talked already in the past about how Marquette played a very strong non-conference schedule and it turned into six losses for the team before Big East action even got started. However, Marquette has never had five losses in Big East play since joining the league in 2005. In fact, they had never had four losses before recording that mark last season. You have to go back to 1995, yes, year #3 for the program again, to find a season where Marquette had more than three losses in conference action, as they went 1-4 in Conference USA that year.
In short, everything has gone sideways on Marquette this season. Life is suffering. Eat at Arby’s.
Somehow, even with all of that weighing the season down, Marquette found themselves 19 minutes from handing #4 Georgetown their first loss of the season on Thursday night after Kylie Sprecher found her first goal of the season on a chip shot over Hoya keeper Arielle Schechtman. Sure, Marquette ended up with the 2-1 overtime loss, and sure, they got outshot 26-9 in the match, but the Hoyas were spraying shots all over the park to get to 26. The points is that for 71 minutes they were going toe-to-toe with an undefeated powerhouse of a team and very nearly pulled off the upset.
The team is going to need to carry that mindset into their final two matches of the regular season, and for sure into their next match on Sunday afternoon. Through a quirk of the schedule and how the season has played out, MU finds themselves squaring off against one of the two teams tied for fifth place in the Big East standings on Sunday, and that’s one of the four teams that MU needs to find a way to pass if they want to salvage a Big East tournament appearance out of this season. Now, don’t get me wrong, with everyone still having two matches left to play and Marquette holding just four points right now, they need a TON of help to figure out how to pass two teams with nine points and two teams with eight points.
It is mathematically possible, though. It requires beating Creighton on Sunday and it requires beating a Seton Hall team that hasn’t won a league match yet this year. First things first, and that’s going to Omaha to acquire three points.
Big East Match #8: at Creighton Bluejays (6-9-0, 3-4-0 Big East)
Marquette is 5-3-1 all time against Creighton. The first four matches were all played in the 1990s, and then the two sides didn’t meet again until after The Reformation. CU had the advantage in the 90s, but it’s been mostly all Marquette since, with the Golden Eagles going 5-1-0.
As much as Marquette needs to win on Sunday afternoon, so do the Bluejays. They will clinch a Big East tournament berth with victories in their final two matches of the season. They found themselves in that position after letting Butler steal a 1-0 victory from them with a goal in the 75th minute in their most recent match. Well, maybe that’s unfair to Butler, as the Bulldogs outshot Creighton 21-3 in that match, but it was still a 0-0 match in the 74th minute, so anything was possible at that point.
It wasn’t the first time that Creighton let points slip away from them in league play this season. The Jays had a 1-0 lead at halftime against DePaul, but an own goal in the 54th minute leveled the match before Madeline Frick tallied the overtime game winner. That’s the simple difference between 3-4-0 and 5-2-0.
While Marquette has had multiple problems this season, the same can be said for Creighton. They’re getting outscored 27-14 this season, although that does include a 7-1 loss to Georgetown. Still, even without that, it’s 20-13, and that would seem to indicate that Marquette’s Maddy Henry can make a major impact on the match. Taryn Jakubowski is the top scoring threat on the CU roster with four goals and two assists this season. MU will also have to keep an eye on Kylin Grubb, who has been much more efficient this season, putting in three goals on just 10 shots in just 538 minutes played.
Katie Sullivan minds the net for the Bluejays, and she’s doing her best out there. She stops 74.8% of shots on goal, which is perfectly respectable. She is making over five saves per game, but even with that being the case, Sullivan has a goals-against average of 1.79. That’s.... not great.... even if she is stopping nearly three-quarters of the shots aimed at the net.