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Marquette Men’s Soccer Preview: at Providence Friars

The Golden Eagles head out east in search of another three points in Big East play.

Big East Basketball Tournament - Quarterfinals
I don’t have to use Friar Dom here, so I’m not going to.
Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Thanks to a little bit of weather, a little bit of luck, and a lot of heart, Marquette men’s soccer played with just 10 men for nearly an hour last week Saturday and still came away with a scoreless draw against preseason league favorite Georgetown. Luis Barraza made four saves in net for the Golden Eagles, and thus, MU moved to four points in the Big East standings with a record of 1-1-1.

It was an impressive showing for Marquette, particularly as it snapped a three game losing streak. That streak was particularly troublesome for MU fans, as it came on the heels of the program’s first win over a ranked foe in nearly five years. Now, it’s not all fantastic news, as Marquette has still not scored a goal in over 293 minutes. That’s three straight shutouts since Patrick Seagrist knocked one in at the 82:52 mark in a 2-1 loss to Milwaukee on September 18th. That’s a lot of soccer without a goal, and while Marquette might currently be clinging to a Big East tournament spot thanks to a three-way tie for fourth place, they’re going to need to boot a few more into the net over their final six league contests if they want to lock up that berth.

First up in that run of six matches is Providence, and it would be a pretty big result if Marquette can swipe a positive result out of The Ocean State. PC is currently in third place in the standings with six points, and any time you can topple a team in front of you, you have to take advantage of the opportunity. MU is going to have to do that without the services of Alan Salmeron, who is the source of the 10 man situation a week ago. He drew a straight red card in the second half, and after sitting out the remainder of the Georgetown match, he’ll be suspended against the Friars. After making his debut against UWM, Salmeron had started and played 90 minutes against Seton Hall and 80 minutes against Wisconsin. He had turned into a reliable cog for head coach Louis Bennett over the past few matches, and the Golden Eagles will have to readjust their lineup without him from the jump on Saturday.

Big East Match #4: at Providence Friars (5-4-1, 2-1-0 Big East)

Date: Saturday, October 6, 2018
Time: 3:30pm Central
Location: Anderson Stadium, Providence, Rhode Island
Video Streaming: Friars.com, but it’s going to cost you some money.
Live Stats: Sidearm Stats
Twitter Updates: @marquettesoccer

Marquette is just 4-7-2 all time against Providence. The first nine matches all went one way or the other with PC taking the first five and Marquette taking the next four. MU is 0-2-2 in the last four, including a 2-2 draw last year in Milwaukee.

The Friars are going to be a little more rested than expected for this match, as they hosted Connecticut on Tuesday night, but they only played 60 minutes of that game before it was called on account of lightning. Providence was winning 1-0 at the time, but NCAA rules say a game has to reach the 70th minute to be an official contest. So they prepped for the game, they started playing the game, they played most of the game, they just didn’t finish it. Does that result in fresher legs for Marquette than if they had gone the full 90? Is it essentially the same?

Anyway, with that one going into the book without a result, PC gets to say that they’re over .500 on the season right now for sure. They were picked to finish fourth in the Big East, or more accurately, tied for fourth this year, and they’re right around .500, which kind of feels right. In a way, that makes their season opening win over #8 SMU kind of a drag, but not as much as SMU going 5-4-1 so far themselves. Kind of negates that upside of the win over a top 10 team, huh?

They opened up Big East play with a 2-1 overtime loss on the road against DePaul, but have followed that up with a road win against Butler and a home win over then-#22 Xavier. Kind of unfortunate for Xavier, as they got thrown into the wood chipper for Providence celebrating the 50th anniversary of their men’s soccer program, but such is life.

Tiago Mendonca is your leading scorer for Providence, tossing in four goals on the year. He’s the only one on the squad with a point or assist number higher than two, so he’ll be the guy that MU’s defense is going to need to focus on the most. Nine different Friars have combined for 10 assists this season on just 12 total goals, which is pretty impressive. Colin Miller will presumably get the call in net, as he’s played all but 20 minutes in 2018. It’s officially been a long time since Miller was named Big East Goalkeeper of the Year in 2016, as he’s letting in 1.35 goals per 90 minutes and stopping a somewhat terrible 68% of shots on goal.