The Marquette Golden Eagles went into Providence reallyyy needing a victory but couldn’t find the back of the net. The 1-0 defeat at the hands of Providence gives them a 3-9-2 (1-3-1 Big East) record which is officially the worst season for the program under head coach Markus Roeders.
I guess it was bound to happen eventually it is just a weird time for the program as things seemed to be trending in the right direction after last season. Redshirt senior Carrie Madden was healthy again and coming off an incredible season where she finished in the top 5 in points with 19 and led the team in scoring with seven goals. Sophomore Kylie Sprecher had stepped up big in Madden’s absence and seemed like she was going to be the secondary option this season. MU was also returning a veteran back line of starters from last year not to mention a goalkeeper that finished top 3 in the Big East in saves and shutouts. However, things just haven’t clicked this season which has left many fans scratching their heads.
Let’s just get this out of the way: The Friars’ goal came in the 72nd minute thanks/no thanks to Katie Day. Day got free on a corner kick from Kayla Steeves and sent the ball past Henry to break the deadlock.
In this game Marquette wasn’t able to score on their 10 shots, 5 of which were on target. The real issue was getting off to another slow start as Providence dominated most of the first half. If it wasn’t for junior goalkeeper Maddy Henry’s early saves, the game might have been over in the first 45 minutes. If Marquette wants to win a game (or two or three) down the stretch, they must find a way to play with more intensity and sense of urgency. Three first half shots just isn't going to cut it.
The secondary issue in this game came in the 87th minute when freshmen Katrina Wetherell seemed to have scored a wonderful goal directly from a corner kick. However the ref negated the goal due to an apparent foul on Providence goalkeeper Shelby Hogan. Here is the call in question so you can decide for yourselves if it was a foul or not.
87' | Katrina Wetherell with an in-swinger off a corner kick that goes in the net, but Marquette is called for a foul to negate the marker. pic.twitter.com/i5Ms5RJ39i— MARQUETTE Soccer (@MarquetteWSOC) October 7, 2018
I don’t see the foul. It looks like Kylie Sprecher jumps up to contest the ball and makes minimal contact with Hogan. I am basing this on the fact that both Sprecher and Hogan jump straight up and Sprecher doesn’t appear to intentionally or unintentionally bump into Hogan. The announcer thinks there is a late nudge on Hogan but the ball was already in the net by the time she falls to the ground. I could analyze the call all day long but the ref clearly saw something I didn’t and called off the goal. Or maybe we just got robbed of going to OT and having a chance to win the game.
Either way the Golden Eagles didn’t do enough for the full 90 minutes to win the game. They pressed a little harder in the second half with seven shots but could not get one past Hogan who finished with five saves. MU has just one goal in their last three games and three in their last five. This is a rough stretch in a crucial part of the season for the Golden Eagles.
The next four games are at Xavier, home to Georgetown, at Creighton, and home to Seton Hall. Marquette sits in second to last in the Big East with 4 points. Barring a miracle they’re going to drop the game against Georgetown (though we’ve seen crazier things this season) who is comfortably in first place and has yet to lose this year. Seton Hall has zero points thus far so fingers crossed Marquette can find a way to beat the Pirates. That leaves Xavier who’s in a 4-way tie for fourth with seven points and Creighton who’s in 8th with six points.
With four games left and four teams tied at seven points, it’s looking more and more that 13 points will be the target for the sixth place position. Odds are at the very least two of those teams will finish 2-2 and reach 13 points. And assuming Butler (10 points) and Villanova (9 points) don’t collapse down the stretch Marquette’s likely going to have to win three of their next four games to give themselves a shot at sneaking into the Big East Tournament.