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2018 Big East Men’s Soccer Championship Preview: #2 Georgetown vs #4 Marquette

The Golden Eagles find themselves 90 minutes away from a conference title and an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

NCAA Basketball: Providence at Georgetown Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

2018 Big East Men’s Soccer Tournament Championship

#2 Georgetown Hoyas (11-4-3, 6-2-1 Big East) vs #4 Marquette Golden Eagles (7-8-3, 5-3-1 Big East)

Date: Sunday, November 11, 2018
Time: 1pm Central
Location: Shaw Field, Washington, D.C.
Television: FS2
Video Streaming: Fox Sports Go, but only if your cable package gets FS2.
Live Stats: Sidearm Stats
Twitter Updates: @marquettesoccer

All Time Series: Marquette has a record of 1-12-3 against Georgetown.
Regular Season Meeting: 0-0 draw in Milwaukee

Well, well, well. After two of the wilder penalty kick shootouts that you’ll see, Marquette finds themselves in the Big East tournament championship match with a chance to keep the season going.

I want to be totally clear on this right off the top: If Marquette loses the match or if they fall in yet another penalty kick shootout, the season is over. If you looked at MU’s record at the top of the page, then this should not be surprising news to you. A record of 7-9-3 or 7-8-4 is not going to be enough to earn an at-large bid to the 48 team NCAA tournament. The most recent NCAA tournament selection team sheets were created on November 4th, and they have Marquette at #97 in the RPI. Sunday’s title contest with Georgetown (#16) will be MU’s second match against a top 25 opponent, and their best win is against #81 Central Arkansas. Maybe the semifinal round draw with #30 Creighton helps out a little bit, but it won’t be enough to make a difference, and neither will another draw with the Hoyas. It is what it is.

With that said, Marquette can absolutely figure out a way to beat Georgetown and earn the automatic bid out of the Big East. Yes, I know, historically speaking, Georgetown has really put the clamps on the Golden Eagles. However, earlier this season, the two sides went to a scoreless draw. That fact alone implies to us that the two teams are not that far away from each other in terms of matchups, and thus, it seems safe to apply a certain amount of “yep, MU can win this somehow.”

However, the details of the draw earlier this year actually help tilt things, ever so slightly, in Marquette’s favor. See, Alan Salmeron picked up a straight red card in the 52nd minute of that match, leaving the Golden Eagles with only 10 men for the remainder of regulation. The Hoyas didn’t have much of an advantage before Salmeron’s card, outshooting MU just 8-5 in the first half. Somehow, I don’t know how, but somehow, Marquette managed to outshoot the Hoyas after Salmeron’s departure, and the match was still knotted at 0-0 at the end of regulation. Two extra sessions of 10 minutes each netted just five more total shots, three for GU, two for MU, and boom, scoreless draw.

That’s 58 minutes of time elapsed with only 10 men, and Marquette actually outshot Georgetown, 6-4. Imagine what happens if they deploy this kind of mindset and tactics with an 11th man out there.

They absolutely can win this game. Maybe it takes the best performance of the season from six or seven different guys, but there’s a way for Marquette to win.

Worst case scenario, I absolutely believe that MU can win a third straight penalty kick shootout. Marquette has the Big East Goalkeeper of the Year in Luis Barraza, and I have way more confidence in him than in Giannis Nikopolidis over in the Georgetown net.

90 minutes, maybe 110 minutes to go until we see Marquette’s first Big East title of the year. Let’s go.