The Marquette Golden Eagles could not get their attack going and dropped their home opener to the Wisconsin Badgers on Thursday evening by a score of 2-0. The Badgers struck early in the second half scoring goals in the 48th and 56th minute of play then held on to hand Marquette their first loss of the season. The Golden Eagles fall to 0-1-1 this season and have yet to score a goal through the first 200 minutes of the season.
Junior goalkeeper Maddy Henry played well making seven saves and keeping the match scoreless for 45 minutes. She’s by far Marquette’s best player in the first two games of the season. You know it was a tough outing when your only five shots of the game came from defenders. Shoutout to Bri Jaeger, Allison Jacobson, and Emily Hess for getting involved in the attack. In back-to-back games now, the MU offense has struggled to produce quality chances in front of goal. Typically the reason for offensive struggles is lack of possession. Lack of possession leads to fewer goal-scoring opportunities. And you can only hold off a solid Wisconsin team for so long if you’re not creating dangerous chances. The Badgers are in the receiving votes category of the United Soccer Coaches Poll and even without Dani Rhodes, who led the team in scoring last year, they showed they deserve to be in the top 25 last night.
The Badgers were able to crack the tough MU defense and finished the game with 16 shots and nine on frame. Emily Borgmann netted the first goal for the Badgers after receiving a nice ball into the center of box from Lauren Rice. She then fired it low to Henry’s left and it hit off the post and went in. Wisconsin’s second came from Rice. They took a short corner kick where Rice played it in to Victoria Pickett, got the ball back, and finished it after beating her defender.
Here’s what coach Markus Roeders had to say after the tough, rain-soaked loss:
Head Coach Markus Roeders reacts following Monday’s loss to the Badgers. pic.twitter.com/ocmV2TeK0O— MARQUETTE Soccer (@MarquetteWSOC) August 21, 2018
There are always positive takeaways even in games like this. Kylie Sprecher seems to be fully recovered from her preseason ailment, playing 41 minutes last night up from 14 against Cal Poly. Freshmen Madison Burrier, Macey Shock, and Katie Koker also got significant playing time tallying 65, 36, and 31 minutes respectively. It’s great to get your young players involved early in the season, but it’s also great to get results. Hopefully this will pay dividends soon and one (or multiple) of the freshmen can break out.
There’s really not much to dissect in this one as the Golden Eagles were clearly outmatched. You have to reward your defense’s solid play with goals and that just didn’t happen. Marquette needs to quickly figure out how they are going to start scoring goals because they’ve gone the first 200 minutes of this season without one. I expect seniors Carrie Madden and Jamie Kutey to step up and provide a spark to the MU attack. Madden led the Golden Eagles in points last season with 19 and scored seven goals alongside five assists.
They’ll need it as the schedule doesn’t get any easier. Up next they’ll travel to Ann Harbor to square of against Michigan who was picked to finish in the top half of the Big Ten. Marquette will need to figure out this scoring deficiency pronto because their next five games are at Michigan, home to top-40 UWM, on the road again to play top-6 foes Duke and North Carolina, then they come to Valley to battle with a top-30 Colorado side. While this is a great opportunity to improve their resume, if they do not get results their NCAA Tournament chances fade significantly before we even start the Big East slate of games. The Golden Eagles probably need to win three of the next five to really give themselves a confidence boost heading into conference play.