We can cross “score goals” off the season’s checklist for Marquette women’s soccer, as Carrie Madden knocked in a pair on Thursday evening against Michigan.
Sadly, that pair were not enough for the Golden Eagles, as the Wolverines scored their third of the match in the 84th minute and swiped the win, leaving MU at 0-2-1 on the still very young season. Thus, “win” is still on the checklist, and given the tendencies of their next three opponents, things aren’t looking all that hot for Marquette any time soon.
I mean, there’s no way around it: They’re playing a seemingly unstoppable soccer monster on Sunday, and then they have to go out to North Carolina to take on two top ten teams. The odds are probably not in Marquette’s favor here. It’s kind of a bummer.
The real bummer of the Michigan match is that there were just 16 total shots. Nine for the Wolverines, seven for the Golden Eagles. You’d like to think that if the MU offense could have harassed the Michigan defense with a little bit more firepower, it might have been enough to return home with a road win. On the other side, it’s probably a little troubling that it took UM just nine shots to push three balls past the Marquette defense and into the net.
There’s a lot going on here. I can’t say that I have any idea how to fix it..... especially with Michigan not streaming matches from their eight year old stadium..... but I know that Markus Roeders’ best teams were ones that applied a ton of pressure to defenses with lots and lots of shots. If not lots of shots, at least a hell of a lot more shots than the other team was throwing out there. We’ll have to wait and see what the Golden Eagles can do with their crosstown rivals on Sunday evening.
Match #4: vs Milwaukee Panthers (2-0-0)
The all-time series against the Panthers, which has been played every year since 1993 (aka the first year Marquette had women’s soccer) and twice in 2005 thanks to the NCAA tournament, is currently knotted at 9-9-8. That deadlock is a result of UWM snagging two wins and two draws in the past four meetings. Marquette hasn’t defeated the Panthers since a 5-0 result back in 2013.
Cards on the table time, guys: Milwaukee’s women’s soccer team is ridiculous. They are currently on a 22 match unbeaten streak, and a 26 match regular season unbeaten streak. I am not joking. They haven’t lost a match at all since the 2016 Horizon League tournament championship game, and they haven’t lost a regular season match since September 28, 2016.
They also didn’t qualify for the NCAA tournament last year.
See, what happened was last October 18, they shelled IUPUI by a score of 6-0. Then, on November 3rd, the Jaguars were back up at Engelmann Stadium on UWM’s campus for the HL title game, and, uh, well, somehow it went to a scoreless draw. Officially, that match is in the record books as a draw. However, someone has to “advance” to become the Horizon League champs and claim the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.... and IUPUI won the penalty kick shootout, 4-3.
That suuuuuucks, but not as much as the NCAA tournament committee leaving out a 16-0-4 team just because they play in the Horizon League. I don’t give a crap what their RPI was at the time (it was #68, btw), give them one of the at-large bids. THEY’RE UNDEFEATED. How do you not give them a shot?
They’re 2-0 so far this season with identical 3-0 wins over Northern Illinois and Eastern Illinois. Defense was the hallmark of last year’s undefeated Panther squad, as they allowed just six goals all season (one to Marquette), and that seems to be what’s going on again this year. All six goals have come from a different woman, but Haley Johnson has identified herself as the offensive threat to watch this season. She has tacked on three assists already for a team high five points, which is pretty impressive, considering that she’s a freshman. It’s good for the Panthers to have a new scoring threat emerge, as they lost their top two scorers from a year ago to graduation.
The Panthers also have a freshman in net. Elaina LaMacchia hails from Mequon, and has made just three saves so far in her collegiate career to earn two clean sheets. It turns out that having Kelli Swenson, the reigning and defending Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year, playing in front of a freshman keeper is a good plan. Who knew?!