Goals in the first three minutes of both halves spelled doom for Marquette men’s soccer on Saturday night in New Jersey as Seton Hall picked up the 2-0 win against MU. With that result, both squads are now 1-1-0 in Big East action after two weekends.
It wasn’t specifically that SHU scored at 2:41 and 47:06 to win the match, and it wasn’t specifically that it was CJ Tibbling that knocked both markers in for the Pirates. The Big East Digital Network’s Meghan Caffrey reported right after halftime that MU head coach Louis Bennett had told her that the first 20 minutes of the match may have been Marquette’s worst start to a match of the season.
If that was his halftime message to his squad, then I can’t really imagine how frustrated Bennett is after watching the second 45 minutes. Maybe you can excuse Tibbling’s first goal, which looked like this:
Officially, in the box score, that one is listed as “Rocket from outside 18, blocked but still in.” I don’t quite think that does that justice, but the blocked part is relevant here. I’m not 100% sure due to camera angles which player that was for Marquette — Alan Salmeron, perhaps? — but if he got a bit of a boot on Tibbling’s shot, then that certainly explains the popup aspect to it that left MU keeper Luis Barraza no opportunity to make a play on the ball.
Things happen. That’s sports. That’s soccer.
Tibbling had this insurance goal to open the second half:
Imagine the locker room where Bennett explained his frustration with the first 20 minutes, and then that’s what happens on SHU’s first shot of the second half.
Not great, all around.
Seton Hall finished with 18 total shots in the match, nine in each half. An impressive 10 of those were on frame, forcing Barraza to make a season high seven saves to keep things as close as they were. On the other end of the pitch, Marquette managed just 10 shots, and forced Pirates netminder Andreas Nota to make just two saves to pick up his first clean sheet of the season.
That’s fairly explanatory of what was witnessed in the match, especially in the second half. Marquette would make a progression down the field, Seton Hall would end up with the ball one way or another, and blaze off the other way on the break. Sometimes it turned into a shot, sometimes not, but either way, the Pirates were constantly forcing Marquette to go chasing back after the ball on defense.
As mentioned in the preview, this felt like a prime opportunity for Marquette to seize points to push them towards a Big East tournament berth. It ended up not going that way, and tougher tests lay ahead for the Golden Eagles in their remaining seven league contests. After two matches, Marquette finds themselves in a five-way tie for third place in the league, and MU’s win coming against 0-2-0 Villanova isn’t helping them win any tiebreakers at the moment.
Here’s head coach Louis Bennett talking to GoMarquette.com after the match:
Up Next: Yet another mid-week rivalry game for the Golden Eagles, and it will be the first of two home matches this coming week for Marquette. Wisconsin (3-4-1) pulls into Valley Fields on Wednesday night, and they’ll be followed on Saturday by Georgetown (5-2-1, 1-1-0 Big East). The Wisconsin match will be the final non-conference bout of the year for Marquette, leaving them with just the seven remaining Big East dates on the calendar.