It’s been a real rollercoaster of a ride so far this season with and/or for Marquette men’s soccer.
A 7-1 goal differential as they open up 2-0 on the season and start earning national poll attention; a three match losing streak where they’re outscored 7-1, an upset win against the #13 team in the country to start off Big East play, a loss in the Milwaukee Cup followed by what head coach Louis Bennett told the Big East Digital Network was their worst first 20 minutes of the season in a 2-0 loss to Seton Hall.
Just all over the place.
The good news is that the last two contests have been a downswing for Marquette, which means that they’re now due for an upswing. That upswing comes at a great moment as they’re about to play two home matches this week, and they’re two relatively important matches. First, it’s the second of the two in-state rivalry matches that Marquette plays this year, as Wisconsin comes to town while having a bit of a rough season themselves. That match will be Marquette’s last non-conference match of the season, which means on Saturday, Georgetown comes to town to kick off seven straight Big East contests to wrap up the regular season. The Hoyas were the preseason favorite to win the Big East, although they don’t find themselves in first place in the league right now, nor are they even the second best Big East ranked team in the latest United Soccer Coaches poll. It will be a big game for both sides, but that’s for Saturday.
First, Louis Bennett and his charges have to focus on the match at hand. That means avoiding lousy starts in both halves like they experienced against Seton Hall last Saturday night. It means coming out firing against a Badgers team that doesn’t particularly like to get into shooting matches with their opponents. Most importantly, it means holding themselves to a credo that’s near and dear to every Marquette fan’s heart: Beat Bucky.
Match #9: vs Wisconsin Badgers (3-4-1, 1-1-0 Big Ten)
Date: Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Time: 7pm Central
Location: Valley Fields
Special Promotions: There will be FREE PIZZA for students at the match! Any Marquette student wearing red will be summarily expelled.
Video Streaming: GoMarquette.com/watch
Live Stats: Sidearm Stats
Twitter Updates: @marquettesoccer
Marquette has a record of 16-30-11 all time against Wisconsin. That seems not super great. However, Wisconsin didn’t have soccer as a varsity sport til 1977, and the record since then is..... 14-20-8. Wait, that didn’t make things better. Things have been trending in Marquette’s direction since the start of the decade or so. Since 2010, Marquette is 4-3-1 against the Badgers, although Wisconsin has won the last two meetings, both by shutout.
The Badgers come in fresh off of a road victory against Maryland on Friday night. Wisconsin had to rally after a 7th minute Terrapin goal, but they waited until verrrrrrry late to do it. Late as in “with 53 seconds left in regulation,” before knocking in the overtime game winner in the 107th minute. That victory snapped a three match winless streak for Wisconsin, which is more notable for the fact that they got shutout by SIUE and Bradley, but managed to knock in a goal against #2 Indiana in a 3-1 loss. Weird!
As you could expect from a team that got shutout by Bradley and SIUE, goals have been hard to come by for the Badgers this season. They have just seven total through their eight matches, and that’s after knocking in two in match #8. In one of the more insane things that you’ll ever see, all seven have been scored by a different man. Andrew Akindele, a freshman forward from Chicago, has the team lead in points thanks to his goal plus a team high two assists.
Fun Fact: Wisconsin has a guy on their team named Mitch Guitar, and yes, he looks exactly like you would expect Mitch Guitar to look like.
Junior Dean Cowdroy has played all of the minutes in net so far this season for Wisconsin after transferring in from Division 2 Lander University. The 5’8” Aussie has a goals-against average of 1.17 and a save percentage of just 71.4%. Passing may be the name of the game to slip one past Cowdroy, as Wisconsin has allowed 12 assists on just 10 goals so far this season.