Well, there’s really no way around it: Marquette has not followed up their first win over a ranked opponent in five years very well.
Two Saturdays ago, MU beat then-#13 Villanova to open up Big East play. It was a big win for the Golden Eagles, and as mentioned, it was their first win over a ranked foe since defeating Akron in the 2013 NCAA tournament. Since then, though, it’s been three straight losses for Marquette. 2-1 against UWM in the Milwaukee Cup, 2-0 in particularly ugly fashion against Seton Hall, and then 1-0 against Wisconsin this past Wednesday night.
With Saturday’s contest against Georgetown, Marquette enters their final seven matches of the regular season with nothing but Big East contests in front of them. Thanks to that win over Nova, MU finds themselves in a five-way tie for fourth place in the conference. With seven matches to go, that’s fine. There’s a lot of soccer left to be played, and a lot of possible points to be spread around.
The goal is reaching the Big East tournament, and that means a top six finish. With two currently ranked teams looming in Marquette’s final three matches, Louis Bennett’s squad is going to need to find points on this schedule before they get there. Maybe Saturday against the Hoyas isn’t the best spot to get a result, but it’s a home match, and thus it’s better than most spots. They’re going to need to get at least 12 points to get into the tournament. They already have three, and the quest for nine more starts in the Valley against the preseason pick to win the league.
Big East Match #3: vs Georgetown Hoyas (5-3-1, 1-1-0 Big East)
1 win, 12 losses, 2 draws. That’s Marquette’s all-time record against the Hoyas. The win came in 2009 and the draws were in 2014 and 2016. So, y’know, yay for 1-8-2 in the last 11, I guess.
Georgetown comes in after a 2-1 loss to #6 Louisville on Tuesday. They gave up the game winner with less than nine minutes to go after putting up the equalizer in the 37th minute. Georgetown’s other loss in non-conference action came against then-#18 Coastal Carolina on the road, so you can’t really blame anyone for losing to ranked foes.
The Hoyas were the preseason favorite to win the Big East this year, but they’re already behind the eight ball ever so slightly with a 3-2 loss in their league opener to Xavier. The Musketeers scored three times after the hour mark, including the game winner with less than five minutes to play. They’ll be invested in coming away from this road contest, their first of the conference slate, with three points.
Georgetown has a pair of excellent goal scorers in Derek Dodson and Achara. Dodson has five on the year already for the team lead in points, while Achara has four and an assist as well to be just one point behind Dodson in that column. Marquette will also have to account for Kyle Zajec, who has two goals and three assists, as well as Dylan Nealis, who has assisted on four of GU’s 14 goals this season.
“No, Not That” Giannis Nikopolidis is the Georgetown keeper of note. The Greek freshman has started all but one match this season, and has been pretty good in taking over for JT Marcinkowski as netminder. He’s allowing just a tad over a goal per 90 minutes and stops 76% of shots on goal.