Markus Roeders and Marquette Golden Eagles women’s soccer never started Big East play with two straight losses before last season.
I move that Marquette stop opening league play against Butler and St. John’s.
I’m not entirely sure why, but for whatever reason, the 2017 and 2018 Big East schedules for Marquette are identical in terms of order of opponents. The only difference is that the 2017 locations are reversed for 2018. That means two straight years of starting with Butler and Villanova and two straight 0-2-0 starts.
THE GOOD NEWS is that Marquette beat St. John’s last year for their first league win, and YEP, it’s the Red Storm on the schedule in the three-hole yet again in 2018. That 1-0 win thanks to a goal from Darian Powell jumpstarted Marquette to finish league play on a 5-2-0 run and earn a #4 seed in the Big East tournament.
In other words, even though Marquette is 2-8-1 this season instead of 7-4-1 like they were last year before facing St. John’s, the season is far from over. In fact, Marquette has an all-time record of 60-17-7 against the teams remaining on the calendar, and 11 of those losses are against either DePaul or Georgetown.
There are points out there for Marquette to pick up and turn this season into a positive, even if they have already equaled Markus Roeders’ mark for most losses in a season. The Big East tournament is in sight. A home game in the Big East tournament is in sight. It can be done. They did it last year. They can do it again, starting with beating the Red Storm in the Valley on Sunday afternoon.
Big East Match #3: vs St. John’s Red Storm (5-6-0)
Marquette is a robust 13-1-1 against the Red Storm. The series started in Milwaukee back in 2005 as the Golden Eagles kicked off a run of 10 straight wins to start the series, including six shutouts. The draw came in Queens in 2014, while the loss was the next year, again in Queens. Marquette has won the last three meetings, including a Big East tournament matchup in 2016.
Here’s some good news for the Golden Eagles: St. John’s has not won consecutive games this season since opening with wins against Wagner and Lehigh. With the exception of back to back losses against Long Beach State and Pepperdine on a California road swing at the start of the month, the Red Storm have been alternating wins and losses all season. Why is this good news? Well, they caught a break from a Creighton own goal on Thursday night in Omaha to beat the Bluejays, 2-1. The trend of the season says that there’s a loss coming down the pike for St. John’s, and Marquette’s not above standing there and catching a win like that.
As was the case when I wrote the “Where Are We Now” article, Zsani Kajan is still your Red Storm leader in goals with seven. In fact, that’s exactly the number that she had then, as both Georgetown and Creighton have kept her off the board. After six misses in league play so far, her shooting percentage is down to just 17.5% on the season. That still seems pretty great, though, so it’s probably in Marquette’s best interest to shut the Hungarian forward down before she lets fly.
Kajan has accounted for nine of SJU’s goals this season when you factor in her assists, so she’s definitely #1 with a bullet on the scouting report. Christina Bellero (3G, 2A) and Lucy Whipp (3G, 2A) aren’t without their challenges to defend, and Samie Scaffidi (2G, 4A) has been involved with six of the Red Storm’s 17 goals this season as well. That’s a pretty strong set of offensive threats that the Golden Eagles are going to have to cover.
It looks like Meredith Reinhardt will be the goalkeeper for St. John’s on Sunday. Jordan Kamp has just three starts on the year after getting 14 nods in net as a redshirt freshman last year. Reinhardt is a transfer from Arizona who played three times in 2016 but not at all in 2017 before jetting off to New York to join the Red Storm. She was doing fine before allowing three goals in 41 minutes against Long Beach State earlier this year, and her goals-against average has been hovering around its current 1.70 since as a result. She has stopped 74% of shots on goal in her nearly 700 minutes of action, so Marquette will have to get crafty to beat her.