After Marquette men’s soccer shifted up into the top 40 in the country in the newest United Soccer Coaches poll on Tuesday afternoon, the Golden Eagles ended up taking their first loss of the season that night. Saint Louis fired in three goals in the first 28 minutes on their way to a 3-1 win in Saint Louis, thus dropping Marquette to 2-1-0 on the year.
The Billikens scored on their third, fourth, and fifth shots of the night, all from three different men, with all five shots coming in a 17 minute span and all three goals coming within nine minutes of each other. Was it freshman Cedrik Stern’s first ever collegiate appearance when he started the match? Yep! Does it seem like perhaps none of this was really his fault? Just maybe! After all, SLU would finish with just 10 shots in the match, meaning they attempted just five after going up 3-0, and Stern would make a save on two of them. That’s a total of six shots out of 10 coming on frame for the home team, and that seems like an awful lot.
Marquette did find the back of the net once, as Luka Prpa flipped in a free kick in the 40th minute to at least send the Golden Eagles to the locker room with a glimmer of hope.
That goal was officially Marquette’s first shot of the game, and, uh, well, it represents their only shot of the first half and just one-third of their shots in the game. That’s a surprising level of shutdown coming against the MU offense that had appeared to be firing on all cylinders in their first two matches.
The stumble on both ends of the pitch is surprising, as Saint Louis was picked to be a middle of the pack Atlantic 10 team this season. Maybe they’re better than expected, maybe the A-10 just shapes up to be a much better league than the Missouri Valley, which is where both Valparaiso and Central Arkansas make their home. Either way, Marquette appears to not be as dramatically improved from last year as their first two matches indicated.
Oh well, pick yourself up, dust yourself, and try again....
Up Next:.... and that next try comes on Friday night when Penn comes to Milwaukee. The Quakers are 1-0-1 on the season with both matches going to overtime.