I vote that we just ignore what happened in North Carolina this past weekend.
Marquette got outshot 48-4 by the #12 and #3 teams in the country and were never even remotely competitive against them.
So what, I say. Those two matches have very little standing on whether or not this season can be a success for the Golden Eagles, so let’s just ignore them and move on.
In the process of moving on, we do have to acknowledge that the Golden Eagles have yet to win a game this season. With that in mind, MU has four more matches, including the one that we’re here to preview, before Big East play starts. That’s four matches to get their legs underneath them, dent the win column, and head into league play with a furnace full of steam.
It’s also a chance to get Carrie Madden healthy. The redshirt senior has Marquette’s only two goals on the year, but she also missed the North Carolina match after playing on Thursday against Duke. MU is going to need her sense of timing and talents to put the ball in the net as we head into conference action, so if she has to sit for a match or two to get right by the time Butler comes to the Valley on September 23rd, then so be it.
If that’s the case, though, someone is going to need to step up in the meantime. Heck, even if Madden is fit for action on Thursday night, MU still needs someone to step up. She can’t do all the scoring on her own, so folks like Kylie Sprecher and Abby Hess are going to need to start sticking their noses into situations that could and should be beneficial for the Golden Eagles.
Match #6: vs Colorado Buffaloes (4-0-1)
This is the first ever meeting between the two teams. Marquette does have a record of 2-8-1 against Colorado’s Pac-12 brethren.
Colorado has allowed one goal this season. They started off the year with over 468 straight minutes of shutout soccer before finally conceding their first goal of the year. That came in the 89th minute in their most recent contest, and they already had a 3-0 lead when Iowa State finally broke through. For a Marquette offense that has struggled with Carrie Madden on the field, that’s not a promising thought.
Colorado has scored 16 goals this season. They have been held under three goals just once, in a scoreless draw at home against Colorado State. That outing comes as a bit of a flipping shock, as the Buffs threw 30 shots out, including 13 in the second half and six (!) in the second overtime alone. 10 of those 30 shots were on frame as the Rams moved heaven and earth to pull off that tie.
Tatum Barton has been ruthlessly efficient on the pitch for the Buffs. She’s started just three of their five matches and has only played 214 of the possible 470 minutes, and yet, somehow, she has six goals and an assist on the year. Taylor Kornieck’s feet are lethal as well, but for a different reason. The junior from Henderson, Nevada, has recorded an assist on six of CU’s 16 markers this season as well as scored two of her own, so odds are that she’ll be involved in the scoring one way or another in this match.
Jalen Tompkins and Scout Watson have been splitting time in net for the Buffaloes. Sometimes they split a game down the middle, sometimes they trade off games. The Iowa State contest was one of the latter, with Tompkins getting the full 90 minutes. As a result, she’s got a goals-against average of 0.37 and a save percentage of .917 on the year, while Watson is still perfect with eight saves. Tompkins is a redshirt junior, while Watson is a redshirt senior. I’d wager that Watson will start on Thursday night, but it’s really impossible to tell for certain.