Guys, I’m not going to lie to you. I didn’t watch Tuesday night’s contest against Saint Louis and I’m pretty glad I didn’t.
Not because Marquette took their first loss of the season, and not because it was a 3-1 final and not because those three goals came pretty quick in the first half. No, I’m glad I didn’t watch it because a match with 13 total combined shots sounds like absolute death to watch. THIRTEEN! That’s one shot every seven minutes! DEAAAAAAATH.
It was a very out of character game for the Golden Eagles, as much as your third match of the year can be different from the first two. MU came in averaging 17 shots per match, but managed just three (!) against the Billikens. The crazier part of my brain wants to say that SLU has some sort of weird voodoo curse working against Marquette, as the loss sent MU to a 3-22-2 all time record in the series. That’s bad! Three shots after averaging 17 in your first two is bad! I’m not accusing Saint Louis of using a voodoo curse, but I am saying that we can not rule it out.
We’ll see if Marquette can get back to playing energetic attacking soccer back in the confines of Valley Fields. That’s where the first two matches of the year took place, so perhaps a night before matchday sleep in their own beds will do the squad a world of good. A quality performance against Penn is a requirement if MU wants to try to salvage some of the top 25 goodwill that they’ve earned through their first two matches.
Match #4: vs Penn Quakers (1-0-1)
Date: Friday, September 7, 2018
Time: 7pm Central
Location: Valley Fields
Special Promotion: CAMPER REUNION! Any children that attended a 2018 summer camp get in for FREE!
Video Streaming: GoMarquette.com
Live Stats: Sidearm Stats
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteSoccer
This will be the second all-time meeting between Marquette and Penn, but both teams are still looking for a win. They’re both looking for a goal as well, as the only previous contest was a scoreless draw in Milwaukee back in September 2008.
The Quakers have had to play extra time in both of their matches thus far this season. They scored two quick ones against Monmouth before watching the Hawks tie it up in the 61st minute. Alex Touche was the hero of the day, heading in a free kick in the 99th minute to secure the victory. Game #2 had much fewer fireworks, as Penn went to a 0-0 draw with Drexel. Penn clearly had the advantage of play in the match, outshooting the Dragons 18-10 overall and 15-6 in regulation. That only turned into two shots on goal, however, so we may have a case where Penn lets it rip an awful lot without a lot of accuracy.
Three different guys scored Penn’s three goals against Monmouth, but the early advantage in points goes to Jerel Blades. The 5’7” senior midfielder has a goal and an assist to edge out his teammates at the top of the stat sheet. At least so far this season, it’s been Joey Bhangdia and Jake Kohlbrenner who have found themselves most available to take shots for the Quakers, as they are tied for the team lead with six each.
Scott Forbes is a 6’3” senior out of Chatham, New Jersey, and he’s your likely starter in net for Penn. He’s made 10 saves through two matches, which is a pretty solid number. Monmouth showed the way to find cracks in the Penn defense, though, so we’ll have to see if Marquette can exploit those same faults and put a few behind Forbes.