To be honest, there isn’t much to say beyond the goal. Marquette dominated possession and looked the better side, but none of the Golden Eagles managed to find the back of the net, even with the plethora of chances that were created.
The two sides managed a combined one official shot in the first 36 minutes, which was promptly broken up by a four shot flurry of offense in the last nine minutes of the first half by the Golden Eagles. This included two Oliver Posarelli headers from corners in the final five minutes that were put on frame but kept out of the net by a combination of sheer dumb luck and some good reflexes by the Quaker defense, not to mention keeper Scott Forbes.
That more frantic pace continued most of the second half, with Marquette again dominating possession and owning more of the good chances at finding a goal, but with both teams finding the game much more open and free-flowing instead of being a rather dull affair (like the first half). The teams traded open shots at the net that somehow found their way into low Earth orbit instead of into goal right after the break, and the Golden Eagles watched three or four of their own shots sneak just past the wrong side of the post while holding off a furious Penn run of play that only grew in intensity as the game went on, but after 90 minutes, the sides were still deadlocked.
That changed about five minutes into extra time. The Quakers came out quick and looked like the team more ready to find a goal, quickly controlling possession and finding one corner after another. At some point, one was destined to go in, and it did. The Penn center back that was most lethal in the air all night, Alex Touche, rose above a Marquette defender and nodded a header into the far post, past keeper Luis Barraza, stealing the game from the Golden Eagles, and handing them their second straight loss after starting the season 2-0-0.
I’m one to be petty, and the officiating was terrible, so I’m going to be petty about the bad officiating. Marquette was called for 18 fouls and 2 yellow cards, while Penn saw only 4 whistles go against them. That’s blatantly absurd. The official seemed to take offense to every ticky-tack Marquette foul, and yet was simultaneously blind when Penn did the same things. Unfortunately, you can only try to play above the bad officiating, and despite all the complaints I have, the Golden Eagles didn’t finish the chances they needed to in order to make us forget how bad the official was. The opportunities were there, and were not capitalized on. C’est la vie.
Marquette goes on the road to take on Michigan (3-1-0) on Monday, September 10th. Here’s to hoping they shake off this loss and come out sharp against the Wolverines. Marquette will probably stop receiving votes in most major polls after taking on two losses this week, but they’ve shown a lot of quality, and I’m optimistic that they’ll find a way to turn things around quickly and be a threat in the Big East.