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Marquette Women’s Soccer Preview: at Butler

Sometimes we’re not so great at the whole scheduling thing around here.

NCAA Basketball: Utah at Butler Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

What you’re seeing right now is a preview for a Marquette Golden Eagles women’s soccer match. What you missed out on is a recap of Marquette’s 2-1 loss to Xavier back on Thursday night. I am bad with timing and scheduling. This preview should have come with the preview for the Xavier match, thus giving me time to actually recap that match. Instead, I have to tell you that Xavier scored twice in the first seven minutes, including a fifth minute penalty kick. Marquette got one back in the 24th minute and that was that for goals on that night.

That leaves Marquette at 6-9-1 on the season with two regular season matches left to play. That’s not ideal, and it’s pretty much a gimme that MU will finish with their second straight losing season and just the second in Markus Roeders’ tenure as head coach. However, the Golden Eagles are 3-3-1 in Big East play, and those 10 points have them in a three-way tie for fifth place in the conference. This is both good and not great. This has Marquette in position to claim a conference tournament berth, but one of the three teams in this tie is edging towards the wrong side of the top six cutoff.

The Golden Eagles have an advantage to a certain extent, as they play two teams in front of them in the standings in their final two matches. It’s an advantage, as Marquette can freeze them in place with wins and try to leapfrog them as a result. It’s not an advantage, as both of the squads have already performed better than the Golden Eagles this year, both in Big East matches and overall. It’s going to take some doing, and it’s not going to help that both matches are away from Milwaukee.

Big East Match #8: at Butler Bulldogs (9-4-3, 4-1-2 Big East)

Date: Sunday, October 27, 2019
Time: Noon Central
Location: Sellick Bowl, Indianapolis, IN
Streaming: Big East Digital Network on the Big East’s YouTube channel
Live Stats: Stat Broadcast
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteWSOC

Marquette is 3-4-1 all time against Butler. The Golden Eagles have lost in each of the last two meetings and were shutout both times.

The Bulldogs come into Sunday afternoon unbeaten in their last five matches. The big one was a scoreless draw with #11 Georgetown last week Sunday at the Sellick Bowl. I don’t think it would quite work out math-wise, but a win by Butler in this match would put them right on the edge of clinching a conference tournament berth. They’d probably need a little bit of help here and there around the rest of the league, but the point is that the Bulldogs will come in motivated to make things easier for them in the regular season finale.

One thing that’s working in MU’s favor here is that Butler has not been an offensive powerhouse this season. In their last six matches, they haven’t scored more than one goal in any of them. Three 1-0 wins, a 1-1 draw, a 0-0 draw, and a 2-1 loss. Of course, they’re still doubling up their opponents 26-13 in goals on the year, so it’s not all good news for the Golden Eagles.

Katie Soderstrom and Anja Savich are the two primary options for the Butler offense. Both women have scored seven times this season, but it’s Soderstrom that’s the more important one to mark. The Indiana native has a team-high seven assists to match her goals and give her a team high 21 points on the season. Savich has added four assists, while Macy Miller has four goals and five assists to provide a dangerous third stage of attack.

Stephanie Rodriguez has been the option in net all season long for BU. She’s been the best full-time keeper in the Big East this season with a 0.78 goals-against average. Only Xavier’s Toni Bizzarro, who has been playing every other match all year, has a better mark than Rodriguez. She hasn’t been perfect, as her save percentage is just .783, so Marquette’s primary obstacle will be getting clean looks at the net more than just finding a way past Rodriguez.