Sweet Christmas, last week sucked.
Marquette men’s soccer got outscored 10-2 in two matches. It was a 6-2 loss to Saint Louis and a 4-0 loss to #12 St. John’s. Neither one was any good, even if the SLU match was played in and/or around a rainstorm in Milwaukee. It was a very terrible week to suddenly play very terrible soccer, as it looked like Marquette was playing some pretty quality soccer right up until that point.
What changed? Did something change? Can the MU coaching staff figure out if something did change and then change it back? Was this just 180 minutes of freakishly bad soccer and everything is going to be okay going forward?
Whatever is or is not happening, Marquette needs to figure it out pronto. Tuesday night’s contest will be MU’s final non-conference match of the year. After that, they start off the final six matches of the year, all in Big East play, on Saturday with a visit to Providence. Right now, Marquette is part of a (still very early) three way tie for sixth place in the conference. Only the top six teams in the league qualify for the Big East tournament, and as luck would have it, Providence is one of the teams tied with MU right now.
That lends a lot of importance to this weekend’s match, but before we get there, Marquette has to get through Tuesday night first. It is very important that MU pick up a win to shake off whatever last week was and move forward from there.
Match #11: vs Green Bay Phoenix (2-5-2)
Marquette has an all-time record of 14-20-5 against Green Bay. That’s..... not ideal. The two sides played every season between 1970 and 2007, but this will be just the third meeting since then. While the overall series is heavily tilted towards the Phoenix, Marquette is 7-1-2 against UWGB since the calendar flipped to 2000.
As you can see from the info blurb, Green Bay is not having a particularly great season. They beat Cleveland State in a Horizon League contest on Saturday to get their second win of the season. That snapped a five match losing streak and a six match winless streak for the Phoenix. In four of those six matches — the middle four, as luck would have it — Green Bay was shutout.
They’re not an unproductive offensive team, for what it’s worth. They average 11.0 shots per game while allowing 13.3 shots going against them. Considering that they’re getting more than doubled up in goals, 15-7, that’s a really even shot differential. The key for Marquette will be figuring out how to exploit that to their best advantage.
Believe it or not, seven different Phoenix players have scored a goal this season. With no one getting more than one goal, Andre Baires and Fredi Ortega are leading the team in points with three. Both men have one assist to go with their one goal. Lucian Lang hasn’t scored a goal, but he has two assists for two points this year.
Jamison Yoder has started in all but one match this season, and he’s played every minute of those matches in net for Green Bay. He’s got a goals-against average of 1.63 and a save percentage of .674. That’s how you end up giving up 15 goals in nine matches even while your teammates are generating a relatively even number of shots.