Look, let’s just put the cards on the table, okay?
If Marquette men’s soccer wants to be in the Big East tournament, then they have to win their final two games.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, look at me going out on the big strong tree limb here with my hot takes. “Team that needs points should win games.” As things currently stand in the Big East tournament, Marquette is in a three-way tie for fifth place in the Big East. With only six teams making it into the conference tournament, that would leave one of the three squads with nine points — seems to be Marquette at the moment based on the BigEast.com standings — on the outside if the tournament started today.
That’s not great, but here’s why you should be optimistic: Both of MU’s final two opponents this season are currently behind the Golden Eagles in the table. Seton Hall has seven points and DePaul has six. The easiest way to success is to win the games that you’re supposed to win, and based on results right now, both in league and overall, Marquette has to be favored in both matches.
Even better: Xavier and Creighton, the other two teams in the tie right now, have to play teams ahead of the trio in their final two matches! Those will, in theory, be harder to win for those two, especially Creighton’s season finale against first place and unbeaten Georgetown. By luck of the draw, Marquette has been gifted a chance to ram their way past the Musketeers and the Jays into the field of six. Now all they have to do is grab it.
Saturday night’s match will be the final regular season home game of the year for Marquette, so that mean’s it’ll be Senior Night as well. There will be a pre-match ceremony honoring MU’s seven seniors: Connor Alba, Josh Coan, Griffin Jende, Oliver Posarelli, Luka Prpa, Patrick Seagrist, and Leo Villa. Odds are it will be the final home game for them for sure, as it will take some very careful finagling of the Big East standings to get MU a quarterfinal home game as the #3 or #4 seed. It’s not impossible at this point, but it’s also not particularly likely, and MU would probably actually prefer that Providence and Butler (#3 and #4 right now) ends up with their wins over Xavier and Creighton. That’s much more beneficial to the Golden Eagles, I think.
Big East Match #8: vs Seton Hall Pirates (5-8-1, 2-4-1 Big East)
Date: Saturday, November 2, 2019
Time: 7pm Central
Location: Valley Fields
Streaming: Big East Digital Network on Caffeine.tv and the Big East’s YouTube channel
Live Stats: Sidearm Stats
Twitter Updates: @marquettesoccer
Marquette is 6-5-3 all time against Seton Hall. The last three years have given Marquette two losses and a win, which came on the heels of a six match unbeaten streak in the series for the Golden Eagles.
Seton Hall comes into this match riding a five match winless streak. Now, that sounds bad. But since I said “winless” and not “losing,” then you have correctly guessed that the streak included the Pirates’ lone tie on the season. That tie is why this streak isn’t all bad, even if the other four matches are all losses. That draw was a 1-1 thriller against then-#4 St. John’s at Carroll Field in South Orange. Look, I’m not saying it saved their season or anything, but when you get a chance to rain on the parade of your local rival having a historic-type season, you have to enjoy it a little bit.
While the record doesn’t show it, Seton Hall is playing relatively even with their opponents this year. The Pirates are just -1 in goal differential on the year, and they’re only being outshot by about a shot and a half per contest.
Stephen Elias leads the way for the offense with four goals and three assists on the year. That leads the team in both categories, which means his 11 points are tops as well. With that in mind, Elias might not be the most dangerous player on the roster for the Pirates. That title probably belongs to Camil Koreichi, who is tied with Carlton McKenzie for second best with three goals on the year. In just 376 minutes in 10 appearances for SHU (including in their last match, so it’s not like he won’t be playing against Marquette), the French junior has three goals. That’s really impressive!
Andreas Nota is the goalkeeper this year for the Pirates, playing all but three minutes. He’s also the only SHU player to start in all 14 matches this season. He has a goals-against average of 1.34, so it seems like a good bet that the Golden Eagles can put at least one ball in the net. Nota saves only 77% of shots on goal, which has to add to the positive mindset for the lads from Marquette.