The Golden Eagles are facing a must-win situation in order to keep their postseason hopes alive. Currently in a tie for seventh place in the BIG EAST, MU needs to win and have either Butler (5th place) or Seton Hall (6th place) lose to make the BIG EAST tournament, which begins on Saturday, Nov. 9. The top six teams in the final standings qualify for the conference tournament.
Marquette has nine points on the season heading into this final match day of the regular season. They have to win, because while they hold a tiebreaker with Xavier, the team they’re tied with, the Musketeers are playing Butler, one of the teams that MU needs to lose to pass at 10 points in the table. That would move Xavier to 12 points, and thus MU still needs 12 points to break that tie favorably to get into the conference tournament. Seton Hall will be at home tonight against Villanova, the current worst team in the league. That seems to trend away from a Pirates loss, but it’s not like SHU is knocking ‘em dead out there at 3-4-1 in league play.
All of this is the way it is because Marquette lost in overtime to Seton Hall on Saturday. Had the Golden Eagles won, they’d be the ones protecting their lead in the table instead of the Pirates. Heck, you can probably circle things back to Marquette’s Big East opener against Creighton, where the Golden Eagles looked like they were playing very well against the Jays and then allowed an 86th minute goal and lost. If that goes another way, then things are different today as well.
That’s the cards that were dealt, though, so those are the cards that Marquette will have to play. Thanks to the lack of lights at Wish Field, MU will play in the afternoon, with the Butler/Xavier match going off an hour earlier. It’s possible that MU will know their fate by the time their match ends, but they might still have to wait until the evening.
Big East Match #9: at DePaul Blue Demons (5-8-3, 1-4-3 Big East)
Date: Wednesday, November 6, 2019
Time: 2pm Central
Location: Wish Field, Chicago, IL
Streaming: The Big East Digital Network on Caffiene.tv and the Big East’s YouTube channel
Live Stats: Sidearm Stats
Twitter Updates: @marquettesoccer
Marquette is 26-6-1 all time against DePaul. However, the Golden Eagles have not won in Chicago since exactly 17 years ago today, November 6, 2002. I know that sounds confusing, but thanks to divisional play in the Big East, Marquette and DePaul did not play each other every year. In general, the 21st century has not been kind to Marquette in this series, as each of the six losses have come from 2004 onwards.
DePaul comes into this one on a three match losing streak. Not only have they not been winning this season, but they’ve been getting a series of weird results. I mean, did you have this DePaul squad as capable of going to a scoreless draw with then-#5 Georgetown just a week after losing to Seton Hall? How about snapping a two match streak without a goal by knocking in two markers against St. John’s in their most recent match? Sure, they lost 4-2 in New York, but it was 2-1 early in the second half.
Something always appears to be going wrong with DePaul one way or another, and this time, it’s their stats. Why bother updating your website after that St. John’s match?? On top of that, they have the same dumb stat sheet as the women’s side does that doesn’t actually give you any information about goalkeepers. Super.
Okay, well, when combining the SJU box score and the stat sheet, I can tell you that Jake Fuderer now has the team lead in goals this season for DePaul with four. His 53rd minute goal against the Johnnies moved him out of a tie with Max De Bruijne and Youssef Ramadan. Fuderer also has the team lead in assists this season with four, although De Bruijne has three as well.
As you might expect for a team that’s underwater on the season, Drew Nuelle’s stats are not super great. DePaul’s keeper is letting in 1.25 goals per 90 minutes this season, so the odds are that Marquette will score in this match. He’s only stopping 77% of shots on goal on the year, and DePaul allows opponents to take nearly twice as many shots as they attempt. Signs are pointing upwards for the Golden Eagles, but as mentioned above, they need help.