Relative to Thursday’s opener against Colorado State, it’s hard to argue that Marquette women’s soccer’s defense didn’t do its job on Sunday afternoon in Indiana. The Golden Eagles held Ball State to just six shots, three in each half. Instead of the 10 saves that Maddy Henry made to keep MU within shouting distance, she was required to make just two against the Cardinals.
Yet, Sam Kambol took advantage of a ball bouncing up and off of Bri Jaeger’s head and flicked a shot up and over Henry as she charged to make a play to her left in the 72nd minute of a scoreless game. The ball bounced otherwise untouched into the far corner of the net, and Ball State closed out the match with a 1-0 win over Marquette. The Golden Eagles, while putting together a better looking performance on the stat sheet, are now 0-2-0 on the season and have not scored a goal yet.
A year ago, Ball State was throwing out 14 shots per game while amassing a record of 14-3-3, and they return most of their scoring corps from a year ago. Marquette’s tactics smothered that offensive ability, holding the Cards to the aforementioned six shots. You’d like to think that would and could and should be enough to win a match.
After Marquette outshot Ball State 7-3 in the opening 45 minutes, MU had just four shots in the second half. Part of that, yes, was the fact that BSU was able to button up for the final 18 minutes and protect their lead. Still, that’s 27 minutes where the two sides were still playing evenly in a scoreless match, and the Golden Eagles weren’t able to create the same volume of chances for whatever reason.
After last season, one of the biggest concerns for this team was answering the question of who was going to score goals in 2019. Marquette’s was offensively challenged in 2018, to put it politely, and through 180 minutes in 2019, that’s still the case. With one weekend in the books, the question very much remains unanswered.
Up Next: And good luck trying to find an answer in the next match. Marquette heads to Madison to take on Wisconsin in their next game, which comes up on Thursday evening. The #16 ranked Badgers are 1-1-0 on the season after beating UCF and losing 1-0 to #1 Florida State in overtime on Sunday.