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Marquette Men’s Soccer Preview: The 47th Milwaukee Cup!

The Golden Eagles head across town to search for their first road win in the Cup since 2008.

Milwaukee Cup trophy
It’s the Milwaukee Cup!


The Milwaukee Cup will be contested for the 47th time on Wednesday night at Engelmann Stadium over on UW-Milwaukee’s campus and yes, UWM has had the lion’s share of the results in this series that dates back to 1973. The Panthers won the first nine matches against Marquette, holding MU to just three goals in that timeframe. Overall, Marquette is just 11-30-5 against UW-Milwaukee, and yeah, that’s not great.


Over the last two decades, things are twisting towards a stalemate. Over the past 20 years, UWM’s record is merely 10-8-3. Since Louis Bennett packed up his office and switched jobs from Milwaukee to Marquette, things have been tilting towards the Golden Eagles. In Bennett’s 13 years running the show at Valley Fields, Marquette has a 4-6-3 record in Milwaukee Cup matches.

Milwaukee is currently in possession of the Milwaukee Cup thanks to a 2-0 victory in 2017 that snapped a three match streak of Marquette’s possession. They continued to hold the Cup after beating Marquette 2-1 last year. For Marquette to win back the Cup, they’re going to have to turn the tide of history to a degree. The Golden Eagles have not won a match at Engelmann Stadium since 2008, taking three losses and a draw in that time frame. A draw in this case will merely allow the Cup to remain in UWM’s possession for another year.

Marquette comes into this one off a 3-1 win against Northern Illinois on Friday night. All four goals in that match were scored in the first 32 minutes of action, which was pretty bananas. It was a nice bounce back win for the Golden Eagles after suffering their first defeat of the season in the previous match. Given that South Florida appears to be a pretty quality squad — they followed up beating MU with a win over #5 Louisville — suffering a 2-1 loss after leveling the match with only 10 men is a pretty good result.

We know that Josh Hancock will be back and available for Marquette after serving his suspension last time out for the red card against USF that sent the Golden Eagles down to 10 men. The big question is the availability of Luka Prpa. The dazzling midfielder made his season debut against the Bulls, but did not play against Northern Illinois. As he’s making his way back from an injury to start the season, you can see the sense in not subbing him into a match where you already have a 3-1 lead after 32 minutes. However, Marquette is best off with Prpa on the field, and Milwaukee Cup matches have a tendency to not have 3-1 leads out of the gate like that. We’ll see what Bennett and his staff have in mind for this one.

Oh, and this wouldn’t really be a Milwaukee Cup preview if we didn’t include the video of Sebastian Jansson’s buzzer beater game winner against UWM from 2012.

Match #5: at Milwaukee Panthers (3-2-0)

Date: Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Time: 7pm Central
Location: Engelmann Stadium, Milwaukee, WI
Streaming: ESPN+, and you can start your subscription by clicking here.
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Live Stats: Stat Broadcast
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteSoccer

Three wins over local-ish squads in Western Illinois, Drake, and Detroit Mercy for UWM this season, with the last two coming on the road. The two losses were at UAB and against Memphis down in Birmingham in an event hosted by the Blazers. For those of you counting along at home, yes, that’s the same UAB team that Marquette beat 2-1 in overtime in the season opener. Given that the Panthers also lost in overtime, I’m hesitant to make any transitive property assessments here.

After a 9-7-3 record a year ago, UWM is picked to finish fifth in the Horizon League last year. They were the #6 seed in the conference tournament a year ago, so that pegs them roughly in about the same spot again in 2019. That was good enough to beat Marquette last season, so we have to keep that in mind. Marquette has shown flares of being improved from last year, though, so we’ll see what happens.

Milwaukee has a trio of goal scores with two markers already on the season. Evan Conway, Alex Sykes, and Matthew Cahill have all hit the back of the net twice. The diversity in options is always a good thing for a team, but also a bad thing when you’re cheering for the team defending them. The Panthers have recorded eight assists to go with their eight goals on the season, with Henrik Fennefoss and Joshua Kidder providing two helpers each. That sounds like a pretty dynamic offensive arrangement for head coach Kris Kelderman, but it’s worth noting that the Panthers are getting outshot on the whole this season, 61 to 48.

Freddy Lorenzen has played every regular season minute in net so far this season, so there’s no reason to expect that to change. His 1.19 goals-against average isn’t particularly great, but his save percentage of .714 okay. Given UWM’s shot disparity at the moment, it’s important to note that Lorenzen is only averaging three saves per game. The shots might be flying, but they’re not going where Lorenzen needs to save them.