The possibility of seeing two straight overtime contests at Valley Fields on Friday night was yanked away from us when Creighton’s Daniel Espeleta scored the only goal of the match in the 87th minute. That gave the Bluejays a 1-0 win over Marquette men’s soccer in the Big East opener for both teams. Creighton elevates themselves into a four-way tie for first place, while the Golden Eagles will be forced to languish in a four-way tie for last place for at least the next week.
I really think it was a pretty good soccer match that we witnessed in the Valley, it’s just that the ending is sour for Marquette fans. The action was well paced up and down the field with the two sides ending up mostly even on shots, with Creighton leading 18-17 at the end. I’ll be willing to admit that my personal bias for MU might be shining through there, as the Golden Eagles assembled eight shots on goal in their 17 attempts. That’s a lot of really great chances to put it in the net that were all gamely struck down by CU’s Collin Valdivia.
Marquette’s Jackson Weyman made four saves on the other end to keep things scoreless as long as he could, but there wasn’t much he could do on Espeleta’s game-winner. Some combo play to the right of the net by Dominic Briggs and Younes Boudadi led to Boudadi putting it flying across the goal mouth to a waiting Espeleta who hammered it into the net as Weyman dove to keep up with it. It was a really nice looking goal, if you’re a Jays fan. I am not, so I didn’t care for it at all.
Luka Prpa came off the bench for Marquette here and played 55 minutes. He looked like his regular self as he works his way back from foot surgery in the spring. We’ll see if the coaching staff lets him get more time on the field or puts him back in the starting lineup at some point.
Up Next: It’s back into non-conference action for the Golden Eagles. They’ll head out west to Madison on Tuesday night for an in-state derby match with Wisconsin. The Badgers are just 2-5-0 on the season after dropping their Big Ten opener to Indiana on Friday afternoon by a score of 3-1.