The last of Marquette’s team competition spring sports announced their schedule on Monday, as the women’s soccer team let fly with their slate of action for their time shifted spring season. It will be the first season of competition under the guidance of new head coach Frank Pelaez, who was hired to replace the departing Markus Roeders on Christmas Eve 2019.
It’s a weird schedule, if we’re being honest, and what’s the point of this blog if not being honest?
The Golden Eagles open things up on February 5th and 7th with home games against Chicago State and Illinois State. Sure, this all makes sense. Regional foes making their way up to Milwaukee, where Marquette can guarantee playing conditions in the Andy Glockner Memorial Bubble at Valley Fields. Cool, sure, everything checks out here.
It’s the next part that’s weird: Three straight exhibition matches, two of them against Division 1 teams. Why is Marquette opting to play Loyola-Chicago and Northern Illinois and not count the matches towards their spring record? I can understand marking the match against UW-Parkside as an exhibition because they’re not a D1 team. Fine, whatever, you couldn’t get anyone else to play for whatever reason on that date, sure, schedule Parkside as an exhibition. But why bring in the Ramblers — Pelaez’s most recent employer, by the way — and the Huskies for matches that don’t count? Why did they agree to that?
Anyway, that’s it for non-conference competitions this spring. The rest of the schedule is all Big East matches. Marquette will play eight matches in conference play as the league has split into an East and a Midwest division. It’ll be home and home series with Butler, Creighton, DePaul, and Xavier, and in a weird quirk, Marquette will play them all and then turn around and flip the locations in the exact same order for the second go-round with each team. Kinda wacky, but whatever works to get the matches in.
The Big East tournament this year will be the top two teams from each division advancing to Providence for the semifinals. With an eight match conference schedule, the best you can do is 24 points in the table. Without putting a lot of effort in to pre-scout the division, I would imagine that somewhere north of 15 points will be required to make the top two in this format. Can the Golden Eagles get there following the first head coaching change since 1996?
Here’s the whole schedule for the season. We’ve got times and everything! For now, no fans will be allowed to attend any of the games at Valley Fields. The press release doesn’t expressly state that all the games will be in the seasonal bubble, so it’s possible that by the time we get to late March, games may be outside on the western grass field in the Valley. It’s possible that being outdoors will help allow Marquette to open the gates for spectators, so keep your eyes and ears open for updates on that.
Marquette Women’s Soccer Spring 2021 Schedule
|Fri., Feb. 5||Chicago State||7:00 PM|
|Sun., Feb. 7||Illinois State||4:00 PM|
|Sun., Feb. 14||Loyola-Chicago (exhibition)||1:00 PM|
|Sun., Feb. 21||Northern Illinois (exhibition)||4:00 PM|
|Sun., Feb. 28||UW-Parkside (exhibition)||1:00 PM|
|Thurs., Mar. 4||Creighton||Noon|
|Sun., Mar. 7||at DePaul||1:00 PM|
|Thurs., Mar. 11||At Butler||2:00 PM|
|Thurs., Mar. 18||Xavier||Noon|
|Sun., Mar. 21||At Creighton||1:00 PM|
|Thurs., Mar. 25||DePaul||6:00 PM|
|Sun., Mar. 28||Butler||1:00 PM|
|Thurs., Apr. 8||At Xavier||1:00 PM|