Shots were mostly even, shots on goal were mostly even, saves were even, corner kicks were mostly even, fouls were mostly even.
But only one thing matters, and that’s the goal column on the scoresheet. Alex Mirsberger provided the heroics as Marquette men’s soccer beat DePaul at Valley Fields on Saturday night. The Golden Eagles are now 6-6-1 overall and 3-3-1 in Big East action. That gives them 10 points in the conference standings and for the moment, that puts the Golden Eagles alone in fifth place in the league, one point ahead of Butler.
Shots favored DePaul 7-5 in the first half as neither team was able to break through for a goal. That’s largely due to the work of both goalkeepers, but in particular Marquette’s Chandler Hallwood. The Englishman made five first half saves on those seven Blue Demons shots, all of them after the 16 minute mark and one of them right about as the half expired. Still, the biggest save of the first 45 minutes goes to DePaul’s Gandhi Cruz, who deterred a Sam Thornton penalty kick in the 45th minute.
What an effort by Chandler Hallwood at the end of the first half to keep DePaul off the board! pic.twitter.com/KCWqEdZf5Y— Marquette Soccer (@marquettesoccer) October 17, 2021
Quite the action packed final minute of the first half, but both teams went off to regroup knotted at 0.
Both teams kept trying to figure each other out as the second half got underway, but eventually, the Golden Eagles earned a corner in the 58th minute. And here’s what happened:
GOAL!— Marquette Soccer (@marquettesoccer) October 17, 2021
Alex Mirsberger puts in the corner kick from Beto Soto to give Marquette the lead in the 58th minute!
MU 1 | DePaul 0 pic.twitter.com/d3VJZLiIIX
Watch it through a few times and realize the work that Alex Mirsberger did to realize the trajectory of the ball and work himself into the spot where the ball was coming down. A bit of luck for him to be in just wide open space when he got there, but he made the most of that luck and cracked a perfect header to put his team up 1-0.
DePaul stepped up their game to try and level the match. The next three shots of the match all came from the Blue Demons, and Hallwood had to stop two of them to keep the sheet clean through 75 minutes. MU started to tilt the pitch in a more even direction as the game progressed, and they forced Cruz into four saves in the final 15 minutes to keep the match at only 1-0.
Finally, though, the horn went, and the Golden Eagles had their three points.
Up Next: The Golden Eagles will be out on the road for their next two contests as they look to secure their spot in the Big East table. First up on Wednesday is a trip to Indianapolis to see Butler, with first kick set for 6pm Central on FloFC. The Bulldogs are on a two match winning streak after beating Providence 2-1 on Saturday. With Butler just one point behind MU in the standings, it’ll be a big match for both sides.