Thursday is the final match day for women’s soccer in the Big East. That means there’s all sorts of seeding scenarios for the six team conference tournament that still have to play out, and that’s what we’re here to investigate.
Before we get to that, though, we still do need to provide the details for Marquette’s final match of the regular season.
Big East Match #10: vs DePaul Blue Demons (7-10-0, 4-5-0 Big East)
Date: Thursday, October 28, 2021
Time: 7pm Central
Location: Valley Fields, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Live Stats: Sidearm Stats
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteWSOC
As the regular season finale and thus the final home match of the season, it is Senior Day for 10 Golden Eagles: Alyssa Bombacino, Sammi Bugay, Madison Burrier, Elaina Eckert, Rachel Johnson, Bonnie Lacey, Meredith McGuire, Maddie Monticello, Kylie Sprecher, and Katrina Wetherell will be recognized during a pre-match ceremony.
Marquette is 17-6-2 all time against DePaul. This always surprises me because I keep thinking about the Blue Demons teams that Marquette faced in the Big East tournament in both 2013 and 2014. RELATED: I am very old. MU is 4-1-1 in the last six meetings including taking a season sweep in the spring 2021 season.
Okay, onwards to the seeding scenarios for the Big East tournament!
First things first: Creighton (4 points), Seton Hall (3 points), and Villanova (3 points) are all eliminated already. Getting to sixth place requires matching the current sixth place total of 13 points, and obviously with just three possible points left for each squad, they can not get there. That doesn’t relegate them to bystander status though, as all three have a match on Thursday against a team with something left to fight for.
Second things second: Xavier is already in the clubhouse as regular season champions. They’ve already secured the #1 seed with 27 points and a four point lead on second place. They can not be caught and as luck of the draw would have it, they don’t even have to play on Thursday.
Third things third: Georgetown has already secured the second bye to the semifinals with their 23 points in the standings. They have a four point lead on Butler’s 19 points, so the Hoyas are clearly safe with their postseason spot.
Butler Bulldogs — 6-2-1, 19 points
Final Match: vs Creighton, 6pm Central, FloSports
The only thing Butler is worried about is whether they’re seeded third or fourth. Either way, they still host a quarterfinal match. The Bulldogs have a three-point lead on St. John’s, so BU clinches the #3 spot with a win, a draw, or a St. John’s loss or draw against Villanova. If St. John’s wins and Butler loses? I’ve got no idea what happens because Butler and the Johnnies went to a 1-1 draw in the regular season.
St. John’s Red Storm — 5-3-1, 16 points
Final Match: vs Villanova, 6pm Central, FloSports
Here’s where things get interesting. St. John’s has definitely clinched a tournament berth as they can’t get leapfrogged by either of the two teams tied for seventh place with 12 points. They might end up in a tie for third place if they win and Butler loses, but with their lone draw on the year coming against the Bulldogs, it’s up in the air as to what tiebreaker ends up settling the deal. A win by St. John’s guarantees them at least fourth place in the league and a spot hosting one of the two quarterfinal matches.
A draw puts them at risk for a tie with Providence for fourth place if the Friars win their match, but that would work out in SJU’s favor since they beat the Friars on October 17th. If the Johnnies lose to Villanova, then they will need help to hold on to fourth place in the form of a Providence loss or tie. A loss by St. John’s would expose them to a tie with UConn as well, but the Red Storm defeated the Huskies earlier this year so SJU still gets the advantage in case a tiebreaker is needed.
Providence Friars — 4-3-2, 14 points
Final Match: vs Seton Hall, 5pm Central, FloSports
And now we reach our first team that has a spot in the postseason tournament on the line on Thursday. With 14 points, the Friars have not yet clinched a tournament berth as the two teams in seventh place with 12 points can both surpass PC with a win and a Friars loss AND if UConn wins and Providence loses or ties, the Huskies end up vaulting past PC into fifth place. Providence could also end up slipping just to sixth place if they lose, UConn wins, and the Marquette/DePaul match goes to a draw. If Connecticut goes to a draw and Providence loses, then we go into Mystery Tiebreaker Land, as these two teams went to a draw themselves in the regular season.
Let’s take a step back. Providence can also end up securing a spot hosting a quarterfinal match. A win by Providence and a loss by St. John’s would give the Friars fourth place in the league and the second of two hosting duties for the quarterfinals. A win by PC and a tie by St. John’s won’t be enough as Providence lost to the Johnnies earlier this season and SJU holds the tiebreakers.
Connecticut Huskies — 4-4-1, 13 points
Final Match: at Georgetown, 1pm Central, FloSports
The currently sixth place Huskies are in a lot of trouble. If they want to reach the Big East tournament, they need to win on Thursday. Unfortunately for them, the team they are playing has not lost a match all season. A win over the Hoyas would guarantee Connecticut’s spot in the field because the two teams tied for seventh can’t get to 16 points. They can, however, get to 14, 15 in fact with a win. A draw with the Hoyas won’t do it on its own either for the Huskies, as 14 points is still below that 15 point margin coming into view for the two seventh place teams. If UConn pulls a draw together, then they’re going to be frantically cheering for Marquette and DePaul to go to a draw as well, thus freezing that pair of teams at 13 points and just short of UConn’s 14 with a draw.
Connecticut could still finish as high as fifth. They could actually tie St. John’s for fourth, but the Johnnies hold the tiebreaker there so being seeded fifth is the best that UConn can hope for….. if they beat Georgetown. Even then, they would still need a loss or a draw from Providence to leapfrog the Friars in that scenario.
Marquette Golden Eagles — 4-5-0, 12 points
DePaul Blue Demons — 4-5-0, 12 points
Final Match: Each Other, in Milwaukee, 7pm Central, FloSports
These are the two teams tied in seventh place in the league right now. They both have 12 points, so their circumstances are one and the same: A win and help gets you in, anything else and you’re out of the six team field.
Both teams could end up as high as fifth place in the standings, as three points from a win combined with a Providence loss and a Connecticut loss puts MU/DPU at 15 points ahead of 14 point Providence and 13 point Connecticut. A win and a loss by either PC or UConn puts Marquette or DePaul into the field.
A draw in this match and a loss by the Huskies does create a three-way tie for sixth place. At that point it comes down to who had what record against whom amongst those three teams. I think this scenario would favor DePaul, as the Blue Demons would be 1-0-1 against the other two while Marquette would be 0-1-1 and Connecticut would be 1-1-0.
One note about all of this: Marquette/DePaul is the final match of the day to start. When that match kicks off at 7pm Central, the Providence match will just be ending and the UConn match will have been over for four hours already. It is possible that these two squads will know that their fate is sealed already….. or they’ll know exactly what they need to do in order to get into the tournament. How will that affect tactics? Who can say?