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Marquette Men’s Soccer Has To Settle For A Draw With #22 Providence

You’d think a 2-0 lead with four minutes left should be enough, and yet......

Iggy Eagle Facebook.com/MarquetteSoccer

It didn’t have to go like this.

In fact, it shouldn’t have gone like this.

Thanks to second half goals from Zyan Andrade and Lukas Sunesson, Marquette men’s soccer should have won on Saturday night. Shots in the game were relatively even when Sunesson’s goal went in the net, and there seemed like there just wouldn’t be enough time for #22 Providence to do anything about it.

And yet.

The Friars scored twice in the final four minutes, twice just 96 seconds apart, to force overtime at Valley Fields. Neither team could break through a third time in either 10 minute extra session for a golden goal, so Providence leaves town with a salvaged draw and a point in the Big East standings while the Golden Eagles have to lament the draw and the lost two points that they left slip through their hands at the last second.

The first half was a rain-soaked half of soccer. A little slippery, but nothing dangerous, and Marquette fans could look at the first 45 minutes and say “hey, look, Providence is ranked, and we’re hanging with them. This is definitely an improvement from the four match scoreless losing streak!”

Zyan Andrade made things even better less than 90 seconds into the second half when he zipped this crisp layoff pass from Lukas Sunesson to put the Golden Eagles up 1-0:

Things got ratcheted up a notch in the ol’ intensity department as the Friars suddenly found themselves down and Marquette found themselves with a lead on the #22 team in the country to protect. Providence was obviously the more insistent team in terms of attacking, but the Golden Eagles took their cracks at the net as well.

Time kept slipping away, though, and the drama levels intensified as the match passed each successive 10 minute mark. 50, 60, 70, 80.

And then, precisely at the 85 minute mark, Sunesson took advantage of PC’s Lukas Burns not being able to grip a shot by Harvey Read created by a free kick off a foul drawn by Beto Soto. 2-0 Golden Eagles.

I want to give a quick shoutout to Alan Salmeron for a bit of gamesmanship while Soto was recovering from the hard foul. Salmeron was standing over Soto to check on his teammate, and a PC player — presumably the guy who fouled him — came over. Salmeron boxed him out, and intentionally? accidentally? let his hand wander up towards the guy’s face. The PC chap slapped Salmeron’s hand away fairly violently, and honestly, if things had proceeded any further than this, there could have been cards issued. I don’t know if Salmeron intended for any of this to go like this, but I liked how it did and how he engineered all of it.

Anyway! 2-0! Exactly five minutes left! This should be enough to win!

It wasn’t.

I don’t know what happened on Providence’s first goal, which came exactly 63 seconds after Sunesson’s. FloSports started buffering, and my feed — sorry, I stayed at home due to potential thunderstorms — was down right until the replay of Gage Raftery’s goal hit the top right corner of the net behind MU keeper Chandler Hallwood. From watching the archive on FloSports, it appears a midfield turnover by Marquette led to PC booting it around looking for space in the MU defense, and Raftery just took things into his own feet to bang it into the net.

But still, okay, fine! 2-1 with less than four minutes left!

And then, at the 87:39 mark, Christopher Roman took advantage of a situation that Marquette couldn’t quite clear properly. Yet another midfield turnover let Providence have it in their end, and a chip into the box led to a jumpball in the box between Hallwood and Roman and it went towards and into the net instead of literally anywhere else.

2-2, and for the second straight match, Marquette let in goals late after standing strong for more than 90% of the match. Last time, they were up 3-0 before Seton Hall scored in the final 10 seconds. This time, it cost them.

Providence outshot Marquette 2-1 in both overtime periods with Hallwood making saves on three of the four PC attempts. Neither team could break through and after 110 minutes, it all ended in a draw.

Up Next: Marquette looks to extend their unbeaten streak in Big East play to three matches when they host Xavier on Wednesday night. First kick is set for 7pm Central at Valley Fields. The Musketeers are 6-4-0 overall on the year, but just 0-3-0 after falling 1-0 to Villanova on Saturday afternoon.