A goal and an assist from Justus Kauppinen spelled doom for Marquette men’s soccer on Wednesday night at Valley Fields as the Golden Eagles took a 2-1 loss to Xavier Musketeers. MU is now 4-5-1 overall and 1-2-1 in Big East play after starting the season ranked in the United Soccer Coaches top 25 poll.
It’s a bad loss in a couple of ways. The first one is in the “how did this match play out” kind of way. Kauppinen scored XU’s first goal of the match in the 24th minute on a shot that appeared to get deflected by a Marquette defender. Not own goal level type stuff but enough where it caused MU keeper Chandler Hallwood to not really have a shot at stopping it. Bad luck perhaps.
GOAL X!@JustusKauppinen scores his third goal of the season in the 23rd minute, giving Xavier a 1-0 lead!#LetsGoX pic.twitter.com/FNqpVeQGwd— Xavier Men's Soccer (@XavierMSOC) October 7, 2021
Not really bad luck? Giving up another goal less than 10 minutes into the second half. That one came from Cameron Phillips in the 53rd minute, and at least that one had a “well, that was just a good soccer play” type of goal. Nice cross, solid contact on the header, that’s what happens sometimes.
GOAL X!— Xavier Men's Soccer (@XavierMSOC) October 7, 2021
Cameron Phillips scores his first goal of the season in the 52 minute!
XU 2, MU 0#LetsGoX pic.twitter.com/8kG3gxoI7t
That goal came on Xavier’s second shot of the half and before Marquette attempted a shot at all. This is where another not so great part of this loss comes in, as the Musketeers outshot the Golden Eagles 5-3 after Phillips gave his team a 2-0 lead. 7-3 total for the half in the shot department as Xavier effectively muscled Marquette out of the match. Sure, Beto Soto scored in the 84th minute to breathe a little bit of life into the Golden Eagles, but it was too little too late.
Here's a look at Beto Soto's goal to make this a 2-1 contest with less than seven minutes to go! pic.twitter.com/2N6Ay17nbx— Marquette Soccer (@marquettesoccer) October 7, 2021
Here’s where the levels of this thing really start kicking in. First of all, this was Marquette’s response to giving up two late goals to Providence after holding a 2-0 lead on the Friars and ultimately having to settle for a tie. I don’t want to go so far as to say that Marquette looked non-competitive in this match, because that’s absolutely not the case, but they also didn’t look like they had the fire of a team that just let two points in the standings slip away from them.
To make matters worse, this was Xavier’s first win in Big East play in four attempts. In theory, and yes I know all league matches are tough in their own way blah blah, this was a match that Marquette could use to get back on their feet. Xavier was clearly struggling and the Golden Eagles needed someone to kick around a little bit and show that they deserved that win that they were so close to against the #22 ranked Friars. Didn’t happen, and Xavier actually locked MU out of the game in the second half.
Leaves a bad taste in your mouth all the way around which is kind of the reason why you’re seeing this on Friday morning. Took me a minute to get around to writing this and scheduling it to publish. Just a lot of “well, dammit” involved.
Up Next: Marquette is back in action on Saturday night when they visit Creighton. The Bluejays dropped to 0-3-0 in Big East play on Wednesday night when they got beat 1-0 by DePaul. Senior midfielder Callum Watson, who has started all but one match for the Jays this season, picked up a red card in the 82nd minute and, by rule, will be suspended for Saturday’s match.