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Marquette Women’s Soccer Preview: at Butler

One way or another, someone is leaving this match without winning for the first time this season.

NCAA Basketball: DePaul at Butler Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

I have a thought about Marquette women’s soccer that’s developing, but I think it’s a little too early in this spring season to truly talk about it yet.

I know, very mean to even mention the concept of the idea in my head without spilling the beans.

But it’s a little early in the year. MU has only played three matches, and three matches is the first time when you can really start looking at stats and so forth and see trends in things. It’s called triangulation for a reason, y’know? Plus, I think it’s reasonable to ask about the quality of opponent in Marquette’s first two games of the season. Is Chicago State any good? They lost 5-0 to Marquette, and that’s not a good result for the Cougars. What do we know about Illinois State at this point?

Heck, quite honestly, Marquette didn’t even look particularly good against DePaul back on Sunday. Sure, goals from Katrina Wetherell and Elsi Twombly gave the Golden Eagles a 2-0 win, but the Blue Demons outshot MU 7-2 in the first half and that led to a 16-6 margin at the end of the game. Lauren Schill helped get that W with six saves in her first collegiate start, too.

But based on underlying data, that game probably shouldn’t have been 2-0 to Marquette.

So, a little too early to really start talking about things. We need to see a few more results. I know, there’s only seven more matches to go, including Thursday’s road date with Butler. There’s not many more chances to have results to fully assemble a true thought about what’s going on with this spring 2021 version of Marquette women’s soccer.

But maybe we’ll be able to say something next time around. Let’s see what happens on Thursday in Indianapolis.

Big East Match #2: at Butler Bulldogs (4-0-0, 1-0-0 Big East)

Date: Thursday, March 11, 2021
Time: 2pm Central
Location: Sellick Bowl, Indianapolis, Indiana
Streaming: Butler Athletics YouTube
Live Stats: Stat Broadcast
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteWSOC

Marquette is 3-5-1 all time against Butler. The Golden Eagles have lost the last three meetings in the series and were shut out all three times. MU’s last goal against the Bulldogs came as a golden goal by Carrie Madden in the 2016 meeting that secured Markus Roeders’ 300th career victory.

Officially, Butler is undefeated and untied in their four matches that they’re counting on the schedule as matches that are part of their regular season. HOWEVAH, Win #1 was 8-0 against University of Indianapolis, a Division 2 team. Win #2 was 9-2 against NAIA Marian University, a school that is literally less than four miles away from Butler. That’s 17-2 against non-Division 1 foes and 16 straight unanswered goals.

So let’s keep that in mind when we talk about “oh my goodness they’re undefeated!”

They do have two Division 1 victories after beating Dayton 4-1 and knocking down DePaul 3-1, which also moved the Bulldogs to 1-0-0 in Big East action. The Dayton game required them to respond to the Flyers leveling the match at one each in the 26th minute..... which they did with a goal from Justina Gaynor less than three minutes later. BU blitzed DePaul in their most recent game, scoring goals in the 7th, 13th, and 35th minutes of the match before the Blue Demons finally nudged one in with about 15 minutes left in regulation to break up the shutout.

Oh, and circling back to “let’s keep that in mind,” Butler is technically not undefeated this season. In between the Dayton and DePaul matches, they played an exhibition against Bowling Green.... and lost 2-1. Now, the thing here is that neither Bowling Green nor Butler have any evidence of what happened in this exhibition on their websites other than the Falcons getting the 2-1 victory. It’s hard to say anything super serious about this because we don’t know what happened. However, we have seen Butler absolutely destroying other teams, even D1 squads, and something happened against Bowling Green that changed that. I lean towards the BU coaching staff opting to throw weird lineups out there more than Bowling Green is their kryptonite. Still, it happened.

Anja Savich leads Butler in goals this season with six..... but all six came against Indianapolis and Marian. She’s tallied just one assist since then. Gretchen Skoglund has four goals.... all against Indianapolis and Marian. Katie Soderstrom has three goals...... but none against the non-D1 teams! But all three were against Dayton. Alli Leonard has three goals.... with two coming against DePaul.

Butler’s a weird offensive team is what I’m saying.

At least we can rely on Stephanie Rodriguez in net. She has played all 360 minutes making eight saves on just 12 shots on goal. The 5’6” redshirt junior has seen 26 shots through four games, with the Blue Demons accounting for 10 of them.