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Marquette Women’s Soccer Preview: vs Xavier

The Golden Eagles have to pick themselves up after suffering their first loss of the season.

St John’s v Xavier Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

It took a minute, but Marquette women’s soccer finally has a loss on their record. They started out the year with three straight wins, although it took over a month to get those three official matches played. MU even won their two exhibition matches in the middle of that month of activity, so they didn’t even deal with a loss there.

But, last time out, back last Thursday, Marquette took a 1-0 loss on the road to Butler. It came by way of a goal in the 84th minute, which is a bit of a heartbreaker. It was, however, not undeserved. Butler outshot Marquette 21-5 over the full length of the match. It was more even in the second half, just 7-4 in favor of the Bulldogs, but you can’t be surprised when you get outshot 14-1 in the first half and end up losing.

They weren’t really great shots for Butler, as Lauren Schill only had to make four saves to limit the Bulldogs to one goal on the day. Still, shots are shots, and shots are proof that Butler had the ball waaaaaaaaaay more than Marquette did. That’s not really a good way to go about winning matches. It was definitely a situation where Marquette got caught after beating DePaul 2-0 while getting outshot 16-6 in their previous match.

So we’ve got two things for Marquette to deal with going into Thursday’s daytime start. The Golden Eagles have to do a better job maintaining possession to avoid all those shots for a third straight contest. Past that, we’re also going to get to see how MU deals with coming back from a loss for the first time this season.

Maybe the whole thing is just as simple as doing everything they can to get freshman Elsi Twombly a goal. After all, MU is 3-0-0 this season when she scores, and 0-1-0 when she does not.

Big East Match #3: vs Xavier Musketeers (2-3-0, 1-1-0 Big East)

Date: Thursday, March 18, 2021
Time: Noon Central
Location: Andy Glockner Memorial Bubble, Valley Fields, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Streaming: GoMarquette.com
Live Stats: Sidearm Stats
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteWSOC

Marquette is 7-2-0 all time against Xavier. That sounds good! It is not that good, as Xavier has won each of the last two meetings in the series, including 2019’s 2-1 contest at Valley Fields where the Musketeers scored twice in the first seven minutes.

Xavier has been alternating losses and wins this season, starting with a 2-0 loss to Saint Louis in their opener. The wins have come against Bellarmine (1-0) and Creighton (1-0), while the losses have been against SLU, Tennessee (3-1), and Butler (4-0). The message here seems to be if you can score a goal, you can beat Xavier. We’re very close to “if you can stop Xavier from scoring, you win, but the Vols giving up a goal in the 71st minute after holding a 2-0 lead is ruining the perfect streak on that.

As a result, Xavier has been outscored 9-3 so far this season. Three different Musketeers have found the back of the net so far this season, and XU has registered an assist on one of the three goals. Molly McLaughlin is one of the three with a goal so far, and we can expect her to be the focal point of the Xavier offense. She leads the team in shots with 17 which is nearly 27% of the team’s entire shots this season. Olivia Lawson, who has not scored and has only started one of Xavier’s five matches, is #2 on the team in shots with nine.

Olivia Jenkins has played every minute in net for Xavier so far this season. As you’d expect with their -6 goal differential on the year, her stats are not super great. She’s at 1.80 goals per 90 minutes, even with two shutouts on the books. Jenkins has only stopped 47% of the 17 shots on goal that Xavier has allowed this year. Quality shots = goals, that’s what I’m getting here.