Remember this important lesson, kids: Nothing ever comes easy in life.
In the eighth minute of Saturday’s Marquette men’s soccer game, Creighton’s Owen O’Malley ate a straight red card for what amounts to doing a Shawn Michaels impression on MU’s Manuel Cukaj. It was a dumb and dangerous play and would have justified a red card no matter the time of the match.
This sent the Bluejays down to 10 men for the remainder of the match. Five minutes later, Beto Soto ran behind a wonderful through ball from Zyan Andrade, shook CU keeper Nathan Schnur to the ground, and tapped in for the 1-0 lead.
13' | GOALLLLLLLL!!!!— Marquette Soccer (@marquettesoccer) March 20, 2021
Beto Soto nets his third goal of the season on a beautiful through ball from Zyan Andrade!
The lads got some dance moves in too #WeAreMarquette | #MarquetteSoccer pic.twitter.com/XGI5mCAD4x
What was better, Soto’s footwork to score or his footwork while celebrating?
Anyway, SOUNDS like things are easy for Marquette, right? Wrong!
It took overtime to beat the Jays on this day. Up 1-0 just over 12 minutes in, playing against a 10 man side, it seems like should have been easy. It wasn’t. But Marquette did win, 2-1, and so the #25 ranked Golden Eagles are now in sole possession of first place in the Big East’s Midwest Division with three regular season matches left to go.
Part of the reason it went to overtime is that Marquette did not press their man advantage. The Golden Eagles scored on their third shot of the game and the second shot they took after O’Malley’s red card. They would take just one more shot for the entire half, and that came just 22 seconds after Soto’s goal. After that fourth shot of the game for Marquette, Creighton found a way to record four shots of their own, and Chandler Hallwood had to make a save on two of them to keep the Jays off the scoreboard at intermission. Just to be clear: That’s a 4-0 shots advantage across more than 30 minutes of soccer by the team with only 10 men on the field. I get parking the bus with a lead, but my goodness was that not what was happening.
Creighton pushing forward while down a man paid off right after halftime when Jake Ronneburg, the chap that scored the overtime game winner in Milwaukee earlier this season, was able to take this shot in the 48th minute against a Marquette defense that seemed to have absolutely no interest in closing on him.
That’s a big ol’ yikes as Ronneburg had a clear path to the far inside wall of the net for the equalizer. Hallwood was NOT PLEASED with whatever the hell just happened in front of him to allow the shot to get off to the far post.
That was the first shot of the second half, and over the next 42 minutes, Marquette outshot Creighton 6-4, with none of MU’s shots coming on net. Again, not pressing an advantage, and now there was an actual impetus to do so since the match was even at one. Lukas Sunesson had a shot go wide in the 89th minute and MU had a very last second corner kick that went nowhere in particular, and so it was off to overtime for the sixth time this season and second time against Creighton.
Overtime lasted three minutes and 40 seconds before Christian Marquez controlled the ball and pushed it into the middle for a charging Zyan Andrade for this boomer:
I think my favorite part of watching this on replay is watching Andrade get his feet right to rip the shot as hard as he can.
That’s Andrade’s second golden goal of the season, and yes, those are his only two goals of the season so far. The first came against Saint Louis in Match #3 on the year.
Marquette is now 6-1-1 overall and 3-1-1 in Big East action. We’ll have to wait and see how the national polls deal with the Golden Eagles now after they have won two matches since United Soccer Coaches installed them as the #25 team in the country.
Up Next: Marquette will be back in action this coming Wednesday when they return to Valley Fields for the first of three straight home contests. It’ll be DePaul as the first opponent on the list, and the Blue Demons will be coming off a 1-0 overtime loss at home to Butler on Saturday afternoon.