The Big East is making this season more complicated than necessary to figure out who is leading in divisional play. I don’t fault them for eschewing the normal soccer points totals for this COVID-adjusted season where maybe not everyone will play all of their league games. Winning percentage is the safe bet to decide which two teams from each division make it to the conference tournament a little less than a month from now.
However, it is not making it easy to figure out how safe Marquette’s lead in the Midwest Division is with three games to go.
As of Monday afternoon, the Big East has Marquette in first place at 3-1-1 with a winning percentage of .700. That gives MU half a win for their draw with Butler. It also means that Marquette can’t finish worse than .438 in terms of winning percentage if they lose out the rest of the way. Obviously, that wouldn’t be good for their chances of finishing top two, but that’s an awful wide margin of possible results left this season. Maybe it’s just an issue of there still being too many matches left to play, and trying to figure things out is too hard at this point.
If we were going by points, nothing would be settled either. Marquette would still be in first right now with 10 points, and everyone else in the standings would be in the exact same spot as they are right now. So that’s nice... but MU could still finish anywhere from first to last depending on how the rest of the season shakes out.
Points would be easier to figure it out, or at least involve way less math to try and track it. But like I said, we’re still a decent stretch away from locking anything up. The best move is for Marquette to focus on the thing in front of them — in this case beating DePaul at home — and taking care of that one thing before moving on to anything else.
Big East Match #6: vs DePaul Blue Demons (2-3-2, 2-3-0 Big East)
Marquette is 28-6-1 all time against DePaul. The Golden Eagles have now won three straight matches against the Blue Demons and have won six of the last nine meetings as well. Earlier this season, Marquette won 3-1, marking the first time in that 6-3-0 run where MU won after allowing a goal to DePaul.
The loss to Marquette earlier in the year dropped DePaul to 0-2-2 on the season, which means that they have picked up both of their wins on the year since the last time that these two sides hooked it up. The Blue Demons snagged their first win of the year in the very next game by beating Xavier in overtime after falling behind 2-1 at the half. For an encore, they downed Creighton 2-1 at home on a 78th minute goal from Timmy Iscra. Finally, in their third match since they last played Marquette, DePaul took a loss. It took overtime in a light shooting affair, but Butler punched in a golden goal in the 94th minute to beat the Blue Demons.
Going into the first meeting between these two teams, DePaul had only scored two goals on the year, and Jake Fuderer had tallied both of them in one game against Northern Illinois. Fuderer has added a third goal to his season so far and an assist as well to lead the team with seven points. The aforementioned Timmy Iscra is the only other Blue Demons to score more than once this year having put the ball in the net twice. Omar Ramadan has contributed to the offense in a notable fashion by recording an assist against both Xavier and Creighton.
Drew Nuelle continues to be the goalie for every minute this season. Marquette beat Nuelle for three goals earlier this season in Chicago, which accounts for more than one-fifth of all of the goals he’s let in. Nuelle has stopped 72% of shots on net so far this season, but Marquette got him for half of their six shots on goal when the two sides played in Chicago. MU depended on accuracy and precision to beat DePaul last time out, getting beat in shots 14-9 but the Golden Eagles had the advantage in shots on goal, 6-5.