Coming in to Thursday’s Big East tournament semifinals, Marquette men’s soccer was 8-1-1 on the season with their only loss on the year coming in double overtime in the fourth contest on the schedule. That game also doubles as the only time all year that Marquette allowed more than one goal in their 10 matches, which means that they never allowed two goals in regulation play all year.
That all changed on Thursday afternoon in Washington, D.C., and it changed in a hurry.
Seton Hall scored in the sixth and ninth minutes on their way to a 4-1 victory over the Golden Eagles. The Pirates advance to Saturday’s conference tournament championship match, while the Golden Eagles are left crossing their fingers about the NCAA tournament.
Here’s Seton Hall’s first goal of the game from Almeida Sundell. I don’t know if Marquette could really have defended this better and I’m pretty sure that keeper Jackson Weyman had zero chance to do anything about it.
That was SHU’s second shot of the match, and their third shot was Maurice Williams’ header that beat Weyman in the ninth minute:
That 2-0 margin held to halftime, and Williams’ second goal of the game, again on a header as a result of a free kick, made it 3-0 in the 59th minute. Three goals was a new season high for goals allowed for the Golden Eagles, and about 90 seconds later, that number became four when C.J. Tibbling scored for the Pirates.
The match was effectively over at this point.
Sam Thornton did score in the 72nd minute to allow MU to bust up the clean sheet, but that’s the only good news to report.
If you’re left saying, “what the hell, guys??” so is the coaching staff and the team. Here’s head coach Louis Bennett:
I'm sure today’s performance & result upset a lot of people but no more than our own players & coaches I can assure you. Let's hope our body of work 8-2-1. + a #16 top 20 ranking gets us the opportunity to play in the NCAA.— Louis Bennett (@Loobe21) April 15, 2021
Up Next: The NCAA tournament selection show is this coming Monday at 11am Central time. The NCAA will be streaming it themselves on their website. Marquette will be hoping to be one of just 12 at-large selections in the 36 team field, down from the normal 48 team size due to the pandemic. Through matches played on April 14th, one day before the semifinals, Marquette was sitting at #8 in the NCAA’s RPI calculation, so that seems to indicate that their chances are pretty good.