Harvey Read and Jonathan Robinson scored early, Chandler Hallwood made a big play late, and Marquette men’s soccer’s defense stood strong all night as the #19 ranked Golden Eagles beat Green Bay 2-0 in the 2021 season opener on Thursday night. In addition to all of those reasons for joy, the victory doubled as the 100th in head coach Louis Bennett’s Marquette tenure.
Things were definitely tilting in favor of Marquette in the early goings as they gathered up three offsides calls in the first 25 minutes of the match and Green Bay got whistled for five fouls and a yellow card as well. The Golden Eagles were definitely controlling the match, but they weren’t looking particularly extra dangerous at all.
And then Edrey Caceres, all of 27 minutes into his collegiate career, lofted this corner kick in the general direction of Harvey Read, who elevated and smashed the header down and into the net for the first goal of the game as well as the first goal of the season for the Golden Eagles.
And the crowd goes !— Marquette Soccer (@marquettesoccer) August 26, 2021
Check out the first goal of the 2021 season! pic.twitter.com/VTxLOeYyGk
Things got a little bit more yellow card-y over the next few minutes as two more Phoenix players picked up some paperwork for fouls, but the Golden Eagles were still pushing things to their offensive side of the field. It can’t be better explained as to what was happening when Jonathan Robinson launched a shot from distance and rifled it into the back of the net for his first goal of the season. Just solid strong play pushing forward by Marquette and maybe a bit of gun-shy mentality from the visitors led to Robinson getting the time and the space to shoot for the 2-0 lead at exactly the 37 minute mark.
MU maintained control of the match til halftime and ended up with an 8-0 shots advantage after 45 minutes. That zero stayed in the shots column for Green Bay until the 68th minute when Stjepan Peharda got one off from close distance. While MU keeper Chandler Hallwood had spent the first hour of the match largely undisturbed and unbothered, his reflexes were on point here to parry Peharda’s shot up and over the crossbar. It would be the only save of the match for Hallwood, and it would be the only shot of the match for the Phoenix.
Whatever chances they did have to try to push back on Marquette’s 2-0 lead completely evaporated in the 73rd minute when Paul Mues was issued a red card for a foul he committed on MU’s Sam Thornton. The Golden Eagle forward was already grabbing at his knee in pain before he hit the turf, so you can see why the referee went straight red on the foul. Tempers flared a little bit on both sides as a little bit of shouting and little bit of pushing took place in the immediate aftermath. The referee did a decent job, as good as one man corralling a bunch of college aged males can, to keep things separated and prevent things from getting worse.
With Marquette holding a 2-0 lead on the scoreboard and an 11-10 man advantage on the field, the remaining 17 minutes of soccer turned into an elaborate game of keep away. MU didn’t even attempt another shot the rest of the match, and let’s be honest: Unless you get a breakaway, why bother trying extremely hard at that point?
Up Next: The Golden Eagles will be back in action and looking to stay unbeaten on the year when they host Southern Illinois-Edwardsville on Sunday afternoon. First kick is set for 4pm Central, although the match will be the second half of a doubleheader with the women’s team hosting Notre Dame. The Cougars started off the season on Thursday evening with a 1-1 draw with Wisconsin in Madison.