After over a week off, Marquette women’s soccer returns to the pitch for live action on Sunday afternoon.
Hopefully it’s been a productive week of practice for the Golden Eagles, because, sure, they’re 1-0-0 on the year, but I don’t think anyone from head coach Frank Pelaez on down can feel super great about how they got there. Marquette struck themselves out to a 4-0 halftime lead against Central Michigan in their first match of the season, which makes you think that things were going really great.
They were, for those 45 minutes, as Marquette outshot the Chippewas 10-2. The next 45 minutes was something totally different. CMU outshot Marquette 8-3 in the second half and a pair of penalty kicks conceded by the Golden Eagles meant it was a 4-3 ball game with just under 20 minutes to play. Considering how well things were going in the first half, the second half was a complete disaster for Marquette, and that’s the kind of thing that can/should lead to productive weeks of practice.
There’s not really any reason why Marquette should have let that happen to them. The worst part about it is the fact that Central Michigan was constantly getting breakaways down the field. If MU had a 4-0 lead and gave up a bunch of shots because they weren’t really pushing forward, then you throw up your hands and say “whatever.” But the Golden Eagles didn’t park the bus against the Chippewas and also weren’t properly defending even if it was a 1-0 game and not 4-0.
Perhaps the focus should be on the final 15 minutes of the match where the Golden Eagles didn’t even allow a shot to Central Michigan, even with the match sitting with just a one goal margin. That might have been the key to the match right there, and if Marquette can round up that kind of toughness for 90 minutes of soccer, they might just be in decent shape against Sunday’s foe.
Match #2: vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish (2-0-1)
Marquette is 3-7 all-time against Notre Dame. This is the first meeting between the two teams since 2012, the last time they were both in the Big East. Six of the 10 all time meetings came by way of the Big East tournament back in the day. Marquette is 2-1-0 in the last three meetings, including a 1-0 victory in the conference semifinals in the most recent encounter.
As you can see from the record, the Irish have already played three matches this season. They started off with a pair of home contests over the first weekend of the year, beating Bowling Green 3-1 and going to a scoreless draw against Indiana. Match #3 was on Thursday night when they made the trek up to Madison to face Wisconsin. That one went to overtime knotted at one goal each after the Badgers leveled it in the 61st minute. The two teams played just 73 seconds of extra time before Sammi Fisher scored the golden goal on a penalty kick to bring things to a finale.
What a very convenient transition that makes, as Fisher’s goal gave her two on the season and puts her in the team lead. Two goals gives her an advantage in the points column early in the season over Korbin Albert and Olivia Wingate, both of whom have a goal and an assist on the season so far.
Mattie Interian has played every minute in net so far for the Irish. The 5’10” senior from California has allowed just two goals in three matches, with two of those going to extra time. She made six saves on Thursday against the Badgers to record twice as many saves as she had needed to make in the first two matches combined.