Marquette men’s soccer came in to Friday night’s match against Seton Hall without a goal in their last four matches. In fact, it was over four and a half matches worth of time since they didn’t score in the second half against Kansas City. The Golden Eagles were clearly going through a whole heck of a lot on the offensive side of the field, and you could easily make an argument that the defensive end wasn’t exactly wowing anyone either.
And so, MU went into Friday night’s match desperately needing a goal for sure just to break the streak and riding a four match losing streak and hoping to avoid two straight losses to Big East play. Their opponent? A Seton Hall team going through some of the same things that Marquette was, notably a slide out of the United Soccer Coaches preseason top 25 poll and a loss in their Big East opener. It wasn’t supposed to be a picnic for the Golden Eagles, especially since they were in South Orange and not at Valley Fields.
And yet….. Edrey Caceres scored the second and third goals of his collegiate career, one in the first half and one in the second, on either side of a Lukas Sunesson goal, and Marquette rolled to an easy 3-1 victory over the Pirates. It was arguably even easier than that score looks as Seton Hall got their goal with just 10 seconds left in regulation and the match was clearly mathematically over at that point. Marquette is now 1-1-0 in Big East play and 4-4-0 overall.
Less than 12 minutes into the match, Marquette picked up a free kick opportunity pretty close to Seton Hall’s net, so the threat to score was pretty obvious. Caceres made it very obvious when he said “the hell with this scoreless streak” and just snapped it into the net from about 30 yards out. Just a magnificent piece of soccer.
For all the reasons mentioned above, it was a pretty big goal for the Golden Eagles. But, still, it was just a 1-0 lead, and the obvious statement to make here would be to say that maybe this goal would wake Seton Hall up. It did, to a certain extent, as the Pirates outshot MU 7-1 over the next 20 minutes. But none of the shots threatened the net enough to the point that keeper Chandler Hallwood was required to make an official save on anything.
Then, just past the 33 minute mark, All-American Lukas Sunesson reminded you why he was an All-American in the spring season. Zyan Andrade lofted a ball into the middle of the 18 yard box, and Sunesson smartly headed it as far away from SHU keeper Andreas Nota as he could for a 2-0 lead.
That margin held at halftime even though Seton Hall ended up outshooting Marquette 11-4 across the entirety of the 45 minutes. Things turned in the second half as the MU defense stiffened up and only surrendered six total shots after intermission to the Pirates. For good measure, Caceres put another ball in the net in the 80th minute to make it a 3-0 game. Yet again, it was Andrade making the near picture perfect pass and all the recipient had to do was put it where Nota couldn’t do a damn thing about it.
Sometimes this soccer thing just almost too easy, or at least looks almost too easy, and that’s the kind of match that both Caceres and Andrade had on Friday night.
As mentioned earlier, Seton Hall did get a goal with exactly 10 seconds to go as Ian Albuquerque found a way to beat Hallwood to bust up the clean sheet at the last second. It was just the second shot on goal of the entire match for Seton Hall even though they ended up outshooting Marquette 17-8 when everything was all wrapped up.
Up Next: After a week of rest and recovery, Marquette will be back in action back at Valley Fields this coming Saturday night. It’ll be Providence coming to Milwaukee with first kick set for 7pm. The Friars are 6-1-1 on the season at the moment and 2-0-0 in Big East play after beating Xavier 3-2 on Saturday afternoon. PC is currently riding a four match winning streak and a five match unbeaten streak.