Marquette men’s soccer took their first loss of Big East play on Friday night, falling 3-1 to a Butler squad that’s receiving votes in the United Soccer Coaches top 25. The loss drops the Golden Eagles to 4-5-1 overall this season and a still winless 0-1-1 in league action.
You don’t really think of corner kicks as a big indicator of offensive success all the time. You could probably debate exactly how much of an indicator they are, particularly when part of the genesis of a corner is “the defense knocked it away from you.” Still, for Marquette this season under Louis Bennett, they’re pretty important. Coming into Friday night, the Golden Eagles ranked third in the country in generating corner kicks, averaging eight per match. If you want to think about it another way, they average one every 11 minutes or so.
On Friday night, Marquette went without a single corner kick until the 70th minute of the match, when some pressure helped along by a pair of shots from Edrey Caceres turned into a try from the corner. When that happened, Marquette was trailing 2-0 and getting outshot 16-9 and out-cornered (if that’s a thing) 5-0. I don’t think I really need to explain an awful lot about what was going on here.
Do you want to see goals? Here’s Wilmer Cabrera, Jr.’s opening goal of the match from the 32nd minute, which is a nice work of balance to get the shot off and beat MU keeper Chandler Hallwood:
Streberger sets up Cabrera, Jr. who finds the back of the net! pic.twitter.com/DYd7Qthj2H— Butler Men's Soccer (@ButlerMSoccer) October 1, 2022
That margin held til halftime, and Palmer Ault kept his goal scoring streak alive in the 53rd minute when he fought through traffic to beat the MU defense.
DJ Hooks and Wilmer Cabrera, Jr. set up Palmer Ault. Dawgs are up, 2-0! pic.twitter.com/9xHU2F7UXH— Butler Men's Soccer (@ButlerMSoccer) October 1, 2022
Marquette did claw one back in the 73rd minute to make it 2-1, and it’s some really great effort by Diegoarmando Alvarado to extend the play and get a quality strike on it to get it in the net.
At that point, there was an air of optimism to the match. With 17ish minutes to go, maybe Marquette can at least find an equalizer and salvage a point out of this thing. This scramble in front of the Butler net with about 10 minutes to play almost made it happen.
But no, freshman Palmer Ault decided to extend his two-goal scoring streak to three straight matches in the 86th minute, and at that point, the Golden Eagles were clearly out of time.
A look at goal #3, Ault's second, set up by Cabrera, Jr. pic.twitter.com/1AOdb1Kfj4— Butler Men's Soccer (@ButlerMSoccer) October 1, 2022
Respect where due, that’s great work by Ault to find the space as well as take advantage of the defender that slipped to the turf.
Up Next: This is the Big East, so things are definitely not going to get easier for Marquette. They have a pair of road matches coming up over the next week. First it’s Villanova (4-3-2, 1-1-1 Big East) on Wednesday afternoon because the Wildcats still don’t have lights at their facility here in 2022, and then at Providence (3-2-4, 1-0-2 Big East) at 11am on Saturday.