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Still Not A Win: Marquette 2, Creighton 2

The Golden Eagles remain winless in the Big East and get eliminated from the conference tournament.

Brooklyn Merl
Brooklyn Merl scored in the first half for the Golden Eagles.
Marquette University

Eight Big East matches down for Marquette men’s soccer this season, zero victories. The streak went up by one on Saturday night as the Golden Eagles ended up going to a 2-2 draw with Creighton after both teams traded penalty kicks in the final 30 minutes. Marquette is now 4-8-4 on the year and 0-4-4 in league action.

Things that did look great: Marquette’s offensive control of this match. You’d like to think that you can win a match when you outshoot your opponent 6-4 in the first half and 13-6 in the second for a 19-10 overall advantage, but as you can tell, that didn’t come through. Still, Marquette has struggled to have this kind of consistent push in their direction this season, so it’s good to see it come together in a match that they really needed to win.

Things that maybe didn’t look great but worked out really well: Brooklyn Merl’s goal in the 34th minute that provided the game with the 1-0 margin at halftime. In his first appearance since September 27th, the grad student from Germany appears to intercept a through ball pass from Abdoul Karim Pare that was intended for Mitar Mitrovic, but he turns it into a great shot on goal, possibly because the defense started looking at Mitrovic’s run. It looks like Merl catches not one but two breaks as it catches a slight deflection off a Creighton defender and perhaps because it was moving strangely at that point, CU keeper Paul Kruse can’t make a clean stop on the ball.

So, 1-0 at the half, and you can’t really ask for more when the team is winless in their last seven.

Onwards to the second half, where MU’s offense doesn’t quite get in gear for those 13 shots right out of the gate. 10 minutes go by, and Creighton generates this opportunity as the trend of slightly odd looking deflections/passes continues on the west end of Valley Fields.

The level score doesn’t last all that long, as Marquette repossesses the ball after a goal kick and quickly turns it into an attack on the left side. The Creighton defender jabs a leg out at Pare, taking him down a few strides into the 18 yard box, and you guessed it, penalty kick for the Golden Eagles. Lukas Sunesson made the attempt and calmly deposited his team leading sixth goal of the season to put Marquette back out in front in a match that they really needed to win.

I’m going to keep mentioning that part.

The lead lasted five minutes before Marquette also did a bad foul. In this case, it was Joey Fitzgerald tripping an attacker that had just beaten him as the move past Fitzgerald is what gained entry to the 18 yard box. PK awarded, and Duncan McGuire roofs one to even things at two goals each.

Shouts to the Creighton social media department for clipping in the foul that generated the PK and not just the PK, very helpful.

Yeah, uh, don’t do that with 25 minutes left in a game that you’re winning when you’re oh-fer on the first seven matches.

Unrelated to the decision to foul there: Am I crazy or did McGuire take advantage of the referee giving the go ahead but MU keeper Chandler Hallwood not looking 100% prepared for McGuire to kick the ball? It looks like that, right?

Marquette poured it on after that PK, generating seven of their second half shots over the next nine minutes. Only one was on goal though, and on the other end, Hallwood made a save in the 88th minute to preserve the draw.

Up Next: It looks like Marquette is eliminated from the Big East tournament. With two matches left to go, the best the Golden Eagles can do in the standings is 10 points. The best finish they could end up with is, in theory, tying Creighton and Providence at 10 points for sixth place when only six teams qualify. However, CU and PC play each other in the regular season finale, and they can’t both lose to stay on 10 points. Either one of them wins to get to 13, or they draw and both go to 11.

So, yeah.

Marquette has their final road match of the season next Saturday, when they visit first place Georgetown for a Noon Central time start. The Golden Eagles beat the Hoyas last year for the program’s first ever win over a #1 ranked team.