Marquette men’s soccer is 0-4-4 in Big East play.
They can no longer finish in the top six of the conference. Creighton and Providence are tied for sixth place right now and those two teams play each other in the final match of the regular season. They each have 10 points right now, but 10 points is the best that Marquette can do with their four points at the moment. Either CU and PC go to a draw and both get to 11 just on that match alone to prevent MU from getting to the top six, or one of them wins to go to 13 points and that’s it for the Golden Eagles as well.
So yeah. Two matches to go, and they don’t matter for Marquette in terms of anything else happening after them. There is the goal of “getting at least one win in the league before the season is over would be good,” but that’s about it. MU can’t even aim at “we’d like a winning record overall” as the Golden Eagles sit at 4-8-4 heading into their final two matches. Saturday afternoon’s match does matter to Georgetown, as the Hoyas will be aiming to lock up the Big East regular season title with a win. If playing spoiler is motivating for Marquette, then that’s absolutely something that they could accomplish with this match.
Big East Match #9: at #24 Georgetown Hoyas (8-4-2, 6-1-1 Big East)
Marquette is 2-14-3 all time against Georgetown. The wins were back in 2009 as the Golden Eagles picked up a 1-0 victory on a 29th minute goal from Calum Mallace and then last year, as MU upset the #1 ranked Hoyas for the program’s first ever victory over a #1 ranked team. The last six meetings have been what passes for a good run for the Golden Eagles in this series as they are “only” 1-3-2 in that stretch dating back to 2016.
The Hoyas come into Saturday’s matchup with shutouts in their last two contests and three of the last four as well as wins in each of the last four as well. Their unbeaten streak extends to eight matches, including a 1-0 home date with Bowling Green mixed into the middle of Big East action. That’s quite the turnaround to the season for Georgetown, as they started off 1-4-2 after losing three straight to then-#14 Maryland, St. John’s, and James Madison. It’s not what you want after you start out the year as the #2 ranked team in the country, that’s for sure. The important thing from their point of view is that they have rebounded from that league play opening loss to the Red Storm to gather up 19 points and sit in first place in the Big East. With a three point lead on Seton Hall with two matches to play and the Pirates only having one more contest, a Saturday night home date with Butler, the Hoyas could clinch a regular season championship with a win over the Golden Eagles.
Because that’s always what you want when your season is shambling to a close: A motivated ranked opponent in the midst of saving their season after a disappointing start.
Georgetown has a pair of double digit point scorers in Marlon Tabora and Jacob Murrell. The two men have both tallied a team high five goals this season, but Tabora’s team-best six assists give him the points edge over Murrell and his three helpers, 16-13. Thanks to the magic of secondary assists, the Hoyas have generated 27 helpers on just 26 goals this season, so it’s clear that passing the ball is a major component of making their offense work. It’s possible that by the end of Saturday’s match, we could see someone take the team assists lead from Tabora. Kyle Linhares and Kieran Sargeant both have five assists this season, so they’re nipping at Tabora’s heels and it wouldn’t be weird to see one or the other end up with two assists against Marquette.
Georgetown has used three different goalkeepers this season, and after Luca Ulrich suddenly showed up in net last season in Milwaukee, it’s hard to say for certain which guy is going to get the nod on Saturday. With that said, Ryan Schewe has started each of the last nine matches for the Hoyas, so he certainly seems like the most likely candidate for playing time. He is their primary goalie, as Ulrich (three appearances) and Ethan Koehler (four appearances) have both played less than half as many minutes as Schewe and Schewe has played every minute since Ulrich relieved him at halftime and finished the 2-0 loss to James Madison. Ulrich gave up both goals in that match, both past the 80 minute mark, so you can probably see what head coach Brian Wiese is thinking here.
Anyway, Schewe has definitely proved to be the best option over the past eight matches, posting a goals-against average of just 0.71 and a save percentage of .857. Both numbers are light years better than what the Hoyas were getting from Koehler and Ulrich, so he’s been a major part of their turnaround lately.