Back on August 2nd, United Soccer Coaches released their preseason top 25 rankings for both men’s and women’s college soccer. While neither of Marquette’s teams are ranked or even receiving votes to start the season, there is a weird symmetry between the ranked teams on their schedules this season. Both teams will face a ranked team in their season opener, and both teams will see two preseason top 25 teams during the course of Big East action.
Marquette’s season opener will be on the road against Notre Dame, as we already knew. The Irish start the year out at #16 in the country coming off a trip to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament last fall. At least according to the preseason rankings, ND will be the toughest team Marquette faces all season. Not only are they the only non-conference poll in the top 25, but both Big East teams in the rankings are somewhere south of the Fighting Irish. Georgetown, the favorite to win the Big East by way of a vote of the league’s coaches, starts off the season as the #19 team in the country, while Xavier joins them in the rankings at #24.
MU will get a chance to build themselves up before facing either ranked Big East foe. The Hoyas will be Big East Match #8 of the year, third from the end of the season, while the Musketeers will be the final match of the regular season for the Golden Eagles. They will visit Georgetown, but host Xavier for Senior Night.
According to the rankings, Louis Bennett’s squad has a stiffer test to start the year than Frank Pelaez’s team does. The good news for MU’s men’s team is that they get to face their ranked non-conference opponent at home. The bad news is that Tulsa is starting off the year at #11 in the country.
Things will get more difficult in Big East play as Georgetown starts off the preseason poll at #2 in the country. Never a great bit of news when you have to play a national championship contender, and even less so when you have to play them in their building as is the case here. At least it’s the last road game of Big East play, I suppose. Marquette will also get a crack at the preseason #16 team in the form of the Providence Friars. That will be a road game for MU as well, and it will be the third contest of conference play. There is one slight difference for the men’s team, as they’ll also face a team only earning votes in the poll. That’s St. John’s, who earned one 25th place vote for one point in the rankings. The Red Storm will be in Milwaukee on November 2nd for Senior Night.