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Have Mirs-y: Marquette 5, Milwaukee 2

The Golden Eagles regain possession of the Milwaukee Cup in the second highest scoring game in series history!

Edrey Caceres and Alex Mirsberger
Edrey Caceres (#10) celebrates Alex Mirsberger (#21) and his third corner kick header goal of the game.
Marquette University

A wild opening 35 minutes just kept on getting wilder at Valley Fields on Tuesday night as YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles defeated Milwaukee 5-3 to win possession of The Milwaukee Cup for the first time since 2014 and gain possession of the Cup for the first time since 2016. The Golden Eagles are now 4-3-0 on the season.

The match tilted towards bananas in the first half-hour-plus of the match as Beto Soto and Edrey Caceres combined to find Alex Mirsberger — not anyone on the team, just Mirsberger — for three header goals off of corner kicks all in a 15 minute stretch. All from the same side of the field, all booted past the goal, all from roughly the same spot by Mirsberger.

I swear to you that these are three different goals. Look at the clock and the score to confirm it.

In the 18th minute:

In the 31st:

And In the 33rd:

Those last two were officially just barely more than two minutes apart, 129 seconds precisely. I can not imagine exactly what Milwaukee head coach Kris Kelderman was hollering at his roster after the second one, much less the third one in rapid fire fashion.

Whatever it was, it worked a little bit. Milwaukee took advantage of a Marquette structure that wasn’t all that interested in parking the bus and attacked into it, leading to this 43rd minute goal by Emil Lindgren Pedersen to make it 3-1 at halftime.

I feel like Marquette could have been doing a little bit better to support Ludvig Malberg in net here between Malberg getting the start because Chandler Hallwood getting redcarded last time out and the 3-0 lead.

Anyway, 3-1 with 45 minutes to play is still pretty good.

Except then it was 3-2 in the 53rd minute as Logan Farrington scored what kind of looks like a duplicate of Pedersen’s goal, except with a long kick ahead subbing in for the pass through Marquette’s back line.

And then things really got wild.

Less than a minute after the restart, Malberg smashes the ball to clear it away from his net. It flies most of the way down the field, bounces, and MU keeper Gijs Van Schouten grabs it before anyone else can touch it.

Except he had left the 18 yard box by about two steps when he grabbed it, and Van Schouten immediately realized what he had done.

Red card, he’s gone, and Nick Chiappa was on in relief while Milwaukee goes down to 10 men for the remainder.

Free kick for Marquette from the spot of the foul.

Marquette goal, Abdoul Karim Pare as the free kick gets bounced around a little bit and Pare puts it in.

To reset: 4-2 Marquette in the 54th minute with two goals already in the net in the nine minutes since the second half started, Mirsberger has a hat trick, Milwaukee has 10 men.

Marquette was pretty comfortable at that point, but it’s also important to not let the side with 10 guys start thinking they can do things against you as well, so MU kept up appearances and kept pushing forward when they could. That led to the 68th minute, as the Golden Eagles scored without a stoppage and a set piece for the first time in the match. It’s some nice work by Caceres and Lukas Sunesson to get the ball to Soto, who officially got credit for this goal, which was originally called an own goal but was later changed in the official scorebook.

At that point, you can kind of just run out the clock, but 23 minutes is a lot of time. Malberg did have to make one save related to a Milwaukee corner kick in the 70th minute, and eventually the horn blew to mark full time and give the Milwaukee Cup back to the Golden Eagles.

All four of Mirsberger’s goals on the season have been headers on corners, and that moved him into a three-way tie for the team lead in goals this season. Well, that and Pare’s second half goal as well, since that brought him to four on the year to match Lukas Sunesson’s total.

Marquette’s five goals in the match are the most that either side of The Milwaukee Cup has scored in this derby match since 2000. Mirsberger’s hat trick was the first by a Golden Eagles since C. Nortey pulled it off against Seton Hall in 2011. Caceres’ third assist of the match came on Soto’s goal, giving a Marquette player three helpers in a match for the first time since 2017 when Luka Prpa accomplished that feat against Creighton. The seven total goals in the match are the second most in Milwaukee Cup history, trailing only a 9-0 Milwaukee victory in 1977.

Up Next: Big East play! The Golden Eagles are the last team to get started as the other 10 squads paired off last weekend. That leaves MU in a tie with Georgetown for 10th place as four of the five matches went to a draw. Xavier will be MU’s first opponent, and the Golden Eagles will head down to Cincinnati on Saturday night for that one. First kick against the 6-0-2 Musketeers is set for 6pm Central time.