I think it’s safe to say that Marquette‘s defense was the difference on Friday night in the Valley. The one goal of the game came by way of a penalty kick, and keeper Chandler Hallwood had to make six saves to keep South Florida scoreless as the Golden Eagles picked up a 1-0 victory. With the win, Marquette is now 2-1-0 on the year, with the only loss coming against #11 Tulsa.
The first half was a nice half of soccer, decent pace back and forth, plays on both ends. USF had the shot advantage, 6-5, while Marquette had the edge in corner kicks by the same margin. Saves? Two each, so you can easily say that things were even through 45 minutes.
Things stayed even-ish after halftime with Marquette outshooting USF 3-2 through the hour mark of the match. The whole thing turned when the Bulls were whistled for a handball in the box in the 65th minute. That gave Zyan Andrade a turn at the penalty spot, and he deftly put it in the net.
That gives the Brazilian three goals on the year already after scoring three goals total in 27 matches of his Marquette career before the 2022 campaign started.
As you’d expect, that propelled the Bulls into pushing the issue. The next five shots of the game all came by way of a South Florida foot, and Hallwood had to make four of his saves in this stretch. This is all in a little more than 11 minutes of action on the field. But he did make those saves, and it was still a 1-0 match as we passed into the 78th minute. Of note for Hallwood’s performance is that this was his season debut. Freshman Ludvig Malberg played every minute of MU’s first two matches of the season, and the announcing crew noted that Hallwood was working his way back from a wrist injury. If his saves are any indication, he’s ready to go full time.
That’s when a scuffle transpired leading to a yellow card on USF’s Brian Schaefer, and as noted by the announcing crew, teammate Oscar Resano was a force for good to bring things back under control. Then, after a foul committed by USF along the left sideline, the referee signaled Marquette free kick.... and then turned, walked up to Resano, pulled the yellow card, and then showed the red as well. Whatever Resano was doing, it was off camera so I don’t know what it was.... but it had to be pretty egregious because it happened in what amounts to a stoppage in play as MU set up for the free kick. When the camera moved to catch Resano, there wasn’t a Marquette player within yards and yards of him, so I have to guess that it was for language towards the official, but that’s just a guess.
The quiet highlight of it? The referee allowing MU captain Lukas Sunesson to act as enforcer to start escorting Resano off the field.
There would be just three more shots in the match as Marquette protected their lead for the final 12 minutes and the Bulls attempted to mount a comeback while down a man. The visitors did end up with the shot advantage, getting two in the final five minutes including one right before the horn, but both missed high.
Up Next: Marquette will get a week off to rest and rejuvenate before their next contest. They’ll have one more home date in this four match stretch to start the season, and that will be a Friday night encounter with Michigan Wolverines on September 9th. The Wolverines are 1-2-0 this season, but they’ll host Bowling Green on Monday before coming to Milwaukee.