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Marquette Men’s Soccer Preview: vs DePaul

The Golden Eagles look for a last gasp of success in a season that’s sliding towards a conclusion.

Big East Basketball Tournament - Quarterfinals Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Hey, remember when Marquette men’s soccer was 6-0-0 on the year?

Yeah. They’re 1-5-1 since.

It’s actually worse than that. With three matches left in the Big East calendar, Marquette stands with 10 of the other 11 teams in the league holding more points than them. Eight teams qualify for the conference tournament: The two division winners and then the next six best point totals.

Marquette is currently two points away from being two points away from being in a tie for the eighth and final Big East tournament berth.

GOOD NEWS: Three matches left to play = nine possible points if Marquette wins all three.

BAD NEWS: Saturday’s match is against Akron, who is 9-0-5 on the year and not even in first place in the Midwest Division because they keep going to draws.

WORSE NEWS: The regular season finale is against Georgetown, who is 8-2-1 on the year.

This is why I’m not doing a Wednesday/Saturday combo preview. Whatever remains of Marquette’s chances of qualifying for the conference tournament is completely relying on their ability to beat DePaul on Wednesday night.

The upside to that is that DePaul is the one team in the Big East with fewer league standings points than the Golden Eagles….

Big East Match #6: vs DePaul Blue Demons (2-7-3, 0-4-1 Big East)

Date: Wednesday, October 18, 2023
Time: 7:05pm Central
Location: Valley Fields, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Streaming: FloFC
Live Stats: Sidearm Stats
Twitter Updates: @MarquetteSoccer

Marquette is 30-7-1 all time against DePaul. All of the Blue Demons’ victories in the series have come since 2004, and it was a back-and-forth series through 2017 as the meetings got sparse once both clubs moved to the Big East. Last year’s 1-0 DePaul win on a late penalty kick in Chicago snapped a five match winning streak by the Golden Eagles.

While the Blue Demons do have that goose egg in the win column in Big East play, they’re not riding that long of a winless streak overall. That’s because they picked up a 3-1 win over Illinois-Chicago back on October 4th. That means DePaul is 1-5-1 in their last seven matches after going to a draw with Butler in their most recent outing. Oh, by the way? UIC was apparently ranked #25 in the country at the time of that match. Yes, DePaul has two wins on the year, and one of them was against a UIC team that had just dropped down from being ranked #20 in the country, and no, the match wasn’t particularly close either, even though DePaul got outshot 28-12. That was mostly because they were up 2-1 at the half, I suspect.

DePaul has just 10 goals as a team this season, giving them a -13 goal differential. Noah Hernandez is the only Blue Demons player with more than one goal, and he has two….. both of which were against UIC…… and Hernandez didn’t play against Butler last time out. Marek Gonda would be the next most dangerous offensive threat on the roster with three assists this season… but he had two of his helpers against UIC. Gonda’s lone goal on the season was DePaul’s end of the 1-1 draw with the Bulldogs.

Gandhi Cruz is doing the best he can in net for DePaul. He’s stopping just over 75% of shots on goal, but DePaul gives up more than 20 shots per game on average. More than 38% of those end up on frame, so while Cruz has a respectable save percentage, there’s just too many shots headed his way, and so his goals-against average is waaaaaaay up there at 1.92 per 90 minutes.