Full transparency here for you: I did not attend the Marquette/DePaul men’s soccer match in person, and it was not because of the rainy weather. I also did not turn on the FloFC streaming broadcast when the match started. That was because I was at Fiserv Forum for the men’s basketball practice. I had no idea what was going on with the men’s soccer game until I got a message from Friend Of The Show Matt DeMarinis from White & Blue Review, and this is an exact quote:
“Is Marquette men’s soccer ok?
So I pulled up the live stats.
Here’s what I saw.
DePaul was up 3-0 in the 25th minute or so. Just for curiosity’s sake, I clicked over to team stats. Yep, the Blue Demons scored on their first three shots of the match.
Here they are:
Couldn't have drawn it up better. pic.twitter.com/yvMYq0oyH5— DePaul Men's Soccer (@DePaulMSOC) October 19, 2023
That is, in order, Noeh Hernandez on the penalty kick, Liam Mullins on assists from Hernandez and Ethan Gordon, and Mullins again on an assist from Christian Baumgartner.
I replied to Matt with the following: I dare DePaul to not shoot again.
Think about it: You’re up 3-0 in the 22nd minute, what’s the point of shooting again, at least not until Marquette scores a goal themselves?
I tuned back out, you can understand why.
I checked the score again while I was waiting in line to pay my $6 for parking at Fiserv. 3-1 Marquette at halftime on this goal from Abdoul Karim Pare in the 41st minute. DePaul had three shots at halftime, which makes all the sense in the world to me. Like I said, why bother, the lone MU goal came late.
I checked again when I got home. 3-2 DePaul, after Pare scored this goal in the 56th minute.
It’s worth noting that when I looked at the live stats, it was somewhere in the 70s in terms of minutes played. I said, okay fine, I’m home now, I’ll turn on the final 15 or whatever minutes to see if Marquette can do the stupid thing. Hey, how many shots does DePaul have, while I wait for FloSports to boot up on my TV?
Three. 25-plus minutes played in the second half, DePaul’s just not trying to shoot, even though the margin is now just one goal.
FloFC finishes the pre-streaming ad roll, and I catch the very end of the replay of this:
What an awful goal for DePaul to give up. They could have done literally nothing on the free kick defense, literally just standing there would have been a better option, but nope, and now it’s tied.
You can see the scoreboard in the highlight, by the way. 20 shots for Marquette, the goal is #21, and — you guessed it — three shots for DePaul.
I watched the final 13 minutes of this match.
If the previous 50-ish minutes were like this 13 minutes, then DePaul nearly completely refused to pursue the ball over midfield for over an hour. I get doing that through halftime. But after that, after you have a chance to talk it over in the locker room, you do nothing that results in a shot for the entire second half? That’s what happened, by the way. DePaul finished the match with three shots. They never truly challenged MU keeper Ludwig Malberg, up to and including the PBP man wondering out loud if Malberg was getting lonely on his end of the field when he came 20 yards out of the box to propel the ball back into MU’s offensive end for another chance at finding a winner.
The really weird part is DePaul’s refusal to try as the rain picked up in the Valley. I dunno man, make something stupid happen and get three points. Flail a shot at the net, maybe Malberg loses his footing on the wet grass and and it goes in and you win. Meanwhile, the grass under the feet of DePaul keeper Gandhi Cruz was absolutely obliterated as he made NINE SAVES in the match to ultimately preserve the draw, with three coming in the final eight minutes and two in the final three.
What an utterly stupid match.
Up Next: Marquette is mathematically still alive for the Big East tournament after that nonsense, but they stand in a tie two points behind the eighth and final tournament berth. In order to change that, they’re going to need to find at least one win in the final two matches of the regular season. First up: A visit to #7 Akron on Saturday night with the Zips coming off their first loss of the entire season, a 3-2 defeat on the road against Creighton. First kick in Ohio is set for 6pm Central. After that? #8 Georgetown in the Valley on October 28th to end the regular season.