I think Marquette men’s soccer grabbed hold of a huge favor on Saturday night as #7 Akron knocked in two goals, one on either end of the field, in a 1-1 draw between the two sides. Marquette is now 1-4-2 in Big East action, while the Zips move to 2-1-4 after recording their sixth overall draw on the season.
In the 12th minute, Jason Shokalook, the best scorer in the Big East this season made a superb second effort on a shot of his own that MU keeper Ludwig Malberg stopped but couldn’t keep track of. Shokalook used his head, literally, and knocked the ball in for a 1-0 lead.
That was the fourth shot of the match.
This was the seventh shot of the match, technically speaking, down on the other end of the field.
16:24 played, shots favoring Akron 5-1.
Marquette did actually manage to mount an attack for the remainder of the first half, doing a pretty good job pushing the issue and outshooting the Zips 5-2. From there, though.... whoooo. Akron outshot Marquette 13-1 in the second half and Malberg made four saves, including two in the final eight minutes to preserve the draw and the point in the Big East standings.
My math might be off, but I think that point was critical for Marquette. It didn’t clinch anything for them, but I think it keeps them alive for the eight team Big East tournament field. MU is currently tied with Villanova and DePaul for the lowest point total in the league with five, but they’re also just two points behind Seton Hall for the eighth and final spot in the field. If SHU loses to Providence AND Villanova draws with DePaul AND Butler loses or draws against Akron AND Marquette wins their finale, I believe that will make them the #8 seed.
Somehow, even though MU is just 1-5-3 in their last nine. Somehow, after the litany of weird-o-rama things that have happened to the Golden Eagles in league play, up to and including Akron giftwrapping them a draw here.
Up Next: Marquette wraps up the regular season next Saturday, and they’ll do it with a home game. They’ll be hosting #8 Georgetown, and first kick against the Hoyas is set for 1pm Central time. Georgetown went to a 1-1 draw at home against St. John’s on Saturday, leaving some mystery as to whether or not they will win the Eastern Division of the league heading into the finale. GU will host UNC Wilmington in a non-conference contest on Tuesday afternoon before they make their way to Milwaukee.