Things continue to turn towards the sour end of life for Marquette men’s soccer. In this case, it’s not that they lost 2-1 to Xavier on Saturday afternoon, dropping their Big East record to 1-3-0, it’s how it happened.
The first half was unremarkable with four combined shots — three for Marquette — and none of them turning into a save for either goalie. There were, however, 15 combined fouls in just 45 minutes, and 10 of those went against the Golden Eagles. In any case, the real problems for Marquette cropped up six minutes into the second half, when a Xavier attacker booted a ball up into the arm of MU defender Jai Hsieh-Bailey. This happened in the 18 yard box, penalty kick given, a VAR review didn’t reverse it, and ZOOP, 1-0 Xavier when Guilherme Vivaldini beat MU keeper Ludwig Malberg.
Marquette nearly picked up an equalizer in the 76th minute when Adrian Lara redirected a corner kick on frame, away from where keeper Jonny Mennell was, but a well-placed Xavier defender was present to stop the ball from going in. The equalizer finally came very late in the match, in the 85th minute, on this combo play from Brooklyn Merl and Nico Pendleton.
Diegoarmando Alvarado had a shot saved by Mennell in the 88th minute, and with the clock climbing past the 89 minute mark, Marquette had the ball deep in their end and a chance to try to build out of the back to fire off one last chance at Mennell on the other end.
Instead, Malberg played it to Lara, who was swarmed quickly by a defender, and Lara pushed it riiiiight to the waiting feet of XU leading goal scorer Jerome Jolly.
GOAL X! JEROME JOLLY FOR THE LEAD IN THE FINAL MINUTE! pic.twitter.com/T23Ha5m84v— Xavier Men's Soccer (@XavierMSOC) October 7, 2023
2-1 Xavier, 55 seconds left, but also that was the final score.
Up Next: This match marked the midway point of Marquette’s eight game Big East slate, and with four matches left to go including wrapping up the year with Akron and Georgetown, things are not looking super great for the Golden Eagles. More on that next time around, and that will be heading into Saturday’s match against Connecticut. That match will be in Storrs with a 6pm Central time start on FloFC. The Huskies are 6-5-0 on the year and 2-2-0 in league action after suffering a 3-0 defeat at Georgetown on Saturday. They’ll be playing Division 2 Assumption on Tuesday night to keep themselves busy between now and Saturday.