I need to explain how I experienced Marquette men’s soccer’s 3-1 win over UT-Rio Grande Valley on Friday night.
For easily explainable reasons, I went to the Al McGuire Center to watch #24 Marquette play #9 Pitt in volleyball. All due respect to the undefeated Golden Eagles down in the Valley, but they weren’t a ranked team playing another ranked team.
And then, during a stoppage in the volleyball match, I saw this tweet:
16’ | MU – 3 | UTRGV – 1 | UTRGV scores their first goal against the Golden Eagles.#WeAreMarquette— Marquette Soccer (@marquettesoccer) September 9, 2023
Which part of this is most dumbfounding to you: Marquette scoring three goals in less than 16 minutes or the two teams combining to score four goals in 16 minutes?
ANYWAY I obviously had to go figure out what happened, and as it turns out, the process of how Marquette went up 3-0 in the first place is almost as bonkers as the fact that they did it in the first 10 minutes of the match.
Check out this opening goal from Beto Soto!
This clip is going to be showed to youth soccer teams across the country to explain why the striker should be scooting around to hassle the defender and keeper when they’re knocking the ball back and forth.
Less than three minutes later, Soto scored again.
That’s a great play by Christian Marquez to collect the ball and realize that Soto was out in the middle (or maybe just throw it back into the middle to hope something good happened) and a great play by Soto to react quickly to go to the far post with it.
35 seconds after the restart, the referee declared that Karim Abdoul Pare was taken down unfairly in the box (yes, UTRGV kicked off and MU turned into an attack in 35 seconds) and awarded the Golden Eagles a penalty kick. Marquette turned to Brooklyn Merl, who had his goal streak to start the season broken in the Harvard match, and he calmly knocked it in for a 3-0 lead with the clock reading 8:52 elapsed.
All Marquette had to do was keep the car on the road from there on out. They did give up the goal to the Vaqueros, thus eliminating the chance at continuing Ludwig Malberg’s run of consecutive shutouts since the 3-2 win, but MU did a good job controlling things after that. Shots favored the Golden Eagles 13-5 in the second half, although Malberg did have to make four saves to keep the margin at two goals all the way to the final horn.
How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com and FloFC?
Up Next: It’s a pretty big one, as a ranked Wisconsin team comes to Valley Fields on Monday night for a 7pm kickoff. The Badgers are 3-1-1 on the year after losing at UIC last Monday and going to a scoreless draw at home against Mercer on Friday night even though they outshot their opponents 13-4 in that one.