The release of preseason polls is always one of the stops on the way to the official start of any college sports season, and college soccer is no different. United Soccer Coaches fired off their preseason polls for both men’s and women’s soccer on August 7th to help guide us down the road to the start of both of those seasons.
As you can tell from the fact that you’re seeing this story brand new on August 12th, neither of Marquette‘s soccer teams are ranked to start off the 2018 campaigns. Neither of those things are a surprise, by the way, as women’s soccer missed the NCAA tournament in 2017 and men’s soccer won just three matches.
While neither team will start the season with digits next to their name this season, they’re both going to get their fair share of shots at quality opponents as the season goes on. Men’s soccer is going to get the heavier end of the stick, as they’ll face two top 25 teams in non-conference action, two top 15 teams in league play, and two more Big East foes who earned votes but aren’t ranked. Things get going in the fifth game of the season, when the Golden Eagles will visit #21 Michigan. After two league contests and the yearly Milwaukee Cup game, MU will host #12 Wisconsin at Valley Fields just three days before hosting #13 Georgetown as well. The back half of the Big East schedule could be very trying for Marquette, as they will host Xavier (three points in the balloting) and visit both Creighton (four points) and #9 Butler in a nine day stretch. If the Jays and the X-Men live up to their potential this season, the Golden Eagles could find themselves in desperate search of points in order to secure a top six spot and a berth in the Big East tournament.
Women’s soccer’s season has their difficulty tilted towards the non-conference portion of the schedule, but they’re only looking at playing three preseason top 25 teams. However, two of them are in the top six and both of those games will be on the road. Those come at the end of August and beginning of September when MU travels down to Durham to play both #3 Duke and #6 North Carolina at the Blue Devils’ facility as part of the Duke Nike Classic. Before that, though, Marquette will host both Wisconsin (three points) and Milwaukee (two points), which will in theory help ramp up the competition level before the Golden Eagles head east. Four days after returning from Tobacco Road, MU will host Colorado (17 points) at Valley Fields, giving them four straight opponents earning votes and five opponents in six matches. Big East action should be relatively quiet, although Butler (one point) kicks things off on September 23rd and the yearly tussle with Georgetown (#22) is always an important one on the docket. Both of those conference matches are at home, which should give the Golden Eagles a little bit of an edge.
The women’s team kicks off the 2018 campaign this coming Thursday with a road trip to play Cal Poly, with first kick scheduled for 9pm Central time. Louis Bennett and the men’s squad will get started at 4pm on August 26 with a home date against Valparaiso.