MU Concludes Preseason at Omaha

Aug. 20, 2016

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OMAHA, Neb. – The Marquette University men’s soccer team concluded its three-game exhibition season, losing in a shootout, 5-4, to the University of Nebraska-Omaha after a 1-1 draw in 90 minutes of regulation at Caniglia Field on Saturday evening.

Freshman midfielder Luka Prpa collected the game-tying goal in the 56th minute on an assist from Daniel Szczepanek after Omaha’s Mark Moulton scored the first goal of the match in the second minute.

"I think, big picture, it’s what you would want from a preseason game. It was a big crowd, very energetic," Marquette head coach Louis Bennett said. "We had a miscue on a long throw-in and they scored, so we had to make some adjustements."

The adjustments were made successfully as Omaha was held scoreless for the final 87-plus minutes of regulation.

Redshirt senior goalkeeper Mac Wheeler put forth a quality effort in net with a couple first-half saves, including one that came on an Omaha penalty kick in the 33rd minute that denied Elvir Iblsevic a chance to put the Mavericks ahead 2-0.

Prpa’s goal in the 56th evened the score that held through the end of regulation thanks to sophomore goalie Luis Barraza, who came on in relief of Wheeler in the second half as planned, and matched his teammate with two saves in 45 minutes of action.

"I’m really happy with the goalkeeper situation," Bennett said. "Both guys played very well. Mac made a good save on a penalty and Wicho came in and did a nice job in the second half. We have a real battle at that position."

The backline did an admirable job without senior captain and central defender John Pothast, who suffered a minor injury earlier in the week. Redshirt sophomore midfielder Martin Alba made his first appearance of the preseason after missing the last half of 2015 with an injury and played a solid 45 minutes.

Marquette held the advantage in shots, 9-7, while UNO earned the slight, 4-3, edge in shots on goal with a 9-2 margin in corner kicks. 

The Golden Eagles now look ahead to the regular season opener on Friday, Aug. 26, when they host Kentucky at Valley Fields at 7:05 p.m.




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