Kentucky Upends Marquette in Season Opener

Aug. 26, 2016

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MILWAUKEE - The Marquette University men's soccer team opened the 2016 campaign with a 4-0 loss to visiting Kentucky at Valley Fields on Friday night. A boisterous crowd of 1,378 were in attendance for the home opener.

Despite a strong effort by the Golden Eagles in the first half, in which they held the obvious edge in possession, the Wildcats were able to steal the advantage after a pair of impressive tallies by Napo Matsoso late in the opening stanza. His goal in the 43rd minute got UK on the board before a 45th minute goal provided enough momentum for UK heading into halftime.

Marquette goalkeeper Luis Barraza made two saves early on, but there was little he could do on either of Matsoso's first-half strikes.

"They have a couple of special players and he was kept at bay for about 42 minutes, but we didn't cross our t's or dot our i's and he came inside and scored a great goal," Marquette head coach Louis Bennett said. "We thought we might be able to get one back, but we may have been a bit overzealous and the second one took the wind out of our sails."

The first goal by Matsoso came on a low line drive from about 20 yards out as he shot across his body and into the lower left corner of the net. The second came on an impressive chance in which he created space and blasted a shot through traffic that curled into the right side netting.

The Wildcats added a pair of goals in the second half, including one on a quality chance off a free kick in the 55th minute.

"The third goal was very, very important as it put some real distance between them and us," Bennett said. "Credit to our guys though that the distance got smaller and smaller. The last goal was our attempt to chase the game and get a goal. We pulled one guy out on the back and put one up front which left them a breakaway."

The Golden Eagles featured four newcomers in the starting lineup, including three freshmen (Luka Prpa, Patrick Seagrist, Jan Maertins) and sophomore Diego Núñez, while three additional first-years (Connor Alba, Anton von Hofacker, Zacharias Andreou) made their debuts as substitutes.

"You're going to want to talk about us being young and inexperienced all year, but I want to avoid doing that," Bennett told reporters after the match. "I thought for 35 minutes in the first half, we were good enough to stop them from any clear cut chances and we had a couple nice chances ourselves."

Marquette features a squad of 13 newcomers and only five upperclassmen, making it one of the youngest teams in the country. 

In the contest, shots were about even as Kentucky earned 15 to Marquette's 14. Prpa, along with Daniel Szczepanek and Toby Howell led the Golden Eagles with three shots apiece, while redshirt senior captain John Pothast added a pair of shots as well. MU was unable to take advantage of 11 corner kicks to Kentucky's five.

MU will be back in action on Monday, Aug. 29, to play host to Northern Illinois at Valley Fields. It marks the first time since 2008 that the Golden Eagles stay home for their first two regular season contest. Kick off is set for 7:05 p.m.

43' | UK | Napo Matsoso (Kevin Barajas): Matsoso nets in low driving shot from 20 yards out. Assist from Kevin Barajas.

45' | UK | Napo Matsoso (unassisted): Matsoso with an impressive goal inside the right post from 22 yards out.

55' | UK | Alex Bumpus (Connor Probert): Goal scored from six yards out by Bumpus off a free kick from Probert.

89' | UK | Xahne Reid (Napo Matsoso): Reid finds the net from 10 yards out off a counterattack. Assist by Napo Matsoso.

MARQUETTE - 1-Barraza, 2-Pothast, 3-Alberts, 5-Jarosz, 6-Alba, M., 7-Seagrist, 9-Szczepanek, 14-Prpa, 15-Sanchez, 17-Maertins, 23-Núñez
KENTUCKY - 1-Ford, 2-Bumpus, 3-Reyman, 7-Matasoso, 8-Sime, 10-Agerstrom, 15-Barajas, 17-Probert, 22-Hummel, 28-Stojkovic
OPPONENT: Northern Illinois
LOCATION: Valley Fields | Milwaukee, Wis.
DATE: Monday, August 29
TIME: 7:05 PM CT




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