MU Blanks Gonzaga for First Victory of Season
Sept. 5, 2014
MILWAUKEE -- In its first home match of the season, the Marquette University men's soccer team came out victorious Friday night, defeating Gonzaga 2-0 at Valley Fields.
On the backs of redshirt freshmen Alex McBride and Daniel Szczepanek, MU secured its first victory of the 2014 campaign. Both McBride and Szczepanek scored their first career goals, bookending the first half of the match, which was the first of two Milwaukee Panther Invitational matches for MU.
"When we create chances, multiple people can score goals," said head coach Louis Bennett, whose squad had a season-high 18 shots in the contest. "The pressure we put on them gave us more set pieces and I think the guys also took really good care of their chances tonight."
A light rain amongst sunny skies fell throughout most of the match as the Golden Eagles fired off six shots on goal. The MU defense held Gonzaga to just two shots on goal from eight shots total for Charlie Lyon's first clean sheet of the season.
On the second of two early corner kicks for MU, McBride hit a one-timer volley off a deflection from the top of the 18-yard box past Gonzaga goalkeeper Chris Lowrimore. The goal was assisted by both Louis Bennett II (off the corner kick) and John Pothast (from the redirect) in the sixth minute.
Gonzaga and MU went back and forth with corner kicks throughout the first half following the McBride goal, but nothing more reached the back of the net. Still, more scoring chances came aplenty for Marquette.
Off a cross from the left side, a shot by sophomore Coco Navarro was sent hard to the net from point blank, but went right into the chest of Lowrimore in the 24th minute.
A few minutes later, McBride fired another volleyed after settling it with his chest that went just wide left.
Before the first half horn sounded, MU would eventually find the back of the net again.
Coming off a through ball from midfield, Daniel Szczepanek got nicked by a charging Lowrimore as he shot it from 23 yards out, but was still able to put the ball, and the game, away in the 43rd minute.
Marquette dominated possession time in the first half, firing 13 shots to Gonzaga's four.
After not much action of note in the second half, Senior CLASS Award candidate Charlie Lyon showed why he was the BIG EAST Co-Goalkeeper of the Year in 2013.
After a flurry of passes in the 73rd minute, Gonzaga forward Conner Bevans found himself all alone with just Lyon to get past on the left side of the box. Lyon left his line, charged the ball and made a sliding save by blocking the ball with his outstretched arms as his body slid past Bevans.
A crowd of nearly 1,000 fans came out for the 2014 home opener, with the student section filled to capacity.
The Golden Eagles will look to secure a Panther Invitational victory when MU hosts Oregon State at noon on Sunday, Sept. 7 at Valley Fields.
Marquette Starters: Lyon; Jansson, Sjoberg, Pothast, Hermsen; Wahl, McBride, Bennett II; Selvaggi, Nortey, Navarro; Subs: Parianos, Szczepanek, Taylor, Alberts
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