Marquette Settles For 1-1 Draw at Saint Louis

Sept. 10, 2016

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ST. LOUIS – Freshman midfielder Connor Alba netted his second goal of the season in the 67th minute to give the Marquette University men’s soccer team a brief lead, but a tough, gritty Saint Louis squad converted a penalty kick late in regulation en route to salvaging a draw at home on Saturday night.

The Golden Eagles were poised for their fourth straight win until an unfortunate turn of events gave the host Billikens an opportunity to tie with less than 4 minutes remaining in regulation. A debatable call was made in the penalty area and the referee pointed to the spot, awarding Elm Grove, Wisconsin native, Max Karcher, a penalty kick which he converted.

Both teams would trade scoring chances in the two 10-minute extra-time sessions before settling for the 1-1 draw.

“I don’t want to discredit Saint Louis at all, they are a very resilient team and they play a certain style,” Marquette head coach Louis Bennett said. “I thought that we showed some poise, balance and patience, which are all the things we look for. We scored a wonderful goal. I thought we were good for the win then. And there might have been some decisions that hurt our ability to win the game.

“I was proud of our guys for not giving any goals up in the run of play and stopping their very fast, powerful team,” Bennett added. “When we did get behind their defense, we did very well. They’re a very physical team who handles themselves a certain way. I was proud of the emotional control, the heart and tactical discipline of our team.”

MU goalkeeper Luis Barraza nearly earned his fifth career shutout before allowing the equalizer on the PK. However, he still made a lasting impact on the end result, stopping four shots, including a stunning diving save to his right on a header ticketed for the far post in the 101st minute to keep the game knotted up at a goal apiece.

In the final minute of the first extra-time session, Jan Maertins made a great run in front of goal and appeared to be dragged down by his jersey in the penalty area, but no call was made.

The Golden Eagles knew they were going to have their hands full going into a match-up against a scrappy defensive-laden squad who beat No. 5 Wake Forest earlier this season and currently ranked No. 28 in the most recent College Soccer News Top-30 poll, while receiving votes in the NSCAA rankings list.

“They squashed us in,” Bennett said after the game regarding Saint Louis’ defense. “At times they had five flat across the back. That was their strategy and it thwarted us. In some ways, it’s a compliment. That’s the way they played against (No. 8) North Carolina. That’s the way they played against (No. 5) Wake Forest. Those are some great teams and it’s a credit that they thought we were dangerous.

“We’ve gone on a four-game streak of scoring a goal and we’re on a four-game unbeaten streak, which, when you have a young team and they’re doing the right things, that’s affirmation that they are the right things,” Bennett added.

In the end, Marquette takes a hard-earned draw and looks ahead to a rivalry match-up against UW-Milwaukee at Valley Fields on Wednesday, Sept. 14.

Kickoff for the 44th Annual derby is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. and will air live on Time Warner Cable Sportschannel (Channel 32/1332 HD). The first 250 Marquette fans through the gates will receive free vuvuzelas.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Bennett said. “It doesn’t matter who’s in form, who’s not in form. When you play a derby game, it’s like a cup final. A lot of things go out the window. I always enjoy the derby game. I think it’s a great way for the soccer community to come down and support good, quality soccer.”

67’ | MU | Connor Alba (Danny Jarosz): Connor Alba received a pass from Danny Jarosz at the top of the 18-yard box, took a couple dribbles and fired a low-driving shot inside the right post to put Marquette ahead 1-0.

87’ | SLU | Max Karcher (Penalty kick): A Billiken was taken down in the box from behind and Karcher connected on the equalizer with less than 4 minutes remaining.

MARQUETTE – 1-Barraza, 2-Pothast, 4-Howell, 5-Jarosz, 6-Alba, M., 7-Seagrist, 9-Szczepanek, 11-Alba, 14-Prpa, 17-Maertins, 18-von Hofacker
SAINT LOUIS – 1-Otte, 2-Rivers-Hardware, 3-Karcher, 4-Richards, 6-Hein, 7-Saad, 12-Heider, 16-Murana, 17-Minors, 21-Brown, 23-Owens
OPPONENT: Milwaukee
LOCATION: Valley Fields | Milwaukee
DATE: Wednesday, September 14
TIME: 7:05 PM CT




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