Men's Soccer Falls in Second Half to No. 9 UC Irvine, 1-0

Sept. 13, 2009

NCAA Box Score (html)  |  NCAA Box Score (PDF)

MILWAUKEE - The Marquette men's soccer team fell to nationally ranked UC Irvine, 1-0, on the final day of Marquette Invitational action at Valley Fields Sunday afternoon.

"A loss is a loss," said Marquette head coach Louis Bennett. "I still feel the same dagger for losing, but did we perform better? Yes. We created some opportunities, the keeper made some saves, they blocked a couple of shots -- It was a great college game."

UC Irvine junior Spencer Thompson tallied the lone goal of the afternoon at the 56:33 mark in the second half. Senior Carlos Aguilar fed Thomas from the middle, where the forward settled the ball on the left side of the box, beat a Marquette defender, and slotted the ball past goalkeeper Keenan Flynn to the near post. The goal was one of Thomas' seven shots of the afternoon, five of which were on frame.

Play for much of the game was even, as the Anteaters outshot head coach Louis Bennett's squad, 19-14. UC Irvine led in corner kicks, 8-7.

Sophomore Calum Mallace almost tallied an early goal for the Golden Eagles in the seventh minute, when a shot from 35 yards out on the left side forced sophomore Andrew Fontein to make a diving save and knock the ball away for an MU corner kick. The shot on goal was one of Mallace's three of the game. His six total shots led Marquette as he and teammate Michael Greene were named to the 11-person all-tournament team.

The Anteaters nearly got on the board in the closing minutes of the first half when freshman Jonathan Prieto's shot ricocheted off the crossbar and rebounded to classmate Zach Olow, whose header was saved by Flynn.

Flynn, a junior who transferred from St. Mary's (Calif.) prior to the 2008 season, made his first career regular season start in net for the Golden Eagles. He allowed one goal in 90 minutes while tallying seven saves.

Following halftime, Marquette had the first opportunity to get on the board, as senior Tom Lynn drew a foul outside of the box in the offensive third. Mallace took the resulting direct kick in the 55th minute, and placed a shot on goal from 35 yards out.

After UC Irvine's goal in the 57th minute, the Anteaters outshot MU 8-5. Flynn came up big for Marquette in the 66th minute when Irvine's Thompson received the ball on the endline inside the box and squared off against Flynn, who deflected the shot for a corner kick.

A Marquette direct kick in the 75th minute led to a UCI counterattack, as junior Jorge Reyes collected the deflection off the MU kick, carried the ball up the middle and found Aguilar on the left side of the box, whose shot deflected off of junior Matt Stummer.

The Golden Eagles had their final opportunity to even the score in the 89th minute when a foul at the top of the box and subsequent yellow card to sophomore Joel Bagby resulted in a Marquette direct kick. Mallace drilled the ball into the wall, but couldn't get it through to the net.

"Our youngsters who we are giving opportunity to to play up front have got to get their wings and start to fly now," said Bennett. "We're going to win with this team, and I think our strikers are going to score goals. We have to be dilligent with the way we approach our finishing."

Fontein collected four saves for the Anteaters, who finished third in the Marquette Invitational. Buffalo finished in second place, with as many points as UCI, but a better goal differential. Bennett's squad finished in fourth place in the second annual event.

The Golden Eagles travel to USF and DePaul before returning home for four straight matches at Valley Fields. The next home game will be on Sept. 25 against Cincinnati at 7:05 p.m.

2009 Marquette Invitational All-Tournament Team
Amani Walker, UC Irvine
Carlos Aguilar, UC Irvine
Irving Garcia, UC Irvine
Spencer Thompson, UC Irvine
Antonio Aguilar, DePaul
Steffen Vroom, DePaul
Patrick Hopkins, DePaul
Calum Mallace, Marquette
Michael Greene, Marquette

Mike Unwin, Buffalo
GK - Nick Fetterman, Buffalo

Most Valuable Player - Steffen Vroom, DePaul




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