MU Draws with St. John's in BIG EAST Opener

Sept. 17, 2016

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MILWAUKEE - Despite a combined 32 shots between both sides, the Marquette University men's soccer team and visiting St. John's played to a scoreless draw in the BIG EAST Conference opener at Valley Fields on Saturday night. It was the second straight scoreless meeting between the teams.

It was also the third straight draw for the Golden Eagles (3-1-3, 0-0-1 BIG EAST) following even results with Saint Louis (1-1) and Milwaukee (3-3) previously. Nevertheless, Marquette runs its unbeaten mark to six straight matches on the year and eight consecutive in BIG EAST openers since 2009, going 4-0-4 during that span. It's also a welcomed point in the league standings.

"This is real soccer now. This is the Big East and I love our league," Marquette head coach Louis Bennett said. "Our league is tough, but it's also stylish. We'll have a different set of challenges with Villanova coming into town. We're going to do that with a point, though, and at the end of the season, those points are going to be really important. 

"If we could've done a little better and gotten three, that would've been nice," Bennett added. "We needed some seasoning and we needed some toughening and I think that's what we got.

Marquette was led with five shots each by redshirt junior Daniel Szczepanek and freshman Luka Prpa. Sophomore goalkeeper Luis Barraza made seven saves in preserving his fifth career shutout. His counterpart, Andrew Withers, made three saves in a clean sheet.

It was the second shutout of the season for MU, which had four all of last season.

"I thought that Wicho did a great job, as well as, John Pothast and Danny Jarosz in the middle," Bennett said. "We started to see the maturity and experience they have and I thought they played very well. I also thought Patrick Seagrist did a nice job on the left side."

St. John's (3-1-2, 0-0-1 BIG EAST) was led offensively by Harry Cooksley, who registered six shots, including four on target. Both sides used just three substitutions in the 110-minute affair. 

"Even in a 0-0 tie, I think we showed we have some big hearts and some exceptional players. And for the fan base, I think it's been fun to watch, it's been fun for us fun to play, and it's definitely been fun to coach these guys."

The Golden Eagles remain home to play host to Villanova in another BIG EAST showdown at Valley Fields next Saturday, Sept. 24. Kickoff is slated for 7:05 p.m.


MARQUETTE - 1-Barraza, 2-Pothast, 4-Howell, 5-Jarosz, 7-Seagrist, 9-Szczepanek, 11-Alba, 14-Prpa, 15-Sanchez, 17-Maertins, 22-Fletcher

ST. JOHN'S - 1-Wither, 4-Nilsson, 5-Johnston, 10-Benco, 14-Rivas, 17-Shankle, 18-Prosuk, 20-Torriani, 22-Mickoski, 24-Tchoukriel, 31-Lafortune

OPPONENT: Villanova
LOCATION: Valley Fields | Milwaukee
DATE: Saturday, September 24
TIME: 7:05 PM CT




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