No. 10/7 Marquette Grinds Out 2-0 Victory at Providence
Sept. 29, 2012
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Central defenders John Pothast and Axel Sjoberg scored second-half goals Saturday to lift No. 10/7 Marquette (10-0-0, 2-0-0 BIG EAST) to a 2-0 win over Providence (2-6-1, 0-2-0) in the BIG EAST division opener, while redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Charlie Lyon earned his sixth shutout of the season.
"We've come in to Providence for the second time in two years and again beat them by two goals," said head coach Louis Bennett. "That's not easy to do; I'm proud of our guys for that. I thought the two giants today were definitely Charlie Lyon and John Pothast. I thought Pothast came of age today, and Lyon was phenomonal. He made two unbelievable stops and I was impressed with his organization. What Charlie did today, he really earned the right to say that this was a shutout. If he wasn't in goal, I don't know if we would've had that."
After a fairly sedentary first half, Saturday's Blue Division match-up at Glay Field turned into more of a donnybrook than a soccer game as both sides had trouble adjusting to a wet and slow playing surface due to heavy rainfall in the area the day prior. What the teams' couldn't do tactically was made up with physical play.
Frustration eventually boiled over in the second half. A yellow card on the Friars' Wilder Arboleda after a hard tackle in the middle of the field on MU's Sebastian Jansson ultimately led to the opening goal.
Junior Bryan Ciesiulka took the ensuing free kick from about 40 yards out. It was flicked to the back post by Sjoberg who won the header, and John Pothast was there to slot it between the goalkeeper and the right post to give MU a 1-0 lead in the 59th minute.
Sjoberg got involved on another set piece at the 71:09 mark when the Golden Eagles grabbed a 2-0 advantage. The 6-foot-7 Swede headed a corner kick taken by junior left back Paul Dillon that beat Providence goalkeeper Keasel Broome, who got a hand on the ball. It was Dillon's team-leading fifth assist of the campaign.
Providence would not go away, however, leading to more work between the posts for Lyon, who faced a total of 17 shots and made a career high nine saves. The Friars also hit the post twice down the stretch and continued applying pressure on the attack until a red card was given to Phil Towler in the 88th minute that essentially killed the tenacity.
"The best thing to come out of this, apart from the 2-0 win, was the fact that we can be resilient and adapt when the environment isn't conducive to how we want to play," said Bennett. "Providence is a really difficult place to do that. At times it looke like a free-for-all and our guys kept their head and didn't give any silly fouls away."
Marquette has now won 18 of its last 22 matches and has won 11 consecutive regular-season games going back to a 3-0 loss at then No. 5/2-ranked Connecticut on Oct. 26, 2011.
That sets the stage for perhaps the biggest game of the year in NCAA Division I men's soccer next weekend when the undefeated Golden Eagles play host to No. 2/2 UConn (8-0-1, 1-0-0 BIG EAST) at Valley Fields on Saturday, Oct. 6. Kickoff against the Huskies is set for 7:05 p.m. Central time. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling the MU ticket office at (414) 288-GOMU.
Marquette Starters:Lyon (GK), Dillon, Sjoberg, Ciesiulka, Selvaggi, Huftalin, Lysak, E. Pothast, Jansson, Hermsen, J. Pothast (Subs: Robb, Islami, Hoover)