MU's Upset Bid Falls Short at No. 6 Creighton
Oct. 15, 2016
OMAHA, Neb. - It was a gritty effort from the Marquette University men's soccer team, but that effort fell just short at No. 6-ranked Creighton on Saturday as Ricardo Perez's brace was enough to give the Bluejays a 2-1 BIG EAST win after his deflected free kick in the 80th minute provided the match-winner and spoiled the Golden Eagles' upset bid on the road.
Marquette freshman Jan Maertins scored his third goal of the season in the 72nd minute that leveled the match at 1-1. Freshman Luka Prpa found space at the top of the penalty area and lofted a shot over the head of the Creighton keeper, Alex Kapp, and Maertins followed the play with a tap-in at the goal line.
After being shutout on the scoreboard and outshot 9-0 in the first half, the Golden Eagles (3-5-4, 0-3-2 BIG EAST) outshot the `Jays (8-2-3, 4-0-1 BIG EAST), 8-3, in the final 45 minutes and controlled much of the second half. Luis Barraza made dazzling save after dazzling save and totaled six stops on the night in taking the hard-luck defeat.
"It was a game of two halves," Marquette head coach Louis Bennett said. "In the first half, we couldn't solve all the problems and all the challenges that Creighton threw at us. Going into the locker room we had to make some tactical and personnel changes. We needed to change the tempo and point of attack and we ended up creating three really good chances and converted on one.
"As a lot of our season has gone, in dominating the second half, we lost focus for a very short period of time and it cause a foul that led to the free kick and goal."
The free kick by Perez in the 80th minute was the one that got away. Barraza was positioned perfectly until it took an unfortunate bounce off a Marquette defender and ricocheted inside the right post. The first goal by Perez was another fortunate break for the 'Jays as Barraza's diving save carried the ball to the top of the penalty area, which Perez took off a volley and blasted inside the left post.
"This team has a lot of heart and determination," Bennett said. "I thought, today, we created chances that were good enough to score. We have to deal with the reality, but we also have to make sure we pull some of the positivity from this."
Marquette will return to action on Saturday, Oct. 22 when it welcomes Xavier to Valley Fields for another hugely important BIG EAST tilt and the program's annual Alumni Day event. Kickoff is slated for 7:05 p.m.
72' | MU | Jan Maertins (Luka Prpa): Luka Prpa lofted one over the keeper from just inside the top of the penalty area, but it didn't have enough pace to get across the goal line. Trailing the play was Maertins, who tapped it home for his third goal of the season.
81' | CU | Ricardo Perez (unassisted): Low driving free kick through the wall by Perez is deflected by Sawaf and inside the right post for the go-ahead score.
Creighton: 1-Kapp, 2-Prescott, 3-LaGro, 6-Rydstrand, 7-Lopez-Espin, 9-Lennon, 10-Perez, 11-Rumpler, 12-Stauffer, 13-Franke, 15-Haakenson
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