Oct. 24, 2015
Box Score | Box Score (PDF)
CINCINNATI -- Despite a spirited effort at both ends of the pitch by the Marquette University men's soccer team, host Xavier University escaped with a narrow 1-0 result on Matt Vasquenza's game winner in the 95th minute at the XU Soccer Complex Saturday evening, Oct. 24.
The Golden Eagles (5-7-2, 1-4-1 BIG EAST) doubled up the Musketeers (9-4-1, 3-2-1 BIG EAST) with six shots on goal in the match, while also earning the advantage in corner kicks, 9-6.
“It’s a challenging place to play and they are a challenging team to play against,” head coach Louis Bennett said. “It’s a narrow, tight field and they play a certain way. We kenw it was going to be a tough game. I thought we stuck to the game plan and had chances, but we didn’t take full advantage of the ones we had.”
Redshirt senior Kelmend Islami paced MU offensively with four shots, including two on target, but his efforts and that of the rest of his teammates were overmatched by the play of Dallas Jaye, who made six saves en route to picking up his sixth shutout of the season in net for the Musketeers.
Vasquenza’s game-winner came 5 minutes into the first overtime session on a difficult angle from the left edge of the 6-yard box. It was his fourth goal of the season and allowed Xavier to maintain pace in the fourth position in the BIG EAST standings.
“I thought Wicho (Luis Barraza) had two really nice plays in the first half and then they created something out of nothing to finish the game,” Bennett said.
Barraza made two saves in the match, but his biggest contributions may have been on aggressive plays out of goal that squandered any dangerous threat from the opposition. The freshman maintained his composure and made two sliding plays away from goal in the first half and then denied Xavier another chance in the 74th minute on a breakaway attempt.
“When it comes to breakaways against Wicho, I don’t expect the other team to score,” Bennett said. “It’s not normal for a freshman to make those plays, but he’s done particularly well all season in those situations.”
Entering the match just three points behind Xavier, Marquette remains in ninth place with the loss, but only three points out of a tie for sixth place with Providence (6-5-1, 2-3-0 BIG EAST), Villanova (7-6-0, 2-3-0 BIG EAST) and DePaul (3-11-0, 2-3-0 BIG EAST).
“As crazy as the way things are going now, we’re still fighting for a shot at the tournament,” Bennett said. “Part of our job now as a coaching staff is to file it away and move on. Our postseason hopes are still alive we have to move on in a positive way.”
The Golden Eagles will now look ahead to a mid-week match-up against fifth-place Providence (6-5-1, 2-3-0 BIG EAST) at home on Wednesday, Oct. 28. Kickoff at Valley Fields is set for 7:05 p.m. Central time.
“Everyone is chasing points and Providence is no difference,” Bennett said. They are well-organized with players that had experience in the final four last year. They have had to play freshmen like us and have gotten mixed results. For both of us, it’s a must-win situation. We have to prepare like we do and make sure there’s no surprises.”
95' | XU | Matt Vasquenza (Matt Vance) | Vasquenza dribbled down along left edge of the 6 and fired from a narrow angle nearing the end line to sneak one past Barraza, who had the near post guarded tightly, for the game winner.
KEY SAVES AND PLAYS
24' | Kelmend Islami hits the right post and MU begins to increase pressure in the attacking third.
34' | Kelmend Islami with another shot on frame, but Dallas Jaye there to make the stop.
38' | Golden Eagles lock it in the box, but can't break the scoreless tie despite Louis Bennett and Kelmend Islami earning chances, but Xavier counters and Luis Barraza makes a big save on a shot from Jalen Brown.
58' | Kelmend Islami with a nice move to the left of the goal, but his shot is saved by Dallas Jaye (6 saves).
65' | XU's Matt Vasquenza with a left-footed strike that goes just over goal thanks to great positioning by MU's John Pothast in the defending third.
93' | Louis Bennett II tries to bend a free kick into the upper right corner of the goal, but his shot goes wide.
MARQUETTE -- 1- Luis Barraza, 2- John Pothast, 3- Jack Alberts, 7- Kelmend Islami, 9- David Selvaggi, 10- C. Nortey, 12- Alex McBride, 15- Ruben Sanchez, 17- Adam Hermsen, 18- Ben Tweedie, 19- Louis Bennett II
XAVIER -- 30- Jaye, 2- Grant, 5- C. Brown, 6- J. Brown, 8- Moore, 9- Pratzner, 13- Andriot, 16- Nance, 18- Martin, 20- Vasquenza, 21- Osman
COMING UP NEXT
LOCATION: Valley Fields | Milwaukee
DATE: Wednesday, Oct. 28
TIME: 7:05 PM CT