Marquette Attack Stifles Creighton, 4-3
Oct. 25, 2017
MILWAUKEE – The Golden Eagle offense was firing on all cylinders, while the defense stood held off a late Creighton rally, en route to a crucial 4-3 win and the program's 400th victory all-time Wednesday at Valley Fields.
Marquette (3-9-2, 3-3-1 BIG EAST) raced out to a 3-0 halftime advantage thanks to goals from Connor Alba, Manuel Cukaj and Grant Owens. Ruben Sanchez added the fourth tally in the 61st minute in what would prove to be the match-winner after Creighton (8-5-2, 2-3-2 BIG EAST) scored twice in the final 8 minutes of action.
Sophomore Luka Prpa tied the single-match record for assists with four in the win. The Wind Lake, Wis., native ran his season total to five assists to go along with one goal after notching 26 points (10 goals, six assists) in his freshman campaign.
Alba got the Golden Eagles off to a hot start with his second goal of the season in the fifth minute after Brody Kraussel and Prpa combined to set up the game’s first score.
Just 13 minutes later, Cukaj converted a textbook header for his first career goal off Prpa’s free kick from the short-corner position to make it 2-nil.
In the 33rd minute, Owens capitalized on a deflection from a Prpa cross to make it 3-0 going into halftime. It was a dream start for the Blue and Gold, who kept the ‘Jays off the scoreboard despite them putting up 18 shots, including seven on target in the opening stanza.
Sanchez tallied his first career goal to round out the scoring for Marquette in the 61st minute, running up on a loose ball that bounced back toward the top of the box and finishing the Prpa corner service inside the left post to make it 4-0.
Creighton made sure to have something to show for its 31 shots on the night as Noah Franke scored in the 63rd minute. Marios Lomis would add two scores in the final 8 minutes to make things interesting, but his second goal came with just 30 seconds remaining, leaving the ‘Jays too little time in search of the equalizer.
Redshirt freshman keeper Noah Heim, who also celebrated a birthday on Wednesday, collected his first collegiate win after making eight saves, including seven in the first half.
Marquette fired off 20 shots to Creighton’s 31, while the ‘Jays claimed an 11-10 edge in shots on goal. CU earned 13 corners to MU’s 13.
The three points gained in the BIG EAST standings improved the Golden Eagles’ tournament hopes and leapfrogged them past the ‘Jays into fifth place with 10 points. Butler leads the way with 18 points, followed by Georgetown (16), St. John’s (13), Xavier (12) then Marquette. Creighton fell from fifth to sixth place with the loss.
Marquette returns to Valley Fields on Saturday for Senior Night as it takes on league-leader Butler at 7:05 p.m. Central time.
18' | MU | Manuel Cukaj (Luka Prpa): Cukaj executed a textbook header from the short-corner position after foul allowed Prpa an optimal range free kick for the second goal.
33' | MU | Grant Owens (Luka Prpa): Prpa's cross deflected off a Creighton defender and kicked out to Owens, who finished it inside the near left post for the goal.
61' | MU | Ruben Sanchez (Luka Prpa): Prpa delivered a corner to the penalty area that deflected out toward the top of the box. Sanchez pounced and delivered his first career goal with a shot inside the left near post.
63' | CU | Noah Franke (Luke Haakenson): Header into the goal.
83' | CU | Marios Lomis (Luke Haakenson, Noah Franke): Caught Heim out of position and finished for the 'Jays second goal.
90' | CU | Mario Lomis (Joel Rydstrand): Headed in a short corner from Rydstrand.
Subs: 3-Alberts, 9-Szczepanek, 19-Atlija, 24-Palmer
Creighton: 1-Kluver, 4-Fohr, 5-Ward, 6-Rydstrand, 7-Lopez-Espin, 8-Polat, 9-Lomis, 12-Stauffer, 13-Franke, 15-Haakenson, 21-Gibson
Subs: 10-Koenig, 11-Macchione, 23-Ramlo
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