Prpa Scores His Ninth, But MU Falls at Providence, 2-1

Oct. 26, 2016

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Freshman Luka Prpa scored his third goal in the past two games, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a Providence squad celebrating Senior Night and the Marquette University men’s soccer team fell, 2-1, at Chapey Field Wednesday night.

Prpa, who is coming off a BIG EAST Freshman of the Week award and a pair of National Team of the Week honors, tallied his ninth of the season on an assist from Daniel Szczepanek with 12 minutes remaining in regulation. He now has at least a point in four straight matches and increases his season total to a team-leading 24 points.

"He’s one of the best freshmen in the country," Marquette head coach Louis Bennett said. "He has a unique style and a unique way of doing things and it fits in well into our system. He’s a classic example of finding the right team and right system and the way we play suits him."

The Golden Eagles (4-6-4, 1-4-2 BIG EAST) threatened late, but couldn’t find the equalizer as the Friars (10-5-0, 5-2-0 BIG EAST) soared from third place to atop the league standings after Creighton's loss to Xavier.

Providence came out strong and benefited from a lucky break in the 13th minute to take a 1-0 lead. Despite not having a clear shot on goal, Brendan Constantine decided to take a crack at one anyway and received a fortuitous bounce as it ricocheted off a Marquette defender and averted goalkeeper Luis Barraza who was playing the initial trajectory of the shot.

PC’s Danny Griffin added another goal in the 36th minute and the Friars took a commanding 2-0 lead into halftime.

After being outshot 7-2 in the first half, the Golden Eagles flipped the script with a 7-3 advantage in the final 45 minutes. They garnered three corner kicks to PC’s one as well.

"It was a tale of two halves again," Bennett said. "We needed some poise and we needed some control. Very rarely in the first half did it look like we had control of the situation. We knew they were going to press us and break. They’re very good at it.

"We made some adjustments at halftime and changed the personnel so we could play a little quicker, Bennett added. "Ruben Sanchez, John Pothast and Martin Alba worked well together and by going back to a 4-3-3 helped us penetrate their pressure and they began to sit back a little bit. In the second half, we got back into the game by doing some different things."

Barraza made two saves on the night, while his counterpart Colin Miller stopped six shots and improved his record to 9-0-0 on the season.

"It’s mathematically possible for us to still get into the BIG EAST tournament and we’re going to continue to do what we’ve done every week and that’s to take each game as a separate entity and prepare appropriately," Bennett said.

Marquette will stay on the road to take on Butler in Indianapolis on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. Central time.

18’ | PC | Brendan Constantine (unassisted): Constantine leading the charge into the attacked third decides to put a charge into one and received a fortuitous bounce as his shot ricocheted off MU center back John Pothast and redirected inside the far right post.

36’ | PC | Danny Griffin (Julian Gressel): As Julian Gressel dribbled his way into the box, he was able to pull Barraza off his line and then distribute an easy cross to Griffin, who found the back of an empty net.

78’ | MU | Luka Prpa (Daniel Szczepanek): With some traffic at the top of the penalty area, Szczepanek dropped off a pass for Prpa, who slid one home inside the far right post to cut the deficit to 2-1 with just 12 minutes left in regulation.

Marquette: 1-Barraza, 2-Pothast, 3-Alberts, 6-Alba, M., 7-Seagrist, 9-Szczepanek, 11-Alba, C., 14-Prpa, 15-Sanchez, 18-von Hofacker, 23-Núñez

Providence: 2-Constantine, 3-Kilday, 5-Serrano, 6-Wilson, 7-Vigliotti, 10-Griffin, 15-Jecewiz, 21-Kline, 22-Sailor, 24-Gressel, 30-Miller

Opponent: at Butler
Location: Indianapolis, Ind.
Date: Saturday, Oct. 29
Time: 6:05 p.m. Central time




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