Men's Soccer Releases 2016 Schedule
June 1, 2016
“I'm really happy with the schedule we have put together,” said Bennett, who enters his 11th season guiding the Golden Eagles. “It's well-balanced with opponents that will allow us to build a strong RPI, while helping prepare us to contend in the BIG EAST.
“We play some of the top teams in the region and in the country outside of the conference. This gives us consistency and quality of our opponents,” Bennett added. “Obviously, it's challenging and will be a demanding schedule that makes for season-long preparation for every game. I believe this is a schedule indicative of an ambitious team, which is what we have tried to accomplish.”
Marquette opens the 2016 season with its annual Fan Fest and Blue & Gold scrimmage events on Thursday, Aug. 11, followed by a pair of exhibition contests at home against Horizon League foes Wright State (Aug. 13) and Detroit (Aug. 16). The third and final exhibition match, which will also be the team’s lone preseason tilt on the road, is set to take place at Nebraska-Omaha on Aug. 20.
The Golden Eagles lift the lid on the regular season with two home contests, beginning with 2015 College Cup qualifier Kentucky on Friday, Aug. 26. The Wildcats won the regular-season title in Conference USA with a 12-4-2 overall mark before falling to Drake (2-1) in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
MU concludes the two-game set against Northern Illinois, which makes a return trip to Valley Fields on Monday, Aug. 29. The Golden Eagles seek revenge after the Huskies pulled off a stunner in double-overtime when both teams met in Milwaukee a season ago.
The first of six regular-season road contests will kick off with Illinois-Chicago on Friday, Sept. 2. It will mark the first meeting between both teams since 2012 when the Golden Eagles captured a 1-0 victory at home. A win over UIC in the Windy City would be the first since 1983, while snapping a three-match road-losing skid in the process.
Marquette then returns home to host Northwestern (Sept. 5) in a rematch from an NCAA First Round tournament match-up at Valley Fields in 2012. The Wildcats earned the 1-0 win that day to snap a nine-match losing streak to the Golden Eagles in the all-time series. MU leads the overall series 16-5-1 dating back to 1964.
The Golden Eagles make their first trip back to the Gateway City since 2003 when they take on a familiar foe and Atlantic-10 Conference member St. Louis on Sept. 10. The two teams have met 24 times in the all-time series, but not since 2004. Both met as members of Conference USA up until the 2004 season and, before that, as members of the Great Midwest and Midwestern Collegiate conferences back in the late-80s to early-90s.
MU then returns home for a season-long three-match homestand, beginning with crosstown foe Milwaukee in the 44th Annual Milwaukee Cup on Sept. 14 – a series that has seen its fair share of exciting moments. The Golden Eagles are unbeaten in three of the last four meetings and have retained the cup since a 2-0 win in front of more than 2,000 spectators at Valley Fields in 2014. Last year’s 1-1 tie was highlighted by Louis Bennett II’s game-tying left-footed strike in the 73rd minute to keep the Milwaukee Cup on this side of town.
Marquette opens BIG EAST Conference play with back-to-back games at home for the first time since 2006. The Golden Eagles will host St. John’s (Sept. 17) and Villanova (Sept. 24) before heading on the road to take on Seton Hall (Oct. 1) in the first road contest of the conference season.
Another in-state rival makes its way back to Valley Fields as MU hosts Wisconsin in its non-conference finale on Oct. 5. The two teams will meet for the 53rd consecutive season dating back to MU’s inaugural season in 1964. The Golden Eagles are unbeaten in five of the last six meetings against the Badgers, including last year’s 1-0 victory on the road – the team’s first in Madison since 1999. MU has beaten UW in three straight at Valley Fields.
The Golden Eagles jump back into conference play with a home meeting against reigning BIG EAST regular-season and tournament champion Georgetown (Oct. 8), which will conclude the return of “homecoming week” to Marquette. That is followed by a road trip to perennial-power Creighton on Oct. 15.
Marquette wraps up the regular season slate with the team’s final two road match-ups at Providence (Oct. 26) and Butler (Oct. 29) sandwiched between the final two home games at Valley Fields. MU hosts Xavier on Saturday, Oct. 22, followed by the regular season finale and senior night contest against DePaul on Friday, Nov. 4.
MU seeks a return trip to the six-team BIG EAST tournament, which starts Sunday, Nov. 6, with quarterfinal matches, followed by semifinals and championship games on Nov. 10 and 13, respectively. All tournament matches will be played at campus sites of higher-seeded teams with the tournament champion earning the league’s automatic qualifying bid to the 2016 College Cup.
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