Men's Soccer Releases Full 2018 Schedule
June 5, 2018
MILWAUKEE – The Marquette University men’s soccer team has released the full 2018 slate that features 11 home dates, including five BIG EAST Conference matches and non-conference meetings with Wisconsin and UW-Milwaukee.
“It’s a well-constructed and challenging schedule with ample time for recovery in between games,” said head coach Louis Bennett, who enters his 13th season. “Sean Hughes took over a lot of the scheduling work and has done a nice job of keeping a good balance. We have a good batch of home games and we have some challenging away games. I’m happy with how our non-conference schedule is looking.”
The Golden Eagles open the preseason with a home exhibition against fellow Jesuit institution Loyola Chicago on Saturday, Aug. 11. MU then closes preseason play with a road exhibition at in-state foe Green Bay on Saturday, Aug. 18.
The regular season begins at home on Sunday, Aug. 26 with the first of 10 regular season home games, the most since 2014. The Golden Eagles open with Valparaiso, which makes its first trip to Milwaukee since 2001. MU then stays home to face first time opponent Central Arkansas (Aug. 30), one of five teams on the schedule to appear in the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship a season ago.
It marks just the second time since 2008 that the Golden Eagles host the first two regular season games at Valley Fields with the previous time being 2016.
The first road test features the 27th meeting all-time against Saint Louis on Sept. 4. This is the third-straight year both teams will meet after a 12-year hiatus. The Golden Eagles then return home for their second-ever meeting against Penn on Sept. 7.
A meeting in Ann Arbor pits the Golden Eagles against another NCAA tournament team from a year ago, Michigan (Sept. 10), and it’s the first meeting between both teams since 2013 when MU won its third-straight in three years against the Wolverines. It also marks the final tune-up before the BIG EAST opener on Sept. 15, against Villanova at home.
Next up is the always anticipated matchup against the crosstown Panthers in the 46th Milwaukee Cup on Wednesday, Sept. 19, at Valley Fields where Marquette is unbeaten in the previous three meetings at home dating back to 2012.
Following the BIG EAST road lid lifter at Seton Hall (Sept. 22), the Golden Eagles return to Milwaukee for two against in-state rival Wisconsin (Sept. 26) and Georgetown (Sept. 29).
Marquette closes out the regular season with six October matches all in BIG EAST play. After traveling to Providence (Oct. 6), the Golden Eagles return to Valley Fields for another set of back-to-back home matches with St. John’s (Oct. 13) and Xavier (Oct. 20) coming to town.
MU plays consecutive games on the road just once and it doesn’t come until the final road trip of the season against Creighton (Oct. 24) and Butler (Oct. 28). The Golden Eagles then conclude the regular as it has in each of the previous five years by taking on DePaul in a matchup slated for Wednesday, Oct. 31, at Valley Fields.
“This is a pretty well-balanced schedule overall,” said third-year assistant coach Sean Hughes, who handled the majority of the team’s scheduling. “Last year, we played a lot on the road, so we wanted to give ourselves a bit of a home advantage. We were able to do that, while keeping balance between playing at home and on the road.
“As far as the competition, we like the strength of our opponents,” Hughes added. “The BIG EAST is strong as always and we able to bring in two national tournament teams during non-conference play. The travel out of conference is all in the region, which makes it more manageable for us from a recovery standpoint.”
The 2018 BIG EAST Championship will feature the league's top-six teams in a three-round tournament with the higher-seeded team of each matchup serving as the host. The tournament begins Nov. 3 with quarterfinal matches followed by the semifinals on Nov. 7, and the championship to be decided Nov. 11. The tournament champion will receive the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship.
Five MU opponents appeared in the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship in 2017, including BIG EAST members Butler and Georgetown, as well as non-conference foes Michigan, Wisconsin and Central Arkansas.
A combined season ticket package with the men’s team is currently available for $45 and includes 21 matches (11 men/10 women), plus a Marquette Soccer scarf. While season ticket packages can be purchased online, those interested in group tickets ($2/ticket for groups of 15-or-more) should contact the Marquette Ticket Office at 414-288-4668 (GOMU) or by email.
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