Golden Eagles Close Out West Coast Swing at Portland
Aug. 29, 2015
• The Golden Eagles (0-1-0) will wrap up their first West Coast swing since taking on Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles in September 2006 with a date against the Portland Pilots (0-1-0) on Sunday. This is Marquette’s first road trip to the state of Oregon since a matchup with Portland in 1999.
• Marquette suffered a disappointing season-opening defeat at the hands of Oregon State on Friday, which capitalized on the match’s lone goal in the 97th minute. Just before the wonder-strike, MU had two quality scoring chances, but was unable to take advantage.
• Portland opened the season against No. 9 Michigan at home in front of nearly 4,600 fans and fell 1-0 thanks to a second-half penalty kick resulted by a handball on a broken play in the box.
• Marquette played three exhibition matches leading up to the 2015 regular season opener against Portland, hosting Bradley (3-3 draw) and Loyola Chicago (1-0 defeat), before taking on No. 14 Indiana (2-0 defeat) to close out the preseason. In Portland’s only exhibition match, it defeated Seattle, 1-0.
FOLLOW IT LIVE
• Sunday’s match will be streamed live, courtesy of the West Coast Conference, and is scheduled for a 3 p.m. Central time start. Live Stats will also be available. Links to both can be found on the team’s schedule page at GoMarquette.com.
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SCOUTING THE PILOTS
• Portland is coming off a 4-11-4 overall record in 2014 with seven of its defeats coming by a single goal. The Pilots finished winless in the West Coast Conference, going 0-6-1 with just six goals scored in league action.
• The Pilots return seven of their starters in 2015, including top-scorer Eddie Sanchez, who tallied 5 goals and 3 assists for 13 points in ‘14. Sophomor goalie Paul Christensen returns after a 1.44 GAA and .748 save percentage a year ago.
• UP fell to No. 9 Michigan State in the season and home opener at Merlo Field on Friday night. The match was evenly-played, for the most part, with both teams collecting 10 shots apiece. MSU was able to put two more on frame than the Pilots’ four shots on goal and the difference came on the decisive penalty kick in the 75th minute when UP’s Paul Christensen denied MSU’s Zach Carroll on the initial strike, but the ball caromed right back to Carroll and he put home the rebound in the empty net.
• The Pilots averaged only 1.21 goals per game or 23 goals in 19 matches in 2014, while allowing opponents to score 1.53 goals per game or 29 goals against.
• Portland was 3-4-3 on its home pitch in 2014, while going just 1-7-1 in nine matches on the road.
• Sunday’s matchup marks the fourth meeting all-time between Marquette and Portland and first since Sept. 29, 2002.
• The Pilots hold a 2-0-1 mark in the series, which opened with a 1-1 draw on Sept. 29, 1997 in Seattle. The next meeting would take place at UP’s home field in 1999, which resulted in a 7-0 win for the hosts. The most recent meeting in 2002 also took place in Seattle and went 3-0 in favor of Portland.
NEWCOMERS MAKING AN IMPACT
• Five out of the six newcomers each made an appearance in the season opener against Oregon State Friday night with Luis Barraza getting the start in net. He made eight saves in his debut.
• Marquette boasted yet another Top-15 recruiting class in 2015 according to Top Drawer Soccer - their third Top-15 class in as many years.
• This year’s freshman class includes: Luis Barraza (Santa Teresa, New Mexico), Toby Howell (Bradenton, Florida), Jesper Larsson (Falkenburg, Sweden), Ruben Sanchez (Frankfort, Illinois), Ben Tweedie (Naples, Florida), and Kees Westra (Monroe, Washington).
• Sanchez (midfielder) and Westra (defender) ranked among the IMG Academy’s Top-75 recruits coming out of high school, while Barraza (goalkeeper) led Real Salt Lake-Arizona to the U.S. Development Academy championship this past summer.
MARQUETTE IN SEASON LID LIFTERS
• Marquette opened its 51st season in program history on the road at Oregon State, Friday, Aug. 28, and fell in overtime, 1-0, dropping the Golden Eagles to 4-6 in season openers since 2006.
• The last season-opening win came back in 2012 with a 3-2 home victory over the Panthers to capture the Milwaukee Cup.
• The last time Marquette started the year with a season-opening win on the road came all the way back in 2006 during Bennett’s first season leading the Blue & Gold when it defeated Loyola Chicago, 2-1.
BENNETT II, NORTEY EARN PRESEASON ALL-BIG EAST ACCOLADES
• The Golden Eagles were picked to finish fifth in the BIG EAST Conference in 2015, behind conference favorites Creighton and Georgetown, who tied for a league-high 77 poll points and evenly split the 10 first-place votes. Providence was picked third, followed by Xavier and Marquette.
Preseason Coaches’ Poll
• The 2014 Preseason Coaches’ Poll had Marquette and Georgetown tied atop the list following the Golden Eagles earning a share of the BIG EAST regular season title, a BIG EAST tournament championship and eventually falling to Virginia in the Sweet Sixteen in 2013.
BIG EAST AMONG NATION’S ELITE CONFERENCES
• The BIG EAST features four teams ranked in the NSCAA Top-25 preseason poll, including Georgetown at No. 3, Creighton at No. 6, Providence at No. 7 and Xavier at No. 19.
• According to College Soccer News’ Preseason Top-30, it was the same four teams in the top-18 with Georgetown and Creighton coming in at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively, following by Providence at No. 6 and Xavier at No. 18.
COACH BENNETT APPROACHING 200 COLLEGIATE VICTORIES
• Head coach Louis Bennett is on the brink of collecting his 200th career victory as he enters the 2015 campaign with 198 career wins.
• Bennett has accumulated 63 wins in nine seasons with the Golden Eagles following a 135-64-17 overall record over 10 seasons with UW-Milwaukee (1996-2005).
• Over the previous three seasons, Bennett has led Marquette to a sterling 37-16-7 mark with a BIG EAST regular season title, a BIG EAST tournament championship, and two NCAA tournament appearances.
• In addition to head coach Louis Bennett’s looming 200th career coaching victory, there are other notable milestones to watch for at the beginning of the season.
• C. Nortey will break into the top-10 goal scoring list all-time with his next goal. With one more goal, Nortey would tie Cory Butler (1992-95) and Marshall Morehead (1998-2000) for 10th all-time with 27 career goals.
• C. Nortey is tied with three others for the most game-winning goals in program history with 8.
MEET THE CAPTAIN
• Redshirt senior forward C. Nortey will serve as Marquette’s captain for the 2015 season. The Accra, Ghana native ranks ninth on MU’s all-time scoring list with 26 career goals after totaling a team-best 7 goals and 2 assists for 16 points in 2014.
BIG SHOES TO FILL
• The Golden Eagles said goodbye to two all-time greats who moved on to professional careers in 2015. Axel Sjoberg (Colorado Rapids – 1st rd/14th overall) and Charlie Lyon (Seattle Sounders – 4th rd/75th overall) led Marquette to a BIG EAST regular season and tournament titles, as well as back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances over their final three seasons.
• Marquette’s season opener against Oregon State will mark the first time in 62 matches that the dynamic duo won’t be featured in the starting lineup. Over the previous 61 games, the Golden Eagles compiled a record of 37-17-7 with a miniscule 0.81 goals against average.
• Redshirt junior John Pothast will assume the leadership role on the back line, while redshirt freshman Danny Jarosz, who spent last season getting acclimated to the program under the tutelage of Sjoberg and Co., will be slotted into the center back position
• At keeper, it’s yet to be determined who the starter will as redshirt juniors Mac Wheeler and Brady Walsh return as the veterans in the mix, while redshirt sophomore Kyle Gress and newcomer Luis Barraza will also factor into the mold.
NEW WORLD CLASS INDOOR FACILITY TO HOUSE MU SOCCER
• A new indoor athletic performance center, which will combine indoor playing fields for Marquette’s soccer and lacrosse programs, an indoor track, and a world-class athletic performance research facility was announced on Jan. 29 by MU President Dr. Michael R. Lovell. The facility will be located on the 800 block of Michigan Street and is expected to house offices and locker rooms for MU soccer. Through a strategic partnership with the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, cutting-edge faculty and student research in sports performance, medicine, nutrition and rehabilitation will enhance the performance of Marquette student-athletes and professional athletes worldwide.
SEVEN MARQUETTE MATCHES FEATURED ON BEDN IN 2015
• Seven of Marquette’s nine BIG EAST Conference regular season matches will be aired live on the BIG EAST Digital Network in 2015, including the final six BIG EAST matches and beginning with a road contest at St. John’s Sept. 26.
• In 2014, only three Marquette matches were featured on the BIG EAST Digital Network.
• There are plenty of ties within the Marquette soccer family on this season’s roster. Sophomore midfielder Louis Bennett II is the son of head coach Louis Bennett. Redshirt junior defender John Pothast is the younger brother to former co-captain defender Eric Pothast. Redshirt senior forward David Selvaggi is the younger brother to former midfielder Anthony Selvaggi. Redshirt sophomore midfielder Alex McBride is the younger brother to former Marquette women’s soccer stars Kerry and Allison McBride.
MLS HOMEGROWN PLAYERS FEATURED ON 2014 ROSTER
• Since Louis Bennett took over as head coach, Marquette has always had strong ties to the MLS Academy. There are six “homegrown” players currently on the roster. Louis Bennett II and Martin Alba are both products of the Chicago Fire Academy, while freshmen Luis Barraza (Real Salt Lake-Arizona), Kees Westra (Seattle Sounders FC), Ruben Sanchez (Chicago Magic PSG) and Toby Howell (Chargers SC) also competed for MLS Academy clubs prior to arriving at Marquette.
• The Golden Eagles said goodbye to a trio of former academy players last year in Coco Navarro (Real Salt Lake-Arizona), Charlie Lyon (Chicago Fire) and Brady Wahl (Chicago Fire). Navarro is currently playing with Real Monarchs SLC, a USL affiliate of Real Salt Lake, while Lyon is currently on the first team with Seattle of the MLS and Wahl is serving as a student assistant coach with Marquette this season.
• The Homegrown Player Rule is a Major League Soccer program that allows MLS teams to sign local players from their own development academies directly to MLS first team rosters.
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