Golden Eagles Set To Open Panthers Invitational Friday
Sept. 1, 2011
MILWAUKEE -- Marquette will face the Western Michigan Broncos on Friday, Sept. 2 (4:30 p.m. CT) in the first of four weekend matches at Engelmann Stadium as part of the 37th annual Panther Invitational, hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
MU will also play the first match on Sunday, Sept. 4 (noon) against the Leathernecks of Western Illinois.
Listen to this weekend's matches live via streaming audio on GoMarquette.com, courtesy of WMUR Marquette Radio. Live stats are also available through Gametracker on GoMarquette.com, the official online home of Marquette Athletics.
• This is Marquette's second appearance in the Panther Invitational. MU's only other appearance came back in 1976. MU's matches against WMU and WIU in this year's tournament are considered neutral-site games by the NCAA; however, the Golden Eagles will be the designated home side in both contests.
• Western Michigan finished runner-up to defending national champion Akron in the 2010 Mid-American Conference regular season and MAC tournament championship.
• WMU returns 10 starters from last year's squad that finished the 2010 season with a 10-8-2 overall record, including Shane Lyons, Kai Mendes and Oliver Mayer who combined to score 17 goals a season ago.
• The Broncos have already seen a pair of BIG EAST Conference opponents to kick off the 2011 campaign. WMU tied BIG EAST member DePaul, 3-3, in its lone exhibition match before falling at home to Cincinnati in the season opener, 3-1.
• The Leathernecks of Western Illinois enter the Panther Invitational with a 0-1-1 record to start the season after opening 2011 with a 1-0 loss at Wisconsin and a 1-1 draw at home against Drake.
• WIU hasn't lost the ability to generate offense after losing eight seniors in 2010. The Leathernecks have taken more shots than their opponents through the first two games (34-30), while seven different players have been credited with a shot on goal.
• The Leathernecks return 19 players from last year's roster, including three second team all-conference selections in Mariano Leo, Andy Ryan and Kooten Johnson.
• Marquette has a 4-2 all-time series advantage over Western Michigan. WMU won the last meeting between the two sides with a 4-1 decision over the Golden Eagles in Kalamazoo, Mich., back on Oct. 28, 1990.
• Sunday's matinee will be a rubber match as the all-time series between Marquette and WIU is currently even at 5-5-1. MU played the Leathernecks to a 0-0 double-overtime draw last season in Macomb, Ill.
• For the second consecutive season Marquette returns 17 letterwinners and eight starting players, including 2010 All-BIG EAST Second Team selection Calum Mallace. Twenty three of the 27 players on the 2011 roster were on the squad dating back to this past spring.
• Marquette head coach Louis Bennett and associate head coach Stan Andersonspent 10 years together coaching at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, their previous stop before heading to MU. Altogether, Bennett and Anderson made five NCAA tournament appearances in their time with time with the Panthers.
• MU assistant coach Steve Bode was a star defender for Milwaukee, patrolling the back line for the Panthers at Engelmann from 2003-2007. Bode is second all-time at Milwaukee in games started (83).