Marquette Soccer Aims to Retain Milwaukee Cup Trophy
Sept. 2, 2015
Marquette is looking to retain the Cup after nearly 2,000 fans witnessed the Golden Eagles march to a 2-0 home victory one year ago. It was their fourth Milwaukee Cup win in the last seven tries. A win on Thursday would mark the first for MU at Engelmann Stadium since 2008..
The Golden Eagles are coming off a 1-1 record on their West Coast road trip, where they fell to Oregon State, 1-0, in overtime in the season opener Friday, Aug. 28, followed by a convincing 4-2 win over Portland on Sunday.
The Panthers also enter Thursday's match with a 1-1 mark after a 5-2 win over Evansville at home in the season opener, followed by a 4-0 loss to No. 6 Creighton on the road.
No stranger to Panther fans, MU head coach Louis Bennett has an opportunity to reach his 200th career coaching victory against the program for which he spent 10 seasons with as he currently sits on 199 career wins.
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The match will also be live streamed on ESPN3: http://espn.go.com/watchespn/index/_/id/2637210/NCAA-Men%27s-Soccer-Marquette-vs-Milwaukee
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SCOUTING THE PANTHERS
Four different Panthers reached the scoring column in the team's win over Evansville, Aug. 28. Declan Rodriguez tallied two scores to lead the way, while Matthias Binder, Francesco Saporito and Aaron Horvat also found the back of the net. The Panthers broke open a 2-1 halftime advantage with the first two scores of the second half. Rodriguez's second goal of the game served as the game winner, coming in the 65th minute and proving all UWM needed to dispatch the Aces.
The Panthers went 6-10-3 overall in 2014 with a 3-3-2 mark in Horizon League play. They were picked to finish fourth in the Horizon League Preseason Coaches' Poll, earning one-of-10 first-place votes, to finish behind league-favorite Oakland, Valparaiso and Wright State.
LAST MEETING AGAINST UWM
Ranked #17 at the time, Marquette used two first-half goals and senior Charlie Lyon made three saves to preserve the fourth of what would be eight-consecutive shutouts - a school record.
MU outshot UWM 15-13 in the match, while the Panthers earned five corner kicks, three more than the Golden Eagles.
The largest crowd ever recorded for a soccer match at Valley Fields was the 2010 Milwaukee Cup when 2,089 people watched the Panthers prevail, 4-2.
Milwaukee currently holds the all-time series edge with a 28-11-3 record. Marquette has won two of the last three meetings with a 3-2 victory in 2012 followed by a 2-0 win last year. MU last won at Engelmann back in 2008 by a 2-0 score.
In the loss to Oregon State, MU put forth a spirited effort defensively after going a man down with 5 minutes left in regulation due to a questionable second yellow card earned by Jack Alberts. Despite the fact, MU still managed to earn key scoring chances down the stretch. The winning goal came off the foot of Mikhail Doholis, who put the ball on frame in the only spot Luis Barraza was unable to get to - a blast to the upper left 90 that caromed into the right side netting in the 97th minute.
The match at Portland saw the Golden Eagles put forth an impressive performance all the way around, controlling the pace of play and dominating possession to the tune of three first-half goals - two coming off the foot of Kelmend Islami (6', 14') and another by Alex McBride (31'). C. Nortey whittled any hope away from the Pilots with a goal just 55 seconds into the second half.
Barraza made 11 saves in two starts last week, registering a 1-1 record during Marquette's West Coast road trip. He made eight saves in a 1-0 overtime loss against Oregon State, followed by three saves in a 4-2 win against Portland. He currently sports a 1.65 GAA with a .786 save percentage in over 163 minutes of action.
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.
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
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.
Currently, those same four teams rank in the top-12 nationally according to the NSCAA Top-25 Poll and top-16 according to College Soccer News' Top-30 Poll.
COACH BENNETT APPROACHING 200 COLLEGIATE VICTORIES
Bennett has accumulated 64 wins in nine-plus 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 38-17-7 mark with a BIG EAST regular season title, a BIG EAST tournament championship, and two NCAA tournament appearances.
C. Nortey has broken into the top-10 goal scoring list all-time with his 27th career goal that came against Portland (Aug. 30). Nortey ties Cory Butler (1992-95) and Marshall Morehead (1998-2000) for 10th on the all-time list.
C. Nortey is tied with three others for the most game-winning goals in program history with 8.
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