Men's Soccer Set to Host Saint Louis on Saturday

Sept. 7, 2017

2017 Marquette Men's Soccer - Match 4
Marquette (0-2-1) vs. Saint Louis (0-3-0)
Date Saturday, Sept. 9 | 7:05 p.m. CT
Location Valley Fields | Milwaukee, Wis.
Live Links GameTracker | Spectrum Sports (Ch. 32/1332)
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MILWAUKEE The Marquette University men's soccer team closes out a three-match homestand against Saint Louis on Saturday, Sept. 9, for "International Night" at Valley Fields. A host of food trucks, featuring international cuisine will be present, while the match will voice a Spanish-speaking public address announcer for the first time at Valley Fields. Kickoff is slated for 7:05 p.m. Central time with a live broadcast airing on Spectrum Sports (Channel 32/1332).

• The Golden Eagles host Saint Louis for “International Night” at Valley Fields, featuring food trucks with international cuisine and a Spanish public address announcer for the duration of the Saturday’s match. The first 100 students will receive a voucher for one free food truck item.

• Saturday’s match to be aired live on Spectrum Sports local channel 32/1332 in Milwaukee and online with a Charter Cable subscription. Patrick Reed will have the call alongside Matt Schroeder.

• Marquette (0-2-1) is still seeking its first win of 2017 following three straight matches against 2016 NCAA tournament qualifiers (Kentucky, UIC, New Mexico).

• After an 11-season hiatus, MU and SLU rekindled a long-standing series in 2016 with a 1-1 draw in the Gateway City. Saturday marks the 26th meeting all-time with SLU holding a 20-3-2 edge.

• Using Your Head: All three Marquette goals in 2017 have been scored off of headers. Brendan Skinner and Luka Prpa connected in a 2-2 draw vs. UIC, and Grant Owens vs. New Mexico.

• The Golden Eagles faced a stifling New Mexico squad in a Labor Day affair at Valley Fields on Monday. After Grant Owens tied the match at 1-1 with a header in the 24th minute - his first goal as a member of MU - the Lobos responded less than a minute later as part of three unanswered goals en route to a 4-1 victory.

• NM held a 23-12 edge in shots and MU’s Luis Barraza made a career-high 10 saves in net.

• Prior to that, Marquette faced UIC in the home opener on Sept. 1, playing to a 2-2 draw. MU struck first with Brendan Skinner in the 9th minute, but UIC responded with two goals before halftime. It wasn’t until the 80th minute when Luka Prpa, who finished with a match-high seven shots, converted for his first of the season to salvage the draw. The Golden Eagles held a 23-15 shots advantage.

• It’s been a rough start to the year for Saint Louis after three-straight losses to top-25 teams. SLU opened the season with a 2-1 overtime setback to No. 8 Syracuse, followed by a 2-0 loss to No. 22 Michigan State and, most recently, fell to No. 2 Wake Forest, 4-1. Each contest took place at home, which means Saturday’s match-up at Marquette will be the Billikens’ road opener.

• SLU was picked to finish second in the Atlantic 10 Conference in 2017 after winning their fifth regular season title with a 6-2 league mark last year. So far, they are searching for offense as opponents have outscored them, 8-2. SLU is getting outshot by an average of 15.7-7.0 shots per game, including a 22-6 difference in shots on goal and a 23-12 edge in corners, overall.

• Lone goals have come from Jacob Krupp and Lennart Hein, while goalkeeper Sascha Otte has stopped 14 shots with a .636 save percentage.

• Marquette hits the road for a pair of highly-anticipated match-ups against No. 11 Virginia (Sept. 12) and league-foe Villanova (Sept. 16) for the BIG EAST opener. The last time MU faced the Cavaliers was in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament back in 2013. The Golden Eagles are unbeaten in their last eight league opening games, going 4-0-4 since 2009, with a stretch of five consecutive shutouts.

In a series that dates all the way back to Marquette’s first-ever season in 1964, Saturday’s meeting will mark the 26th all-time between the Golden Eagles and Billikens, but just the second since 2004. That year was their final match-up as Conference USA members with SLU recording the 3-0 victory in Milwaukee.

• Both sides rekindled the series last season in the Gateway City, playing to a 1-1 draw after 110 minutes. Connor Alba gave MU a 1-0 lead on an impressive strike in the 67th minute, but SLU answered back at the end of regulation, converting on a penalty kick in the 86th.

• SLU leads the all-time series, 20-3-2, with Marquette’s previous win coming back in 2002 with a Mike Robards 16th minute goal holding up as the lone tally in a 1-0 triumph in the Conference USA opener at Valley Fields. SLU ranked No. 23 in the nation at the time.

• Thanks to Luka Prpa’s 80th minute goal to secure a 2-2 draw vs. UIC in the home opener back on Sept. 1, the Golden Eagles move to 7-3-3 in home openers since 2005 and is unbeaten in five of their last six home lid-lifters overall.

• Six Golden Eagles made their Marquette debut vs. Kentucky on Aug. 25, including three freshmen and three transfers, with five earning starting assignments. Freshmen defenders Manuel Cukaj and Brendan Skinner started at center back, while fellow freshman and midfielder Christian Albelo came off the bench. Senior transfer Brody Kraussel (Loyola-Chicago) and junior transfer Grant Owens (Saint Louis) started up top with junior transfer Steffen Böhm (FIU) earning a start at right back.

• Against New Mexico, freshman forward Tode Atlija made his debut in a starting role, while redshirt freshman Jordan Palmer appeared for the second straight contest.

• The Marquette men’s soccer team placed 12 student-athletes on the BIG EAST Conference All-Academic Team. MU as a whole placed nearly 200 student-athletes recognized by the league for the 2016-17 academic year.

• BIG EAST favorite Providence had a tough opening weekend after losses to No. 2 Wake Forest and No. 4 North Carolina. The Friars have rebounded to win two in a row, but are still looking for a way back in the United Soccer Coaches poll after debuting at No. 12. Butler has fallen four spots to No. 21, while Creighton fell out of the poll following a 3-0 loss to No. 1 Stanford last weekend. Meanwhile, Georgetown surged to No. 18 after its hot 4-0 start.

• The league sent four teams to the NCAA tournament in 2016 with Villanova joining the three aforementioned teams. Following a Sweet 16 match-up of league schools, Providence defeated Creighton before its dream run ended with a double overtime loss to UNC in the Elite 8.

• For the first time in program history, all 16 regular season Marquette Soccer matches will be televised or streamed live, including six league contests on the BIG EAST Digital Network (BEDN). All other matches to be streamed via (Free), ESPN3, ACC Network, BTN Plus or televised locally on Spectrum Sports.

• All three rounds of the BIG EAST Conference tournament (Nov. 4-12) will also be featured on BEDN with the championship available nationally via FOX Sports 2.

• The Golden Eagles feature six international-born players and a host of others with international ties that equates to 10 countries represented on the 2017 roster. Junior Diego Nunez hails from Spain, while MU added newcomers Brendan Skinner (Canada), Jason Davis (England) and German-natives Steffen Bohm and Manuel Cukaj.

American-Born with International ties:
Luis Barraza (Mexico), Tode Atlija & Luka Prpa (Serbia), Daniel Szczepanek (Poland), Roland Conway (Jamaica), Jordan Palmer (Colombia).

• Head coach Louis Bennett and his staff brought in a talented group of newcomers in 2017, including six freshmen and four veteran transfers. Highlighting the group of freshmen is Christian Albelo, who is the highest-ranked incoming recruit in program history. Top Drawer Soccer rated Albelo the No. 16 recruit overall in 2016 and he comes to MU with four years of eligibility remaining.

• Joining him are international products Manuel Cukaj (Mannheim, Germany) and Brendan Skinner (Surrey, B.C.), as well as local recruits Tode Atlija (Franklin), Roland Conway (Brookfield East) and Zak Wegner (Arrowhead).

• Bennett’s four transfers include former all-conference selections with their respective clubs Steffen Böhm (Florida International) and Brody Kraussel (Loyola Chicago) as well as Grant Owens (Saint Louis) and Jason Davis (Loughborogh in England).




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