Marquette Soccer Set to Host Undefeated Omaha on Friday

Redshirt senior Kelmend Islami has three goals and an assist through four matches this season.
2015 Marquette Men's Soccer - Match 5
Marquette (2-1-1) vs. RV Omaha (4-0-0)
Date Friday, Sept. 11 | 6 p.m. CT
Location Valley Fields | Milwaukee, Wis.
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KEY STORYLINES
• The Marquette University men's soccer team will play host to the Omaha Mavericks in Friday's showdown, which will be the first-ever meeting between both programs.

• Omaha (4-0-0), of the Summit League, is currently receiving votes in the NSCAA rankings poll and is ranked as high as No. 22 according to TopDrawerSoccer.com.

• Marquette head coach Louis Bennett collected his 200th career coaching victory, including his 65th win with the Golden Eagles, after Monday's 3-2 win over Dayton at Valley Fields.

• The home-opening win over Dayton was sparked by Kelmend Islami's PK goal in the 37th minute, followed by two quick second-half scores by Jesper Larsson and David Selvaggi. The matchup rekindled the all-time series, which MU leads 4-2-2 and had been dormant since their previous meeting in 1994.

• Marquette's lone loss this year came in the season opener on the road to Oregon State in overtime. OSU has climbed all the way to No. 12 in the NSCAA rankings.


FOLLOW IT LIVE
• Friday's home match against Omaha will feature live video streaming and live statistics via GoMarquette.com. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.

• As always, follow Marquette Soccer on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Live in-game updates are available via Twitter. Join the conversation by using #MarquetteSoccer.


SCOUTING THE MAVERICKS
• Omaha is off to its best start in program history (4-0-0) following wins over UMKC, Pacific, #13 UC Irvine and Cal State Northridge, to open the 2015 season. Friday's matchup against Marquette will mark the team's first game away from home this year.

• The Mavericks have won seven straight matches dating back to last season and is coming off a 4-1 win over Cal State Northridge, which saw Logan Mendez break a 1-1 tie in the 53rd minute before Mark Moulton and Noor Hamadi tacked on a pair shortly thereafter to win convincingly.

• Moulton leads the Mavericks with three goals and an assist on the year. Mendez is close behind with two goals, while Andres Irvin has a goal and three assists. Joseph Ghitis has started three of the team's four games in net and sports a 3-0-0 record with a 0.67 GAA and .818 save percentage.

• The Mavericks were picked to finish second in the Summit League Preseason Poll behind Denver, which is currently ranked No. 19 in the NSCAA poll. Omaha returns 13 letterwinners, including nine starters from last season.

• Omaha is coming off a 10-5-2 mark in 2014 under fifth-year head coach Jason Mims, who has been with the program since its first-ever season in 2011. The Mavericks went 3-2-1 to finish in a first-place tie with Denver for the Summit League regular-season title a year ago.

• The Flyers return 16 letterwinners, including nine starters, in 2015 and were picked to finish sixth in the A-10 Preseason Poll behind conference-favorite Saint Louis. Dayton landed three on the Preseason All-10 team as James Haupt (F), Amass Amankona (M) and Lalas Abubakar (D) were each represented, while Kennedy Nwabia earned Preseason All-Rookie honors.


UP NEXT
• Marquette will conclude its three-game homestand against Northern Illinois on Friday, Sept. 18. Kickoff is set for 7:05 p.m. at Valley Fields.


LAST TIME OUT
• On Monday, the Golden Eagles celebrated their home opener at Valley Fields with a 3-2 win over Dayton thanks to goals from Kelmend Islami (37' penalty kick), Jesper Larsson (67') and David Selvaggi (68').

• Dayton came out with a dangerous attack and put up six shots early on before the Marquette had registered one. Islami got the scoring started by drawing a foul in the box and then finished what he started by converting MU's first PK of the season.

• After the Flyers tied the game in the 57', a Larsson header and Selvaggi point-blank strike within 2 minutes of each other broke the game open and led the Golden Eagles to the one-goal victory.

• Dayton outshot Marquette, 15-9, but the Golden Eagles put more shots on target with a 5-4 edge. Both teams earned eight corner kicks, while the Flyers totaled 18 fouls to MU's five.


COACH BENNETT NOTCHES 200TH CAREER VICTORY
• Head coach Louis Bennett collected career coaching win No. 200 following the Golden Eagles' 3-2 win over Dayton in the home opener at Valley Fields, Sept. 7. It marked his 65th coaching win at the helm of Marquette following a 135-64-17 record in 10 seasons with UW-Milwaukee (1996-2005).

• Bennett is currently the third-winningest coach in Marquette history behind Steve Adlard (140-120-21; 1992-2005) and Jerry Panek (97-79-20; 1982-1991).

• Since 2012, Bennett has led Marquette to a sterling 39-18-8 mark with a BIG EAST regular season title, a BIG EAST tournament championship, and two NCAA tournament appearances.


ISLAMI MAKING UP FOR LOST TIME
• Redshirt senior striker Kelmend Islami missed all of 2014, but has already set a personal single-season best for goals in a season and tied his career-best for points as a Golden Eagle in 2015.

• Islami's penalty kick goal in the win over Dayton (Sept. 7) was his third goal of the season, equaling one more than he had in any of his previous three seasons with Marquette. He notched two goals in each of his first two seasons in 2011 and 2012.

• The South Milwaukee native has also tied his career-best for points in a season with seven, which he accomplished during his sophomore season in 2012, scoring two goals and adding three assists.


BENNETT II NAMED TO BIG EAST WEEKLY HONOR ROLL
• Junior midfielder Louis Bennett II was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll Monday, Sept. 7, following his late-game heroics in the team's 1-1 draw at UW-Milwaukee, Sept. 4, to retain possession of the coveted Milwaukee Cup.

• Bennett scored an impressive game-tying goal in the 73rd minute with a left-footed strike from 25 yards out that curled into the far left post.  It was the Shorewood native's ninth career goal and 30th career point.


MARQUETTE'S SUCCESS IN HOME OPENERS
• Since 2005, the Golden Eagles are 9-1-1 in Valley Fields lid-lifters with a five-match win streak following Monday's 3-2 win over Dayton. Their lone loss in that stretch came against UW-Milwaukee back in 2010 by a 4-2 result. MU tied Denver, 0-0, back in 2006.

• Marquette defeated Gonzaga in last season's home opener, 2-0, behind scores from Alex McBride and Daniel Szczepanek.

• In their last 11 home openers, Marquette has outscored the opposition 25-13.


BARRAZA QUICKLY COLLECTS FIRST AWARD
• Freshman goalkeeper Luis Barraza is only two matches into his young collegiate career, but he already claimed his first weekly honor with a spot on the BIG EAST Conference Weekly Honor Roll (Aug. 31).

• 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.


NEWCOMERS MAKING AN IMPACT
• Four out of the six newcomers made appearances in the season opener against Oregon State with Luis Barraza getting the start in net. He made eight saves in his debut.

• Since then, Ruben Sanchez has made three starts, while Jesper Larsson (1 goal, 1 assist) and Toby Howell have also seen significant time on the pitch.

• 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.


BIG EAST AMONG NATION'S ELITE CONFERENCES
• The BIG EAST Conference featured 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.

• Currently, those same four teams remain included in the NSCAA poll with Creighton leading the way with a No. 1 ranking in every major poll, including College Soccer News, Top Drawer Soccer and Soccer America.


 

 

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