Marquette Soccer Hosts Northern Illinois Friday
Sept. 16, 2015
• Marquette will close out a three-game home stand Friday night against Northern Illinois (3-1-0), which is coming off back-to-back 1-0 shutouts at home over Florida Atlantic and Stetson.
• The Golden Eagles are coming off a 1-0 win of their own thanks to junior defender Jake Taylor's 85th minute goal against Omaha last time out. Luis Barraza made five saves to register his first career clean sheet in his fifth career start.
• Marquette is receiving votes in this week's NSCAA Top-25 Poll and are up six spots to No. 4 in the Great Lakes Regional rankings.
• The Golden Eagles are 25-4-4 at Valley Fields since the beginning of the 2012 season and are 2-0-0 this year following victories over Dayton and Omaha.
• Sophomore defender Luke Read is coming off a banner week full of national weekly accolades after scoring the game-winning goal in both victories for the Huskies over the weekend. They were his first two scores of the season and he leads the team in that category.
• Aside from Read, Giovanni Pacheco and Richard Hall have accounted for the remaining two goals scored by the NIU offense this season as each has tallied one apiece. In net, Andrew Glaeser has started all four matches and sports a 0.72 GAA with a .625 save percentage to go along with five saves. All three wins have been by way of a shutout.
• The Huskies, who went 3-9-5 overall in 2014 with an 0-4-1 mark in the Mid-American Conference, were picked to finish last among six teams in the league preseason poll. The team returned nine letterwinners this season, including seven starters from last year, while adding 14 newcomers. Head coach Eric Luzzi carries a 48-52-12 overall record in six-plus seasons with the Huskies.
• Since the beginning of the 2013 season, NIU is winless on the road, going 0-12-2 over that span.
• Taylor finished off a quality chance that started with Louis Bennett II's free kick. John Pothast flicked toward the back post and, as the Omaha goalie failed to clear it out of harm's way, Taylor was able to place it into the back of an open net. It was Taylor's first goal of the season and fourth of his career.
• With five saves in a very impressive effort, highlighted by a spirited performance from the backline, freshman keeper Luis Barraza recorded his first career shutout in just his fifth start with MU.
• MU won despite trailing in total shots (12-9) and shots on goal (5-3). Omaha also gained five more corners than the Golden Eagles with a 9-4 advantage and were whistled for more fouls (16-12).
• MU has taken command of the series of late, riding a two-match win streak with wins in 12 of its last 14 meetings overall, including eight wins in the last nine match-ups.
• Marquette entered last year's meeting ranked 17th in the country and came away with a scrappy 2-0 victory thanks to two late goals by Jack Alberts and Coco Navarro just 50 seconds apart. Both goals came in the 82nd minute.
• In the Great Lakes Region, Marquette is up six spots to No. 4. MU sits behind undefeated and top-ranked Creighton, followed by Akron (4-1-0) and Western Michigan (5-0-0)
• 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.
• 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.
• Prior to that, freshman Luis Barraza took home the honor in the season's first set of weekly awards after going 1-1-0 with 11 saves in two starts during opening weekend.
• 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 40-18-8 mark with a BIG EAST regular season title, a BIG EAST tournament championship, and two NCAA tournament appearances.
• In their last 11 home openers, Marquette has outscored the opposition 25-13.
• Fellow freshman Ruben Sanchez has made four starts, filling in for the injured redshirt freshman Danny Jarosz, while freshman Jesper Larsson (1 goal, 1 assist) and Toby Howell have also seen significant playing time off the bench.
• 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.
• Currently, Creighton leads the way with a No. 1 ranking in every major poll, including College Soccer News, Top Drawer Soccer and Soccer America.
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.
• 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 eight.
• Marquette's season opener against Oregon State was the first time in 62 matches that the dynamic duo wasn't featured in the starting lineup. Over the previous 61 games, the Golden Eagles had compiled a record of 37-17-7 with a miniscule 0.81 goals against average.
• Redshirt junior John Pothast has assumed a leadership role on a relatively young back line. Redshirt freshman center back Danny Jarosz received the start in the season opener, but since being injured in that game, true freshman Ruben Sanchez has picked up the slack.
• At keeper, true freshman Luis Barraza has started every game for the Golden Eagles, beating out three elder veterans as a result.
• In 2014, only three Marquette matches were featured on the BIG EAST Digital Network.
• On the MU women's soccer team, junior defender Cali Pyzdrowski is the younger sister to former men's goalkeeper Matt Pyzdrowski.
• 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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