Marquette Soccer Hosts Northern Illinois Friday

Sept. 16, 2015

2015 Marquette Men's Soccer - Match 6
RV Marquette (3-1-1) vs. Northern Illinois (3-1-0)
Date Friday, Sept. 18 | 7:05 p.m. CT
Location Valley Fields | Milwaukee, Wis.
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• The Marquette University men's soccer team extended its unbeaten streak to four matches after a 1-0 win over previously undefeated Omaha last Friday. The lone loss for the Golden Eagles was in the season opener to Oregon State, which jumped to No. 8 in the NSCAA Top-25 poll this week.

The Last Meeting
Northern Illinois0
September 20, 2014
DeKalb, Ill.
Late Goals Lift No. 17 Marquette Over NIU, 2-0
The No. 17 Marquette University (5-2-0) men's soccer team set a program record with its fifth consecutive shutout Saturday in a 2-0 road win against Northern Illinois University (2-3-2) at NIU Soccer Complex.

• 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.

• Northern Illinois is off to a 3-1-0 start to the 2015 campaign following identical 1-0 victories over Green Bay in double-overtime, Florida Atlantic and Stetson. The Huskies' lone loss came against the College of Charleston on Sept. 6. All three wins have occurred at home.

• 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.

• Marquette will head back on the road for four straight match-ups beginning with the BIG EAST opener against St. John's Saturday, Sept. 26. From there, the Golden Eagles will take on No. 2 Notre Dame, Villanova and Wisconsin over a challenging 12-day span.

• Last Friday, Sept. 11, the Golden Eagles made it two straight wins and extended their unbeaten to four games overall with a 1-0 win over previously undefeated Omaha thanks to Jake Taylor's 85th minute goal.

• 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).

• Marquette and NIU will meet for the 26th time in the series that dates back to 1966 with the Golden Eagles holding the all-time edge, 14-9-2.

• 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.

• The Golden Eagles emerged in this week's Top-25 poll, receiving four votes as they continue to play a quality brand of soccer out of the gates. Their lone loss remains to Oregon State in the season opener, a team that is up to No. 8 in this week's NSCAA poll.

• 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)

• Redshirt senior striker Kelmend Islami missed all of 2014, but has already set a personal single-season best for goals and tied his career-best for points in a season 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.

• For the third-straight week, Marquette placed someone on the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll as junior Jake Taylor was recognized for his game-winning goal against Omaha on Sept. 11.

• 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.

• 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 40-18-8 mark with a BIG EAST regular season title, a BIG EAST tournament championship, and two NCAA tournament appearances.

• 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.

• 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 and has started every game since.

• 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.

• Marquette opened its 51st season in program history on the road at Oregon State, Friday, Aug. 28, and fell in overtime, 1-0, dropping the Golden Eagles to 4-6 in season openers since 2006.

• 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.

• 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, Creighton leads the way with a No. 1 ranking in every major poll, including College Soccer News, Top Drawer Soccer and Soccer America.

• The Golden Eagles were picked to finish fifth in the BIG EAST Conference in 2015, behind conference favorites Creighton and Georgetown, who tied for a league-high 77 poll points and evenly split the 10 first-place votes. Providence was picked third, followed by Xavier and Marquette.

Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Creighton - 77 pts. (5 first place votes)
2. Georgetown - 77 pts. (5)
3. Providence - 65 pts.
4. Xavier - 55 pts.
5. Marquette - 50 pts.
6. St. John's - 36 pts.
7. Butler - 33 pts.
8. Villanova - 29 pts.
9. Seton Hall - 19 pts.
10. DePaul - 9 pts.

• The Golden Eagles also featured two players on the Preseason All-BIG EAST squad with redshirt senior forward C. Nortey and junior midfielder Louis Bennett II earning the prestigious honor.

• 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.

• Head coach Louis Bennett earned his 200th career coaching victory following a 3-2 home-opening triumph over Dayton Monday, Sept. 7, at Valley Fields.

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.

• Redshirt senior forward C. Nortey will serve as Marquette's captain for the 2015 season. The Accra, Ghana native ranks 10th on MU's all-time scoring list with 27 career goals after totaling a team-best 7 goals and 2 assists for 16 points in 2014. He has one goal and one assist so far in 2015.

• The Golden Eagles said goodbye to two all-time greats who moved on to professional careers in 2015. Axel Sjoberg (Colorado Rapids - 1st rd/14th overall) and Charlie Lyon (Seattle Sounders - 4th rd/75th overall) led Marquette to a BIG EAST regular season and tournament titles, as well as back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances over their final three seasons.

• 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.

• A new indoor athletic performance center, which will combine indoor playing fields for Marquette's soccer and lacrosse programs, an indoor track, and a world-class athletic performance research facility was announced on Jan. 29 by MU President Dr. Michael R. Lovell. The facility will be located on the 800 block of Michigan Street and is expected to house offices and locker rooms for MU soccer. Through a strategic partnership with the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks, cutting-edge faculty and student research in sports performance, medicine, nutrition and rehabilitation will enhance the performance of Marquette student-athletes and professional athletes worldwide.

• Seven of Marquette's nine BIG EAST Conference regular season matches will be aired live on the BIG EAST Digital Network in 2015, including the final six BIG EAST matches and beginning with a road contest at St. John's Sept. 26.

• In 2014, only three Marquette matches were featured on the BIG EAST Digital Network.

• There are plenty of ties within the Marquette soccer family on this season's roster. Sophomore midfielder Louis Bennett II is the son of head coach Louis Bennett. Redshirt junior defender John Pothast is the younger brother to former co-captain defender Eric Pothast. Redshirt senior forward David Selvaggi is the younger brother to former midfielder Anthony Selvaggi. Redshirt sophomore midfielder Alex McBride is the younger brother to former Marquette women's soccer stars Kerry and Allison McBride.

• On the MU women's soccer team, junior defender Cali Pyzdrowski is the younger sister to former men's goalkeeper Matt Pyzdrowski.

• Since Louis Bennett took over as head coach, Marquette has always had strong ties to the MLS Academy. There are six "homegrown" players currently on the roster. Louis Bennett II and Martin Alba are both products of the Chicago Fire Academy, while freshmen Luis Barraza (Real Salt Lake-Arizona), Kees Westra (Seattle Sounders FC), Ruben Sanchez (Chicago Magic PSG) and Toby Howell (Chargers SC) also competed for MLS Academy clubs prior to arriving at Marquette.

• 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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