Marquette Hosts St. John's in BIG EAST Opener

Sept. 16, 2016

2016 Marquette Men's Soccer - Match 7
Marquette (3-1-2, 0-0-0) vs. St. John's (3-1-1, 0-0-0)
Date Saturday, Sept. 17 | 7:05 p.m. CT
Location Valley Fields | Milwaukee
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MILWAUKEE -- The Golden Eagles carry a five-match unbeaten streak into the BIG EAST Conference opener as they play host to St. John's on Saturday, Sept. 17. It will be "Tanks and Tacos Night" at Valley Fields as the first 200 students will receive a Marquette Soccer tank top and a free Qdoba bar will be offered. Kickoff is set for 7:05 p.m.

KEY STORYLINES
• MU has a five-match unbeaten streak, including consecutive draws entering Saturday. The last time MU strung together at least six matches without a loss was 2014, when it recorded an eight-match unbeaten streak (Sept. 5-Oct. 11).

The Last Meeting
Marquette0  
St. John's02OT
September 26, 2015
Queens, N.Y.
Marquette Soccer Plays to 0-0 Draw at St. John's
The Marquette University men's soccer team controlled possession and applied pressure with regularity, but could not find a breakthrough goal as it played to a 0-0 draw against host St. John's in the BIG EAST opener at Belson Stadium Saturday night, Sept. 26.

• The Golden Eagles open BIG EAST Conference play at home for just the second time in the last nine seasons, taking on St. John’s as a league opening opponent for the second year in a row. MU is 4-0-3 in BIG EAST openers since 2009 and 2-2-2 all-time against the Red Storm.

• Play-by-play man Patrick Reed is on the call for Saturday’s league opener against SJU on the BIG EAST Digital Network, the first of seven league matches for MU to be broadcast on BEDN in 2016. BEDN is available via FOXSportsGo.com and the FOX Sports Go app.

• Marquette enters the polls this week, receiving votes in the College Soccer News Top 30 poll.

OPENING BIG EAST PLAY
• This marks just the second time in nine seasons that the Golden Eagles will open BIG EAST play at home and first since 2012 when they defeated DePaul, 5-0, at Valley Fields.

• Marquette looks to build on its 4-0-3 mark in league openers since 2009 when it plays host to St. John’s on Saturday - the same team it opened up against in 2015 with a scoreless draw in Queens, NY. 

• The Golden Eagles have registered five shutouts in league openers since 2009, including four straight, with a goal differential of 10-2.

SCOUTING THE RED STORM
• St. John’s is off to its best start since 2013, entering Saturday’s match-up with a 3-1-1 record and coming off two straight victories against Princeton (3-1) on the road and Holy Cross (2-0) at home. Prior to that, the Red Storm fell to No. 6 Syracuse, 3-2, in double-overtime on the road, followed by a season opening scoreless draw to Drexel and a 2-0 win over St. Peter’s, both at home.

• SJU’s strength thus far has been in its defense as it is holding opponents to less than a goal per game and has registered three shutouts already on the year. The Red Storm have featured a tandem in goal with Andrew Withers earning three of the five decisions and five games played in total. He is 2-0-1 with two shutouts, including one solo, and a 0.33 GAA, while Michael Bernardi is 1-1 with a 1.26 GAA.

• Offensively, five SJU players have registered at least one goal, with Alistair Johnston leading the way with three scores. Harry Cooksley paces SJU with seven points on two goals and three assists.

COMING UP NEXT
• Following Saturday’s BIG EAST match-up against St. John’s the Golden Eagles will remain home for a meeting with Villanova on Sept. 24. Kickoff is set for 7:05 p.m. at Valley Fields and will broadcast live on the BIG EAST Digital Network.

LAST TIME OUT
• Marquette remained unbeaten in its last five matches after a wild finish concluded a 3-3 draw with rival Milwaukee on Wednesday. MU led 3-0 after 30 minutes of play, but was unable to find the back of the net the rest of the way, yet retained the Milwaukee Cup for the third consecutive year with the draw. UWM scored in the 34th, 61st and 86th minutes to tie the game in regulation. MU’s Jan Maertins hit a post, while Toby Howell struck the crossbar in what were close attempts to win it in the first extra-time session.

• Both teams combined for 43 shots and seven bookings, including Martin Alba’s questionable red card with 16 seconds remaining in the second extra-time period, making him unavailable for Saturday’s BIG EAST opener against St. John’s.

GOLDEN EAGLES DOMINANT DURING STREAK
• During MU’s current five-match unbeaten streak, the Golden Eagles have outscored opponents 16-6. They are outshooting the opposition 77-60 with more than six of those landing on target per match as compared to opponents averaging fewer than four shots on target during the streak.

• Offensively, it’s the first time since 1993 that a Marquette squad has registered three or more goals in four of the team’s first six matches. The 1993 squad featured five such outings.

• Marquette leads the BIG EAST and ranks sixth-nationally with 16 goals scored and a 2.67 goals per game average. That output matches the team from 2000 for the most goals scored in the team’s first six matches. MU has five players with two or more goals this season after having just three all of last year.

YOUTHFUL SQUADS COLLIDE IN MILWAUKEE
• When Marquette and St. John’s clash in the BIG EAST opener on Saturday, merely saying both teams are young would be an understatement. Combined, the two squads will feature a total of 28 freshman and 20 sophomores.

• MU head coach Louis Bennett has started five true freshmen in each of the last five matches, while as many as seven freshmen and eight newcomers (including sophomore Diego Núñez) have seen action in a given match.

• According to St. John’s web site, 11 newcomers have appeared in a match this year, while no fewer than four freshmen have started in any one game with a season-high seven newcomers appearing in the win over Princeton back on Sept. 8.


 

 

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