Oct. 4, 2012
Live audio | Gametracker | Tickets/Promotions | Bennett podcast
MILWAUKEE -- All eyes will be on Valley Fields this Saturday, Oct. 6, when No. 9/7 Marquette (10-0-0, 2-0-0 BIG EAST) hosts No. 2/2 Connecticut (10-0-1, 3-0-0) in perhaps the biggest showdown thus far in NCAA Division I men's soccer this season. Kickoff against the Huskies is set for 7:05 p.m. Central time (8:05 p.m. ET).
Live streaming audio, courtesy of WMUR Marquette Radio and play-by-play voice Matt Trebby, will be available for Saturday's match, when defending BIG EAST Blue Division champion Marquette puts the nation's longest regular-season win streak on the line.
All MU fans in attendance are encouraged to wear the color gold to match in an attempt to "Gold Out" UConn. Gold "We Are Marquette Soccer" rally towels will also be given to the first 300 fans. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling the Marquette ticket office at (414) 288-GOMU. For more promotions, or to learn more about tickets, visit GoMarquette.com/tickets.
Marquette is led by redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Charlie Lyon, who is coming off his sixth shutout of the season and 6-foot-7 Swedish center back Axel Sjoberg. Sjoberg, a redshirt freshman currently leads the team with 11 points on four goals and three assists, and has been a key component to the success of MU backline. A strong supporting cast includes senior forwards Andy Huftalin and Adam Lysak, who have combined for seven goals on the season, in addition to central midfielder Bryan Ciesiulka and fellow junior midfielder Eric Pothast.
The Huskies boast both the BIG EAST Preseason Offensive Player of the Year in junior striker Mamadou Doudou Diouf and the league's preseason goalkeeper of the year, sophomore Andre Blake. Diouf is tied for the BIG EAST lead with eight goals, while midfielder Carlos Alvarez has garnered back-to-back conference offensive player-of-week honors and has five goals and six assists on the season. Meanwhile, Blake has allowed just four goals in 11 games (0.36 GAA).
The Last Meeting
October 26, 2011
Golden Eagles Blanked 3-0 at No. 5/2 UConn
Connecticut proved why they've been the nation's top-ranked men's soccer team for most of the season Wednesday night with a 3-0 victory over Marquette University in front of nearly 3,000 fans at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium.
No. 9/7 Marquette Golden Eagles (10-0-0, 2-0-0 BIG EAST)
Marquette has not lost a regular-season match since a 3-0 setback at then No. 5/2-ranked UConn on Oct. 26, 2011, in Storrs, Conn., and the Golden Eagles are one of two teams (Cornell) in NCAA Division I with a perfect overall record going into the weekend. MU has out-scored BIG EAST opponents 7-0 in two matches this season, including a 2-0 shutout at Providence last Saturday in the Blue Division opener. The Golden Eagles are now 18-3-1 in their last 22 matches.
No. 2/2 Connecticut Huskies (10-0-1, 3-0-0 BIG EAST)
Connecticut returns eight starters from last year's team that finished 19-3-3 overall and advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals. The top-ranked team in the country according to some pollsters, the 2012 Huskies have won 10 of 11 matches, which includes a 1-1 draw vs. Boston University. UConn has won its last six contests and has already secured nine points in league play with decisions over No. 13 St. John's, No. 8 Notre Dame and No. 3 Georgetown.
MU is looking for its first-ever win over UConn as the Huskies lead the all-time series at 7-0-1 going back to the team's first-ever meeting in 1991. Marquette tied the No. 3 Huskies 1-1 the last time Connecticut played at Valley Fields on Oct. 1, 2010. Sophomore Ryan Robb had the equalizer, scoring in the 80th minute of that match. It was the highest-ranked team MU has ever recorded a result against.
Marquette's Offense Among Nation's Best
Through the first 10 games of the season, nine different MU players have found the back of the net, which includes seven multiple-goal scorers led by senior Andy Huftalin and redshirt freshman Axel Sjoberg with four goals apiece. MU enters the week ranked fifth in NCAA Division I in assists (25), eighth in points (71) and 14th in scoring offense at 2.3 goals per game. Marquette has out-scored their opponents 23-5 in 10 matches this season.
Golden Eagles Unanimously Top-10
Marquette In the National Rankings
Marquette maintained its spot at No. 7 in the latest Soccer America rankings for the second consecutive week, the program's highest national ranking ever. Following wins over Wisconsin and Providence last week, the Golden Eagles jumped eight spots to No. 9 in this week's College Sports Madness rankings. MU also checks in at No. 9 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire poll and according to Soccer Times. TopDrawerSoccer.com has the Golden Eagles at No. 8 this week. In addition, Marquette stays at No. 2 in the NSCAA Great Lakes Region poll behind top-ranked Akron, ahead of Notre Dame and Indiana.
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Pothast Brothers Contributing On Both Ends Of The Pitch
Junior defensive midfielder Eric Pothast and freshman center back John Pothast have started every match this season for the Golden Eagles and both have found ways to contribute on both ends of the pitch. Aside from being two of Marquette's top one-on-one defenders, the Pothast brothers have combined for 13 offensive points in their first season playing together. Eric Pothast, who has collected multiple national honors this season, scored the game-winning goal in three of the team's first five games while John Pothast scored in each of MU's first two BIG EAST matches, including the game-winner in a 2-0 victory at Providence.
Young Defense Continues To Impress
A trio of Marquette freshmen has stepped in to provide head coach Louis Bennett a steady backline, which also includes junior left back Paul Dillon. True freshmen Adam Hermsen and John Pothast have started every game at right back and central defender, respectively, as has redshirt freshman Axel Sjoberg (central defender). Together, with redshirt sophomore Charlie Lyon, the Golden Eagles' defensive unit has posted six shutouts through the team's first 10 games and has allowed just five goals on the season. Additionally, Sjoberg leads the team offensively with 11 points (4g, 3a) and Dillon is tied for the team lead with five assists.
Help Ciesiulka & FMSC Fight Hunger
Marquette junior Bryan Ciesiulka will host a "MobilePack" event on Jan. 20, 2013, to benefit the Feed My Starving Children organization, a non-profit entity committed to feeding those who are hungry in body and in spirit. Ciesiulka is attempting to raise a minimum of $22,000 and organize a group of at least 500 volunteers for the Marquette MobilePack event. Together, they will hand-pack 100,000 meals for malnourished children in over 70 countries around the world. To learn how you can "Be the Difference" and offer your support, visit Fundraising.FMSC.org/Marquette.
Follow Marquette Soccer on Facebook and Twitter
In addition to all the news, stats and scores that you'll find on GoMarquette.com, fans of Marquette men's soccer can follow the team on Facebook (Facebook.com/marquettesoccer) and on Twitter (@marquettesoccer). Get exclusive access behind the scenes and be up-to-date on the latest news of the day. In-game updates will also be provided in real time at Twitter.com/marquettesoccer for all home and away matches during the season.
Skills Zone Open for 2012 Season
Kids 12-and-under are invited to participate in the "Skills Zone" before every Marquette home match during the 2012 season. Get to The Valley early to participate in soccer skills stations with MU players & coaches. The "Skills Zone" opens one hour before the start of every men's soccer home game.