Men's Soccer Set to Face No. 6 Creighton on the Road

Oct. 14, 2016

2016 Marquette Men's Soccer - Match 12
Marquette (3-4-4, 0-2-2 BIG EAST) vs. Creighton (7-2-3, 3-0-1 BIG EAST)
Date Saturday, Oct. 15 | 7:05 p.m. CT
Location Morrison Stadium | Omaha, Neb.
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MILWAUKEE – The Marquette University men’s soccer team has five BIG EAST Conference matches remaining in the regular season beginning with No. 6-ranked Creighton on the road at Morrison Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 15. Kickoff is slated for 7:05 p.m. Central time.

The Last Meeting
October 17, 2015
Valley Fields

The Golden Eagles (3-4-4, 0-2-2 BIG EAST) are coming off a 1-1 draw against preseason Top 10 Georgetown and seeking their first BIG EAST win against the Bluejays (7-2-3, 3-0-1 BIG EAST). Creighton overtook the league’s top spot after toppling then-No. 9 Butler 1-0 at home last Saturday, handing the Bulldogs their first BIG EAST defeat.

Marquette freshman midfielder Luka Prpa maintains his team-lead with 17 points on six goals and five assists. The Wind Lake, Wisconsin native scored his first BIG EAST goal with a 67th minute penalty kick to pull MU even with Georgetown last time out. He was named BIG EAST Freshman of the Week for the second time this season and currently ranks fourth in the league in points.

Sophomore goalkeeper Luis Barraza tied a season-high with seven saves in the Georgetown draw, highlighted by three key stops in the second extra-time session last Saturday.

Creighton saw its league-best nine-match unbeaten streak come to an end as unranked Tulsa scored twice in the final 5 minutes at home to stun the Bluejays 2-1 in their non-conference finale. On the season, CU has outscored its opponents 23-7, with 10 Bluejays finding the back of the net.

Forward Riggs Lennon, a transfer from Virginia, ranks second in the BIG EAST with nine goals on the year, including three-game winners. He scored four times in a 4-0 win over DePaul back on Sept. 24.

Senior Alex Kapp, who has played every minute in goal for the Bluejays, sports a 0.55 goals against average with 48 saves and a solid .873 save percentage.

Creighton and Xavier are the two remaining BIG EAST unbeatens at home this season. The Bluejays are 5-0-2 at Morrison Stadium.

Marquette holds the edge in the all-time series with a 6-5-0 mark against Creighton, but the Bluejays are winners of each of the past two meetings, including last year’s 3-1 victory at Valley Fields.

Then-No. 1 Creighton scored twice in the first half to take a commanding lead. But in the 51st minute, Kelmend Islami gave the Golden Eagles hope with a goal to cut the deficit in half before CU tacked on an insurance tally in the 82nd minute to secure the win. With the win, the Bluejays kept their unbeaten and untied record intact on the way to another NCAA tournament appearance.

Following Saturday’s match at Creighton, the Golden Eagles will return home to Valley Fields to play host to Xavier on Saturday, Oct. 22 at 7:05 p.m. Central time. The match will highlight Marquette’s annual Alumni Weekend event as they welcome back many players from yesteryear.

For the eighth year in a row, the Marquette men’s soccer team earned the NSCAA Team Academic Award, having compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.26 for the 2015-16 academic year. Back in July, the team placed 19 of its student-athletes on the BIG EAST All-Academic Team, which was the fourth-most of any program at Marquette.

All Marquette Soccer alumni are invited back on Saturday, Oct. 22 when the Golden Eagles play host to Xavier at Valley Fields. The alumni celebration will kick off with a social at Sobelman’s at 5:30 p.m., followed by the game at 7:05 p.m., and alumni recognition at halftime. Following the conclusion of the match, all alumni will be invited into the locker room and a post-game social with the staff will commence shortly after.

To RSVP, contact John Mau at 414-828-6802 or via email at

Through 11 matches, MU newcomers have accounted for 35 of the team’s 52 points, including 13 of 18 goals scored, led by Luka Prpa’s 15 points on five goals and five assists.

In the 4-0 win over NIU back on Sept. 29, three Marquette freshmen accounted for all four goals and 10 of the 11 points collected – the most points accounted for by a group of MU freshmen in a single game since Louis Bennett took over as head coach in 2006.

Jan Maertins and Connor Alba scored their first career tallies, while Luka Prpa registered two goals and two assists. Prpa’s six-point effort was the most by a freshman in a single match since C. Nortey tallied six points with a hat trick in a win over Seton Hall back on Oct. 22, 2011.

Head coach Louis Bennett has injected some international flavor to the 2016 roster as four Europeans are featured among the list of 13 newcomers. Zacharias Andreou (Cyprus), Jan Maertins (Germany), Diego Núñez (Spain), Anton von Hofacker (Norway) are not only succeeding on the pitch, but acclimating very quickly to a new team and culture.

Bennett, as well as first-year assistant coach Sean Hughes, both hail from England, while fourth-year assistant coach Marcelo Santos is a native of Brazil.

The 2016 Marquette squad is one of the youngest teams in BIG EAST Conference as it features the second-youngest overall roster with 12 freshmen and 10 sophomores, ranking right behind St. John’s with 16 freshmen and 10 sophomores. Marquette’s five upper classmen (2 seniors, 3 juniors) is the fewest of any BIG EAST program by far. St. John’s features the second-fewest with eight.

Louis Bennett II is just the latest Marquette signee to earn a professional contract overseas, joining 2015 alumnus C. Nortey (Akademisk Boldklub/ Denmark), 2010 grad Matt Pyzdrowski (Helsingborgs IF/Sweden) and former recruit Andrija Novakovic (Reading FC/England), who signed prior to what would have been his freshman season in 2014.

The Golden Eagles also feature three additional alumni grads currently under contract in Major League Soccer with Calum Mallace (Montreal Impact) currently in his fifth season, and Axel Sjoberg (Colorado Rapids) and Charlie Lyon (Seattle Sounders) each in their second seasons in 2016.




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