Marquette Soccer Begins Final Stretch at Xavier
Oct. 22, 2015
• Marquette is 4-1 all-time against Xavier dating back to a 3-1 win in the first-ever meeting back in 1987. Xavier picked up its first-ever win against Marquette last year by a 1-0 score in Milwaukee, but is 0-2 against the Golden Eagles all-time in Cincinnati. MU’s two victories in the Queen City came in 1990 by a 5-1 score and most recently in their first BIG EAST match-up in 2013 by a 1-0 score.
• Xavier snapped a three-game winless streak with a 2-1 win over Villanova at home last Saturday and moved into fourth place in the league standings, while Marquette’s loss to No. 1 Creighton dropped them to ninth overall.
• Redshirt senior Kelmend Islami continues his breakout season after scoring his career-high sixth goal of the year against Creighton last time out. The South Milwaukee native leads the Golden Eagles with 13 points on six goals and an assist in 2015.
• The Musketeers trailed Villanova 1-0 late, but Todd Pratzner and Majed Osman scored 2 minutes apart in the 86th and 88th minutes, respectively, to propel Xavier to a huge win. XU held the decisive advantage in shots (24-6) and shots on goal (12-3), as well as corner kicks (14-4).
• Xavier is outscoring opponents 21-11 this season as a team and is led individually by Alex Ridsdale’s 11 points on a team-leading five goals and an assist. Matt Vasquenza and Majed Osman aren’t far behind with seven and six points, respectively, while Jalen Brown has a team-high 27 shots (13 SOG), but just a goal and two assists to show for it.
• Xavier has used a goalkeeper by committee over the course of this season and it’s shown to work as they have combined for a 0.85 goals against average (third-best in the BIG EAST) with a .750 save percentage. Dallas Jaye has earned the majority of starts in net with eight and sports a team-best 6-1-1 record with a 0.36 GAA and .885 save percentage to go along with five shutouts. He’s 2-1-1 in BIG EAST action. Jake Carcillo has made two starts, including one in BIG EAST start in a 3-0 loss to Providence. He has an 0-2-0 mark with a 2.67 GAA and .455 save percentage.
• Entering the second half trailing 2-0, Marquette finally established some rhythm offensively that translated into solid scoring chances and Kelmend Islami took advantage in the 51st minute to cut the Creighton lead in half, 2-1. It was his team-leading fifth goal of the season as he continues his tremendous senior campaign.
• MU kept the pressure on late in an attempt to seek the game-tying goal, but the Bluejays countered in the 82nd minute to squash any comeback hopes and ran its record to a nation’s best 14-0-0.
• Saturday’s match-up will be the third straight BIG EAST meeting since the Musketeers joined the league prior to the 2013 season. In the previous two BIG EAST meetings, both teams have split with each winning on the road by 1-0 scores.
• Last year, Xavier earned its first victory in the series thanks to a Jalen Brown goal in the 38th minute that held up. Both teams entered the match nationally ranked and No. 15 Marquette lost despite holding a 7-5 shots advantage against the No. 16 Musketeers.
• The Golden Eagles have never lost to Xavier in Cincinnati, winning both meetings prior to Saturday. MU was 5-1 winners back in 1990 and claimed a 1-0 victory in their most recent meeting in the Queen City back in 2013.
• Marquette’s remaining opponents (Xavier, Providence, Butler, DePaul) all sit ahead of them in the standings and provide opportunities (with victories) to climb up the leaderboard and into a tournament spot before all is said and done on the final day of the regular season (Nov. 5).
• 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 added his fourth against NIU (Sept. 18).
• He also accounted for the game winner at Wisconsin (Oct. 7).
• Marquette was one of 217 institutions across all divisions to have both their men’s and women’s teams recognized for this award - the seventh straight time MU has accomplished that feat.
• Senior C. Nortey claimed his first weekly honor after totaling five points in a pair of contests for the period between Sept. 29-Oct. 5.
• Freshman Ruben Sanchez was honored for his outstanding efforts in helping keep St. John’s off the board in a scoreless draw to open BIG EAST play as the league named him Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 29.
• Earlier this season, 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.
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