Men's Soccer
No. 5/3 Golden Eagles Prep For No. 8/7 Notre Dame

Sebastian Jansson scored the decisive goal in a 1-0 win over nationally ranked Notre Dame at Valley Fields last season


Sebastian Jansson scored the decisive goal in a 1-0 win over nationally ranked Notre Dame at Valley Fields last season

Oct. 23, 2012

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MILWAUKEE -- Marquette is set for the first of two matches this week against the Fighting Irish. No. 5/3 MU travels to No. 8/7 Notre Dame for its first clash against its BIG EAST Blue Division rival on Wednesday, Oct. 24.

Kickoff at Alumni Stadium is scheduled for 6 p.m. Central time (7 p.m. ET) this Wednesday. Live streaming audio will be available courtesy of WMUR Marquette Radio with play-by-play announcer Matt Trebby calling the action.

A free live video stream of Wednesday's match will also be available at www.UND.com.

Key Storylines
* The home-and-home series with division rival Notre Dame stands between the Golden Eagles and their quest for a second straight BIG EAST Blue Division title. Marquette currently sits atop the table with 15 points in league play. Wednesday's contest versus the Irish marks the third top-10 match-up of the season for Marquette with a rematch against Notre Dame slated for Saturday, Oct. 27, in Milwaukee.

* This week’s series with the Irish features two of the nation’s most potent offenses. Notre Dame ranks fifth in NCAA Division I with 36 goals in 15 matches, while Marquette ranks ninth overall. MU is fourth in the nation with 35 assists on 34 goals and ranks sixth in the country in total points (103) whereas Notre Dame ranks 10th overall (98 points).

* Both Marquette and Notre Dame have already clinched a spot in the 2012 BIG EAST Men’s Soccer Championship, which begins next Wednesday, Oct. ; however, the top four seeds in the Blue Division have not yet been determined. No. 4 Blue will host No. 5 Red in the first round of the postseason, while the top three seeds in each division receive a bye into the quarterfinal round which is set for Nov. 3. Four teams will advance to the semifinals at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J., on Nov. 9, where the championship match will also be played (Nov. 11).

No. 5/3 Marquette Golden Eagles (14-1-0, 5-1-0 BIG EAST)
­Marquette posted its second consecutive shutout, and ninth clean sheet of the season, with a 2-0 home win Saturday versus Seton Hall. Anthony Selvaggi (54’) and Eric Pothast (68’) both found the back of the net in the second half as the Golden Eagles remained undfeated on its pitch through nine home matches in 2012. MU won its first 12 matches of the season before having the nation’s longest winning streak snapped with a 2-1 loss at then No. 10/14-ranked Georgetown earlier this month. Head coach Lous Bennett’s squad has since won two straight, including last weekend’s victory over the Pirates and a convincing 4-0 win at Pittsburgh on Oct. 17, led by two goals and two assists from MU’s leading point scorer Andy Huftalin (21 points, nine goals).

No. 8/7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (12-3-0, 4-2-0 BIG EAST)
Notre Dame's offense, which has not been shut out all season, has been especially hot as of a late with a combined nine goals in their previous two matches. The Fighting Irish are paced offensively by senior forward Ryan Finley whose 31 points and 14 goals lead the BIG EAST and rank fourth and third, respectively, in NCAA Division I. Finley recorded a hat trick his last time out with three second-half goals in a 3-0 win vs. Providence. Goalkeepers Patrick Wall and Will Walsh have split time this season. The senior Walsh has started eight games with four shutouts and the junior Wall has started seven games with three shutouts.

Series History
Notre Dame holds a 13-7-3 edge in the all-time series that dates back to 1964. Marquette broke a streak of seven consecutive losses against the Irish with a 1-0 victory in Milwaukee last season when MU’s Sebastian Jansson scored his first collegiate goal in the 16th minute to help defeat the then No. 12/13-ranked Notre Dame. MU will be looking for its first win at Notre Dame since the 1985 campaign.

Golden Eagles In The National Polls
Marquette is a consenus top-5 team for the third consecutive week, ranked No. 5 in the latest NSCAA/Continental Tire poll and No. 3 by Soccer America. The Golden Eagles are ranked as high as No. 2 nationally, according to this week’s College Soccer News Rankings. It’s the highest that Marquette has been ranked this season since week 10 (No. 2, Soccer America) and the highest ranking in the 49-year history of the men’s soccer program. MU checks in at No. 4 this week in the TopDrawerSoccer.com Top-48, as well as the College Sports Madness rankings, and No. 5 in the latest Soccer Times poll.

Charlie Lyon Among Nation’s Best
* Redshirt sophomore Charlie Lyon has recorded nine shutouts this season and is one shutout shy of matching the Marquette single-season record set by Steve McCullough (10) in 1994. In his first season as the Golden Eagles starting goalkeeper, Lyon has been nothing short of impressive. He currently ranks among the nation’s best in goals against average (0.58) and save percentage (.857)


 

 

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