Oct. 26, 2012
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MILWAUKEE -- No. 5/3 Marquette (14-2-0, 5-2-0 BIG EAST) can clinch its second straight Blue Division men's soccer championship when the Golden Eagles close out the regular season Saturday at Valley Fields with a rematch against No. 8/7 Notre Dame (13-3-0, 5-2-0). There will be a brief ceremony prior to the 7:05 p.m. CT kickoff honoring MU's senior class.
Current seniors Anthony Selvaggi, Ryan Robb and Andy Huftalin will be honored before the match, as well as former players Chris Madsen, Ben Calvopina and David Check.
The first 500 fans will receive a free Marquette Soccer t-shirt. Also, fans who wish to donate a winter hat or a pair of mittens or gloves at the gate will receive $2 off the price of admission with all donations benefitting Caps4Kids. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for youth ages 18 and younger. Call the MU ticket office at 414-288-GOMU (4668) or visit www.GoMarquette.com/tickets for more information.
Listen Live on WMUR Marquette Radio
Saturday's match against Notre Dame will be broadcast live by WMUR Marquette Radio with play-by-play announcer Matt Trebby calling the action. Listen live at http://marquetteradio.org/listen
* A win Saturday night would guarantee the defending champions at least a share of the 2012 division title. There are currently four teams -- Marquette, Connecticut, Notre Dame and Georgetown -- tied for first place atop the table all with 15 points in league play heading into the final weekend.
* Both of Marquette's losses this season have come on the road to top-10 nationally ranked division opponents. MU looks to finish the regular season undefeated at Valley Fields; the Golden Eagles are a perfect 9-0-0 on their home pitch this season and have won 10 consecutive regular season matches at The Valley. Saturday's home contest versus the Irish marks the fourth top-10 match-up of the season for Marquette.
* This week's series with the Irish features two of the nation's most potent offenses. Notre Dame is ranked fifth in NCAA Division I with 36 goals in 15 matches, while Marquette is ranked ninth overall heading into this week. MU was fourth in the nation with 35 assists on 34 goals and ranked sixth in the country in total points whereas Notre Dame ranked 10th overall.
* 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 (14-2-0, 5-2-0 BIG EAST)
Marquette posted its ninth clean sheet of the season last time out at Valley Fields with a 2-0 win last Saturday versus Seton Hall. Anthony Selvaggi (54') and Eric Pothast (68') found the back of the net in the second half as MU remained undefeated 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.
No. 8/7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (13-3-0, 5-2-0 BIG EAST)
Notre Dame's offense, which has not been shut out all season, has been especially hot as of a late outscoring its opponents 23-5 over the course of the last six matches. The Fighting Irish are paced offensively by senior forward Ryan Finley whose 35 points and 16 goals lead the BIG EAST.
Notre Dame vs. Marquette - Part I
Notre Dame scored three unanswered goals during a seven-minute spell in the second half of Wednesday's 3-1 decision over Marquette. Redshirt freshman Axel Sjoberg tallied his fifth goal of the season on a header in the 25th minute to give the Golden Eagles an early 1-0 lead, but MU couldn't fend off a relentless Irish attack led by BIG EAST leading scorer Ryan Finley who added on two more goals to his season total, including a penalty kick in the 60th minute that gave Notre Dame a 2-1 lead.
Notre Dame holds a 14-7-3 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.
Golden Eagles in the National Polls
Marquette is a consensus top-5 team for the third consecutive week and is 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. 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.