Nov. 7, 2012
Live Audio | TV Info | MU-GU Notes | BIG EAST Championship Central
MILWAUKEE -- Marquette (No. 4 Blue) is making its first trip to the BIG EAST semifinals and will face Georgetown (No. 2 Blue) in the first match on Friday, Nov. 9. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. Central time (5 p.m. ET) at PPL Park.
The winner of the Georgetown/Marquette match will face the winner of Friday's late semifinal between Connecticut and Notre Dame in the BIG EAST Men's Soccer Championship on Sunday, Nov. 11 (11 a.m. CT/noon ET), which will also be held at PPL Park.
Tickets for the remaining BIG EAST tournament matches at PPL Park are on sale now and can be ordered online at www.comcasttix.com or www.PhiladelphiaUnion.com. To order tickets over the phone, call Comcast Tix at 1-800-298-4200. Tickets can also be purchased at the PPL Park Box Office. Suites are also available for purchase. Please contact Mike Meirowitz at 610-497-6726 for pricing and availability. Philadelphia season ticket holders have received a code to purchase discounted tickets. Parking is $10 in PPL Park approved Lot B.
Semfinals - $20 adults, $10 youth (12-and-under)
Championship - same as above
Two-day tickets - $25 adults, $18 youth
TV/Radio Broadcast Information
Friday's semfinals will be nationally televised on CBS Sports Network and live streaming audio can also be heard on WMUR Marquette Radio (http://www.marquetteradio.org/listen/). Sunday's championship game will be broadcast by BIG EAST TV as well as regional networks across the country. Click here for more information.
BIG EAST Matches Moved To PPL Park
Due to recent weather events, the site of the BIG EAST semifinals and championship game have been moved to PPL Park, located at 1 Stadium Drive in Chester, Pa., home of Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union. The games were originally scheduled to be played at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.
No. 4 Blue Marquette Golden Eagles (16-2-1)
Marquette is making its fourth straight postseason appearance under seventh-year head coach Louis Bennett. MU matched a school record by picking up its 16th win of the season Saturday with a 2-1 decision at Louisville in the BIG EAST quarterfinals. The Golden Eagles are led offensively by senior striker Andy Huftalin who has had a breakthrough season with a team-high 24 points, including a team-best 10 goals and four game-winners. Redshirt freshman Axel Sjoberg has scored in each of the last four matches, giving the 6-foot-7 central defender two goals this postseason and eight goals overall. Redshirt sophomore Charlie Lyon has started every match at goalkeeper and is among the national leaders in GAA (0.71) and shutouts (10).
No. 2 Blue Georgetown (16-2-1)
Freshman forward Brandon Allen scored his 12th goal of the season, and his eighth game-winner, in the 66th minute Saturday afternoon to break a 1-1 tie and help the Hoyas to a 2-1 win over St. John's (No. 3 Red), as Georgetown won its sixth straight. Allen's 26 points pace the Hoyas followed by junior forward Steve Neumann with 22 points on six goals and a team-high 10 assists. Neumann has tallied 27 goals and 25 assists in his career.
Goalkeeper Tomas Gomez has been impressive with six shutouts in 13 matches played to go along with a 0.60 goals against average. Georgetown is unbeaten this season (12-0-1) with Gomez in goal.
Marquette Earns Rematch With Hoyas
Friday's postseason contest will be a rematch of the highly anticipated regular-season divisional showdown on Oct. 13 at Georgetown, when the Hoyas handed a Marquette a 2-1 loss in a battle between two top-10 opponents. It was MU's first of two losses on the season, snapping the nation's longest regular-season winning streak at 13 matches after the Golden Eagles opened the 2012 campaign 12-0-0. (MU-GU recap from 10/13/12)
Blue Division Well-Represented
All four semifinal participants are members of the BIG EAST Blue Division and represent the division's top four seeds. UConn and Georgetown shared the regular-season division title, while Notre Dame and Marquette tied for third place. The Huskies earned the top seed in the division by virtue of a tie-breaker with Georgetown (No. 2 seed), and the Irish picked up the No. 3 seed, followed by Marquette (No. 4 seed).
MU Among National Leaders In Several Statistical Categories
Marquette enters this weekend ranked third in NCAA Division I in assists, fifth in points scored and sixth in goals. Through 19 matches, the Golden Eagles have been credited with 42 assists on 41 goals (124 points) this season, led by junior defender Paul Dillon who ranked ninth individually with nine assists and junior midfielder Bryan Ciesiulka (eight assists).
Redshirt freshman Axel Sjoberg, a 6-foot-7 center back, ranks second among all NCAA Division I defenders with eight goals this season. Only senior Marcello Castro (nine goals) of Sacred Heart has scored more from the backline.
Sophomore goalkeeper Charlie Lyon ranks eighth nationally in save percentage (.853), 10th in shutout percentage (0.53) and 15th in goals against average (0.71).
Golden Eagles Against the Top 25
No. 4/6 Georgetown marks the sixth match against a top-25 opponent for the Golden Eagles this season. No. 10/7 Marquette, which has been ranked as high as No. 2 (Soccer America and College Soccer News) in the nation, closed the regular season with a loss and a draw, respectively, in a home-and-home series against then No. 8/7-ranked Notre Dame. MU defeated No. 2/2 UConn, 3-2, at home earlier this season as well as No. 12/24 Louisville, 2-1, in the BIG EAST quarterfinals on Nov. 3, to go 2-2-1 thus far against the Top-25.
Georgetown leads the all-time series 7-1-0 and has won three straight over the Golden Eagles. Georgetown defeated MU 2-1 in Washington, D.C. earlier this season. Marquette's lone victory over the Hoyas came back in 2009 when MU blanked Georgetown 1-0 at Valley Fields.
Last Time Out: Marquette 2, Louisville 1
BIG EAST Quarterfinal Nov. 3, 2012
Marquette scored twice in the first half en route to a 2-1 win at No. 12/24 Louisville, the top seed in the Red Division, in a BIG EAST quarterfinal match last Saturday. Axel Sjoberg opened th scoring the 35th minute on a header, and Bryan Ciesiulka doubled MU's advantage right before halftime on a free kick from 35 yards. The host Cardinals, who out-shot Marquette 19-9, scored with five minutes, 11 seconds remaining in regulation, but could not net the equalizer, as Golden Eagles goalkeeper Charlie Lyon came up with a career-high 10 saves.
Huftalin Enjoying Breakthrough Senior Season
Senior striker Andy Huftalin has helped fill the void left with the absence of 2011 leading scorers C. Nortey (offseason knee surgery; redshirting in 2012) and Calum Mallace (MLS SuperDraft second-round selection of the Montreal Impact; 2011 BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year). A native of Rockford, Ill., Huftalin has come off the bench in all but three matches this season to lead the Golden Eagles in scoring. Twenty four of his 31 career points have come this season as Huftalin has scored a team-best 10 goals, including four game-winners.
Top-Rated Freshmen to Square-Off Saturday
Two of the nation's top-rated freshmen are set to square-off Friday. Redshirt freshman Axel Sjoberg has been ranked No. 5 overall in his class by TopDrawerSoccer.com. The 6-foot-7 central defender has scored eight goals this season and has helped the MU defense record 10 shutouts, matching a single-season record. Sjoberg will go head-to-head with Georgetown forward Brandon Allen. The Hoyas' newcomer, who is ranked No. 2 by TDS, is one of the nation's top goal-scorers (12).
Help Bryan 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.
Academic All-District Teams
Three members of the Marquette men's soccer team were recognized as Capital One/Academic All-District VI selections, the College Sports Information Director's of America announced on Nov. 1. Goalkeeper Charlie Lyon and junior midfielders Eric Pothast and Bryan Ciesiulka earned the award, the first academic all-district honor of their respective careers, and have been placed on the ballot for Academic All-America, which will be announced later this month.
Youthful Backline Contributing On Both Ends Of Pitch
Marquette's backline features three rookies in freshmen central defenders Axel Sjoberg and John Pothast and right back Adam Hermsen, in addition to junior Paul Dillon. Sjoberg has tallied eight goals this season, while Dillon currently leads the team with nine assists. On top of helping the defense record 10 clean sheets this season, the four defenders have combined for more than 35 percent (44/124) of the team's offensive points this season.