NCAA Tournament Preview: Marquette vs. Akron
Nov. 22, 2013
MILWAUKEE -- Marquette (12-5-2), which received the No. 9 overall seed and first-round bye in the NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship, will host the Akron Zips (17-3-1) in second-round action Sunday, Nov. 24 at Valley Fields. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. Central time.
Tickets can be purchased online and are $7 for adults and $5 for youth ages 12 and under. The first 200 MU students receive free admission with a Marquette ID.
In addition to live stats, there will be a free live video stream available on GoMarquette.com. The match can also be heard live, courtesy of WMUR Marquette Radio, by visiting marquetteradio.org and clicking on the "Listen Now" button.
The winner of Sunday's match-up at Valley Fields will advance to the third round to face the winner of St. John's vs. Virginia. Third round contests will be played next Sunday, Dec. 1, hosted by the highest-seeded team.
It has been over 15 years since Marquette has squared off against Akron; the two sides last met during the 1998 campaign. MU will be looking for it's first victory over the Zips as Akron boasts an 8-4-0 advantage in the all-time series.
NCAA Tournament History
Marquette is seeking its first win in the NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship while making its third appearance in the tournament and second in two seasons. Last year, the Golden Eagles received the No. 7 overall seed (and first-round bye) but dropped a 1-0 decision to Northwestern in the second round at Valley Fields. MU's first NCAA tournament appearance came in 1997, which resulted in a 1-0 home loss to Bowling Green in the opening round.
How They Got Here
Likewise, the Zips won Mid-American Conference (MAC) regular-season and tournament titles in 2013. They topped Western Michigan 4-1 in the MAC Tournament Final last Sunday in Akron to earn an automatic berth.
About the Marquette Golden Eagles
Eight different Marquette players have found the back of the net this season, led by redshirt sophomore C. Nortey's 20 points and team-best nine goals. Freshmen Louis Bennett II and Coco Navarro have combined for six goals and 10 assists and are second and fourth on the squad with 13 and nine points, respectively.
BIG EAST Co-Goalkeeper of the Year Charlie Lyon has posted 19 career shutouts, including nine clean sheets this season, one shy of matching the single-season school record, which he tied last year. The MU co-captain is currently the school's all-time career leader in goals against average (0.84) and boasts an impressive 28-10-3 record in 41 starts between the posts.
MU's backline is anchored by central defenders Axel Sjoberg and Eric Pothast, as well as left back Paul Dillon. All three players have started every match this season with a combined 191 caps for the Blue & Gold, including 178 starts. Sjoberg, a 6-foot-7 redshirt sophomore, was an All BIG EAST First Team selection and Pothast earned BIG EAST Honorable Mention accolades at the league's annual awards banquet on Nov. 14. Sjoberg was also named Most Outstanding Defensive Player of the 2013 BIG EAST tournament. Dillon was named to the College Sports Madness All-BIG EAST Second Team while Sjoberg was honored as the BIG EAST Defender of the Year by the online publication.