NCAA Tournament Preview: Marquette vs. Akron

Head coach Louis Bennett and the Golden Eagles earned their second consecutive berth into the NCAA tournament in 2013

Nov. 22, 2013

Match Notes (pdf) Get Acrobat Reader | Tickets | Live Video | Live Stats

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 The match can also be heard live, courtesy of WMUR Marquette Radio, by visiting and clicking on the "Listen Now" button.

Key Storylines
• Akron held on to defeat the visiting defending national champion Indiana Hoosiers in the first round of the tourney by a final score of 3-2 Thursday night at FirstEnergy Stadium - Cub Cadet Field. The Zips led 3-0 before surrendering a pair of Indiana goals early in the second half.

• 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
• Akron, which won the national championship in 2010 following a runner-up finish in 2009, is making its 28th appearance in the NCAA tournament. The Zips have advanced to the Round of 16 in each of the of the past five seasons and are one of eight Division I programs to qualify for the national tournament each of the last seven years.

• 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
• After earning a share of the BIG EAST regular season title, the Golden Eagles went on to win the BIG EAST Men's Soccer Championship, which included a 3-2 win over Providence in the tournament final at PPL Park last Sunday, Nov. 17. By capturing its first-ever conference tournament championship, Marquette received league's automatic berth into the NCAA's field of 48.

• 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
• Redshirt senior Adam Lysak was named Most Outstanding Offensive Player of the 2013 BIG EAST Men's Soccer Championship after tallying a pair of game-winning goals to help MU win its first-ever conference tournament title. Lysak notched the golden goal in the 98th minute of MU's 1-0 overtime win over Butler in the semifinals. He then scored the eventual game-winner in BIG EAST Final, lifting the Golden Eagles to a 3-2 win against Providence.

• 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.




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