Sweet Sixteen: No. 9 Marquette vs. No. 8 Virginia

Senior defender Paul Dillon, a native of Chesapeake, Va., is expected to earn his 78th career cap Sunday for the Blue & Gold.

Nov. 29, 2013

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Coming off its first NCAA Division I Men's Championship victory, the ninth-seeded Marquette men's soccer team will take on the eighth-seeded Virginia Cavaliers this Sunday, Dec. 1 in a third-round match-up at Klöckner Stadium.

Kickoff is set for noon Central time (1 p.m. ET). There will be a free live video stream of Sunday's match, courtesy of VirginiaSports.com, in addition to live stats.

Tickets are $9 for reserved seats, $7 for adult general admission and $5 for youth/student/senior citizen general admission. Fans can order tickets online at VirginiaSports.com and by phone through the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office at 800-542-UVA1 (8821). Tickets are also available at the Klöckner Stadium box office beginning one hour prior to kickoff.

Key Storylines
• Marquette (13-5-2), the No. 9 overall seed the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship, travels to take on the eighth-seeded Virginia Cavaliers (11-5-5) in the third round of the national tournament on Sunday, Dec. 1 at Klöckner Stadium in Charlottesville, Va. It marks just the second time that MU will face the six-time national champions, who last met back on Oct. 3, 1981 when Virginia won 2-0 in Akron, Ohio.

• The winner of Sunday’s third-round match-up will advance to the NCAA quarterfinals later in the week to take on the winner of Connecticut versus top-seeded UCLA. Quarterfinal matches will be played on campus sites, hosted by teams that are the highest remaining seeds in the tournament.

Last Time Out
Coco Navarro tallied the golden goal with 25 seconds remaining in the first overtime last Sunday to lift Marquette to a 1-0 Second Round victory over the visiting Akron Zips on a frigid night at Valley Fields. Navarro’s side-volley from the top of the six-yard box beat Akron goalkeeper Jake Fenlason. The MU freshman was at the end of a long cross by teammate Paul Dillon, who notched his team-leading seventh assist of the campaign. MU goalie Charlie Lyon earned his 10th clean sheet in the win to match the program’s single-season shutout record. The Golden Eagles out-shot Akron 19-15, including a 10-5 margin in shots on goal, and finished with an 8-4 advantage on corner kicks.

• Virginia topped St. John’s, one of five BIG EAST Conference teams to earn an NCAA berth, by a final score of 2-0 last Sunday on its home pitch. Both of the Cavaliers’ goals came off set pieces. A second-phase header by junior Ryan Zinkhan that originated from a free-kick service by Patrick Foss gave Virginia a 1-0 lead in the 35th minute. The hosts doubled their lead in the 64th minute when a corner kick found the head of junior Eric Bird, who tallied his team-leading seventh goal of the season. UVa goalkeeper Calle Brown helped secure the victory with his 10th clean sheet.

NCAA Tournament Histories
• Virginia is making its 33rd consecutive NCAA tournament appearance, which is the longest current streak in NCAA Division I men’s soccer. The Cavaliers boast six national championships (1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 2009). They are 54-28-4 all-time in NCAA tournament matches, including an impressive 42-18-2 mark at home.

• Marquette is making its third NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Championship appearance after receiving its second berth in as many years. MU’s first-ever trip to the national tournament came in 1997. The Golden Eagles returned to the field of 48 in 2012 after earning the No. 7 overall seed and first-round bye, but dropped a 1-0 decision at home to Northwestern. Marquette, which earned the No. 9 seed this year, won its first NCAA tournament game last Sunday with a 1-0 overtime win over Akron. MU will play its first NCAA tournament game on the road this Sunday when the Golden Eagles travel to Charlottesville.

About the Marquette Golden Eagles
• 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 on Nov. 17. By capturing its first-ever conference tournament championship, Marquette received league’s automatic berth into the NCAA’s field of 48.

• 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 seven goals and 10 assists and are second and third on the squad with 13 and 11 points, respectively.

• BIG EAST Co-Goalkeeper of the Year Charlie Lyon has posted 20 career shutouts, including 10 clean sheets this season, matching the single-season school record, which he also tied last year. The MU co-captain is currently the school’s all-time career leader in goals against average (0.82) and boasts an impressive 29-10-3 record in 42 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 194 caps for the Blue & Gold, including 181 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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