Redshirt freshman Erin Johnston broke through with her first career goal on Sunday against Mercer.
Sept. 6, 2017
MILWAUKEE - The Marquette University women’s soccer team looks to continue its five-match winning streak with a road swing to the East Coast this weekend with matches at Boston University on Friday and a Sunday matinee at Rhode Island.
The Golden Eagles (5-1) will face BU at Nickerson Field on Sept. 8 at 6 p.m. Central time in a match broadcast live online through the Patriot League Network. The MU-URI contest on Sept. 10 can be viewed through the A-10 Network at noon CT from the URI Soccer Complex in Kingston, Rhode Island.
Marquette is coming off a 2-0 weekend in their own invitational with shutout wins over Central Michigan (1-0) and Mercer (2-0). The Golden Eagles, who have not allowed a goal in 381:55 since Aug. 20 against Kentucky, rank among the BIG EAST leaders in most offensive categories, including shots per game at 15.83 per match.
Seniors Eli Beard and Caroline Fink, along with redshirt junior Ryley Bugay and Kylie Sprecher were all named to the all-tournament team last weekend, while Bugay and Sprecher earned defensive and offensive MVP honors, respectively. Forwards Carrie Madden and Darian Powell lead the Golden Eagles with seven points (two goals and three assists) on the year and sophomore Maddy Henry has started all six matches in net.
Marquette’s 5-1 record matches its best six-match start to a season since the 2011 campaign, when the squad eventually started the year 8-1 and finished 18-4 overall.
Boston University (1-3-2) earned a pair of draws last weekend with a scoreless tie at Arizona State on Friday and a 1-1 draw at Arizona on Sunday. The preseason Patriot League favorites began the year with a 3-2 loss at Louisville, a squad MU downed 2-0 on Aug. 27 in Kentucky. The Terriers’ lone win came on Aug. 24, a 2-1 triumph over Northeastern and their six goals this season have all been scored by different players.
Head coach Nancy Feldman, who is in her 23rd year with the program, led BU into Milwaukee in 2015 in the only meeting between the two programs, a 3-0 Marquette win on Aug. 30, 2015.
Rhode Island is coming off a 1-0 win at Vanderbilt on Sunday afternoon and sits at 2-4 overall. Senior Taylor Ross leads the squad with three of its seven goals on the season and all of the Ross tallies came in a 4-2 win over Vermont on Aug. 20. First-year head coach Megan Jessee earned her first career victory in that match.
Marquette is 2-0 all-time against URI and has outscored the Rams 6-0 in those meetings, the most recent of which came on Sept. 16, 2007.
The Golden Eagles will return to Milwaukee upon conclusion of their match at URI and welcome Illinois State to Valley Fields on Thursday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. in a match broadcast live on Spectrum Sports Wisconsin. MU will also face crosstown-foe Milwaukee at Engelmann Field next Sunday evening.
SPRECHER EMERGING AT FORWARD
- Kylie Sprecher slid into the starting lineup on Aug. 27 at Louisville and has continued to produce, scoring her first career goal, a match winner, on Sept. 1 against Central Michigan and assisted on Eli Beard’s winner against Mercer on Sept. 3. Sprecher, a freshman from Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, earned offensive MVP honors at the Marquette Invitational for her play against CMU and Mercer and was honored by the BIG EAST on Sept. 4 as the league’s freshman of the week.
BEARD AND BUGAY STEP UP AT LOUISVILLE
- With the departure of last year’s large senior class, the 2017 Golden Eagles need contributions from players like midfielders Eli Beard and Ryley Bugay in supporting roles. The pair stepped up in the win at Louisville on Sunday, Aug. 27 with their first goals of the year. Bugay’s match winner, the first tally of her career, came on a penalty kick in the 51st minute and the redshirt junior leads MU through its first six matches with 519 minutes played. Beard scored the day’s final goal from 40 yards in the 69th minute to mark just her second goal since her 2014 freshman campaign.
- The pair continued its success in the Marquette Invitational, earning all-tournament honors against Central Michigan and Mercer. Bugay was awarded the most valuable defensive player honors as MU shutout both teams, while Beard, who scored the match winner against Mercer, also was recognized on the all-tournament team.
HENRY CONTINUES LINE OF MULTI-YEAR STARTERS IN NET
- Maddy Henry notched a career-high nine saves in the 2017 lid-lifter against No. 2 Stanford to earn her fourth career BIG EAST weekly accolade with mention on the league’s honor roll on Aug. 21. She was also named the league’s goalkeeper of the week on both Aug. 28 and Sept. 4 after helping the Golden Eagles to four-straight shutouts.
POWELL RETURNS FOR SIXTH SEASON
- Forward Darian Powell led Marquette in both 2014 and 2015 with seven goals in each of her first two seasons of action after sitting out both 2012 and 2013 with injuries. The La Porte City, Iowa native scored four of her seven goals in Marquette’s final three regular season matches last season as MU defeated Villanova and Butler before falling at DePaul in overtime.
- Powell scored a pair of goals in the 3-0 win against Drake on Sept. 25 to push her to 20 in her career and tie her for 10th in MU history with seven career match winners.
EIGHT MAKE NCAA DEBUTS VS. STANFORD, PAIR WITH FIRST STARTS
- Ten Golden Eagles who did not see the field for Marquette in 2016 played in the season opener against No. 2 Stanford, including eight in their first ever NCAA action. Five of MU’s six true freshmen saw the field, led by forward Kylie Sprecher who saw a team-high 44 minutes off the bench. Defensively redshirt freshman Mary Kate Simon started alongside redshirt sophomore Bri Jaeger in their first career starts, while redshirt junior Heather Handwork also returned to the pitch after not playing last year.
MU CELEBRATES 25 YEARS OF WOMEN’S SOCCER
- Throughout the season, Marquette will celebrate its 25th anniversary by highlighting the players and accomplishments of the University’s most successful women’s program. MU has appeared in the NCAA tournament in over half of its years of competition (13 of 24) and has earned 10 conference regular season titles and four league tournament crowns. Entering the program’s 25th campaign, Marquette has posted an overall record of 328-147-54, including a mark of 307-120-46 in Markus Roeders’ 22 years at the helm.
MADDEN EARNS PRESEASON NOD AFTER BREAKTHROUGH 2016
- Through her first two years at Marquette, forward Carrie Madden played in a total of one match and did not record a point. That lack of playing experience didn’t hinder her ability to contribute offensively in 2016 as Madden proved to be Marquette’s most potent finisher. The redshirt junior led MU with six goals and 17 points in 2016, including four match winners. Madden scored against Butler on Oct. 23 in the 93rd minute to keep Marquette in the hunt for the BIG EAST regular season title and scored on a phenomenal finish behind her against St. John’s in OT of the league tournament semifinals.
- Madden was named to the 2016 All-BIG EAST Championship Team and was the only MU player named to the 2017 All-BIG EAST Preseason Team. She scored her first goal of 2017 in the Aug. 20 match against Kentucky and added a goal and two assists against Drake on Aug. 25.
GOLDEN EAGLES AMONG MOST SUCCESSFUL CURRENT BIG EAST TEAMS SINCE 2005
- Since entering the BIG EAST Conference in 2005, Marquette has proven to be among the conference’s elite women’s soccer programs. The Golden Eagles have accumulated an overall record of 176-65-31 since that time and a mark of 92-22-10 in league action, which includes six regular season conference titles and a pair of tournament championships in 2012 and 2013. MU, which has missed the NCAA tournament just three times since its addition to the league, went a remarkable 39-1-1 in BIG EAST play in the four seasons from 2010-13.