No. 24/19 Marquette Opens Eighth Season Of BIG EAST Play
Sept. 12, 2012
MILWAUKEE, Wis. - The No. 24/19 Marquette women's soccer team (3-2-1) will open its eighth season of BIG EAST play on Thursday playing at Pittsburgh (5-4-0). Kick-off is slated for 6:00 p.m. CT.
The Golden Eagles look to get back to winning ways after falling to nationally ranked North Carolina and Duke last weekend. After facing Pittsburgh, MU returns home Sunday for a non-conference matchup against George Mason. Sunday's kick-off is at 1:00 p.m. CT.
Marquette owns a 6-0-1 series record over the Panthers. The Golden Eagles have won the last two meetings. Pittsburgh is playing in a new facility this season and will host the Golden Eagles at the Ambrose Urbanic Field at Peterson Sports Complex.
Sunday will be the first meeting between Marquette and George Mason.
Both matches this week will be broadcast live by David Tukesbrey of Marquette Student Radio on WMUR.
Last Time Out: Marquette scored two second period goals, but it was not enough to overcome No. 4 Duke and the Golden Eagles fell 5-2 in the final match of the Duke/Nike Classic last weekend. Taylor Madigan and Kate Reigle scored MU's goal, while Reigle, Mady Vicker and Cara Jacobson each handed out an assist.
BIG EAST Opener: Thursday marks the BIG EAST opener for both squads- it is Marquette's eighth season of BIG EAST play. MU has had great success in conference opener's and own a 6-1record in conference lidlifters. The Golden Eagles lone loss was Sept. 8, 2006 in a 1-0 loss at USF.
Conference Tops: The Golden Eagles are three-time defending BIG EAST American Division Champions and will look to add a fourth championship to their resume. Marquette is 28-3-2 in conference play since the 2009 season. MU also won regular season conference championships as a member of C-USA in 1996, 1997, 1999 and 2000.
Sloan Returns: Senior Rachael Sloan is back in 2012 for her final season as a Golden Eagle after missing 2011 due to injury. Sloan is a two-time first team All-BIG EAST member and has already made a mark on MU this season. Sloan has two goals for the season and four points in six matches.
D-D-D Defense: Marquette is allowing just 1.50 goals per game in 2012. Of 46 total shots from opponents, just 20 have been shots on goal. In six matches, the Golden Eagles defense have allowed just nine total goals. Sophomore goalkeeper Sofie Schunk has nine saves and a 0.92 goals against average.
Helping Handouts: Junior Maegan Kelly is among conference leaders in assists this season. Kelly is tied for fifth in the BIG EAST with four overall assists and is tied for second with 0.67 assists per game.
Miller, Kelly Earn Preseason Accolades: Senior Ally Miller has been named the Preseason BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year and was also named preseason all-league in a survey of the conference's head coaches. Kelly joined Miller on the squad and was also tabbed to the 2012 MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List. Miller was named All-BIG EAST Third Team in 2011 while Kelly garnered first team accolades.
Miller Watch: Senior Ally Miller has been named to the Soccer America Preseason All-American squad. She is one of five defenders earning the preseason honors. The Mequon, Wis., native has started 63 of the 66 career matches in which she has played and has helped lead Marquette to three-straight division championships and NCAA appearances. She owns three career goals and has helped anchor one of the top defensive units in the nation during her tenure.
Up Next: The Golden Eagles return home to Valley Fields for a contest against George Mason, Sunday, Sept. 16 at 1:00 p.m. MU will then head back onto the road to continue conference play at Seton Hall and Rutgers next weekend.