Redshirt freshman Erin Johnston has provided a spark to MU's offense as a reserve midfielder.
Sept. 13, 2017
MILWAUKEE - Sporting its first national ranking since the beginning of the 2014 campaign, the No. 19 Marquette University women’s soccer team welcomes Illinois State to Valley Fields on Thursday evening.
Kickoff is slated for 7:05 p.m. and the contest will be broadcast live on Spectrum Sports Wisconsin (Channel 32, 1332 (HD)) with Patrick Reed and Chris Jenkins on the call.
The Golden Eagles (7-1) picked up a pair of victories last weekend at Boston University and Rhode Island, and are looking for their eighth win in a row since the season-opening loss to No. 2 Stanford on Aug. 18. Graduate student Darian Powell leads MU with 10 points on three goals and four assists, while fellow forwards Kylie Sprecher and Carrie Madden each have seven points.
Sprecher, who has posted points in each of the last four contests, repeated as the BIG EAST Conference Freshman of the Week on Monday following a game-winning goal at BU and an assist at URI. Rhode Island’s goal in the 70th minute on Sunday snapped a 541:44 scoreless streak for MU’s opponents dating back to a 2-1 win over Kentucky on Aug. 20 at Valley Fields.
Illinois State (2-4-1), the preseason favorite in the Missouri Valley Conference, has alternated wins and losses over their last four matches, with their most recent result a 3-0 loss at IUPUI. The Redbirds have mustered four goals on the season with two of them coming from freshman forward Sarah Lafayette. Lafayette scored the lone goal in ISU’s 1-0 win at Pittsburgh on Sept. 3 and the match winner in a 2-0 win over Illinois on Aug. 27.
Marquette and ISU have met on three previous occasions and MU owns a 2-1-0 edge in the series, including a 2-1 victory in Normal last season. Then-freshman Emily Hess scored her first career goal for MU off a bending corner kick, while Powell posted the match winner in the 78th minute. The lone tally for the Redbirds came on an MU own goal in the 23th minute.
The first 200 students to the Thursday’s match will receive free Qdoba.
Following Thursday’s match, the Golden Eagles will then head across town to face Milwaukee on Sunday evening at Engelmann Stadium to resume their tight series with the Panthers, which MU leads 9-8-8.
GOLDEN EAGLES EARN FIRST NATIONAL RANKING SINCE 2014
- MU’s 7-1 start has pushed it to the No. 19 spot in the United Soccer Coaches Poll, it was revealed on Tuesday, Sept. 12. The Golden Eagles break into the national rankings for the first time this season with 196 points after residing in the ‘receiving votes’ category each of the last two weeks (26 points last Tuesday). They also rank third in the Midwest region.
- The last time MU was ranked in the United Soccer Coaches Poll (then the NSCAA Poll) was the 2014 preseason rankings, when Marquette checked in at No. 15, while coming off consecutive BIG EAST tournament crowns and six straight NCAA Championship appearances.
BU AND URI WINS SHOW DIFFERENT PATHS TO VICTORY
- The wins at Boston University (Sept. 8) and Rhode Island (Sept. 10) continued Marquette’s winning streak but had vastly different looks. The Golden Eagles were outshot 25-1 in the 1-0 win at BU as Kylie Sprecher scored the match winner in the 24th minute on MU’s lone shot. Marquette applied greater pressure on its opponent in Sunday’s win at URI, outshooting the Rams 18-12 with a 11-6 edge in corner kicks. With Carrie Madden out for both matches and Jamie Kutey still hobbled over the weekend, MU received a goal and an assist from both Sprecher and Darian Powell, plus the first career goal from defender Bri Jaeger at URI. Redshirt junior Heather Handwork also made her first start since 2014 at forward against Rhode Island and played 42 minutes.
SPRECHER EMERGING AT FORWARD
- Kylie Sprecher slid into the starting lineup on Aug. 27 at Louisville and has continued to produce, posting points in the last four matches and earning a pair of BIG EAST Freshman of the Week accolades in the process. 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. She then posted the match winner at Boston University on Sept. 8 and assisted Darian Powell’s winner on Sept. 10 at Rhode Island.
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. All told, the shutout streak lasted 541:44 (of which she played 527:43) as Marquette held opponents off the scoreboard from Aug. 20-Sept. 10.
POWELL RETURNS FOR SIXTH SEASON
- Forward Darian Powell led Marquette in both 2014 and 2015 with seven goals after sitting out both 2012 and 2013 with injuries and leads MU in scoring once again as a sixth-year graduate student. Powell has posted points in six of the squad’s first eight matches and leads the team with 10 points on three goals and a career-best four assists.
- Powell’s goal at Rhode Island on Sept. 10 pushed her into a tie for sixth in program history with 21 goals and was her eighth match winner, tying her with two others for eighth all-time at MU.
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 330-147-54, including a mark of 309-120-46 in Markus Roeders’ 22 years at the helm.
MU CAPTURED SIXTH BIG EAST REGULAR SEASON TITLE IN 2016
- Eli Beard scored her first goal of 2016 just 57 seconds into overtime against DePaul on Oct. 28 to lift Marquette to the No. 1 seed in the BIG EAST tournament and a share of their sixth regular season title with a 3-2 win over the Blue Demons. Senior midfielder Morgan Proffitt scored a pair of goals to help MU rebound from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits for the win. The regular season title was MU’s 10th all-time, counting MU’s decade-long stay in Conference USA.
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 178-65-31 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.