Marquette Travels to USF for BIG EAST Lidlifter Friday
Sept. 15, 2010
The Marquette University women's soccer team will begin its BIG EAST American Division title defense when it opens its sixth season of BIG EAST Conference play at USF Friday, Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. CT at USF Soccer Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
“The team is excited to start BIG EAST play. The competition is different and everything is elevated due to the nature of the games,” said head coach Markus Roeders. “Now we are playing for points and that is fun. Knowing how difficult it is to play in the BIG EAST and especially on the road, we have to excel in our play from the back to the front. As long as we keep getting better and building on our play, we will put ourselves in a situation to win every game. The experience we have gained from our difficult non-conference schedule was all part of preparing us to get into league competition. Seven of our eight opponents so far this year were either nationally or regionally ranked, and we have done very well in those games. From here on out, every game will be a different version of what we have encountered in teams this year.”
The Golden Eagles (3-3-2) are looking to return to their winning ways after going 0-1-1 last weekend as Marquette tied UW-Milwaukee, 1-1, and fell at No. 11/10 BYU, 2-1. Sophomores Ally Miller and Rachel Brown each scored their first career goals as Miller tallied against UWM and Brown found the back of the net against BYU. Overall, eight different Golden Eagles have registered goals this season with Rachael Sloan contributing a team-high three strikes.
In net, preseason BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Year Natalie Kulla has registered three shutouts and owns a 0.67 goals against average.
USF (5-1-1) enters the match with the Golden Eagles coming off a 2-1 win over Harvard on Sunday. The Bulls opened the season with three straight wins before falling to UCF, 1-0, on Sept. 3. Chelsea Klotz leads USF’s offense with eight goals, while Venicia Reid follows with five goals and one assist.
In goal, Nicole McClure has seen the majority of action in net logging over 631 minutes. She owns one shutout and a 0.71 goals against average.
The Bulls were picked to finish fourth in the 2010 preseason poll after a fourth-place finish in the American Division with a 5-4-2 conference mark in 2009. “USF is a dangerous squad who has done very well already this fall. Their team is growing older and gaining experience. They have some key personalities, such as Klotz, Reid, Pacheco, Patterson, Stack, but they are deep and our focus needs to be on their entire team. We won down there in overtime two years ago and snuck one out at the very end last year at home. It should be a great match to start conference play,” said Roeders.
Marquette is 4-1 in BIG EAST Conference openers and has played the Bulls in each BIG EAST Conference lidlifter. Overall the Golden Eagles are 11-2-1 against the Bulls, and have won the last three meetings. The Golden Eagles defeated the Bulls, 2-1, at Valley Fields last season. MU’s last three matches with the Bulls have been decided by one goal.