Women's Soccer Opens BIG EAST Play Friday
Sept. 20, 2007
MILWAUKEE - With a seven-game win streak under its belt, the No. 24/23/12 Marquette women's soccer team will open BIG EAST play against USF on Friday, Sept. 19, at Valley Fields at 7 p.m.
On Sunday, the Golden Eagles head across town to play city rival Wis.-Milwaukee at Engelmann Field at 6 p.m. The match against the Panthers will be televised live on Time Warner Sports Ch. 32. Live stats will also be available for both matches on www.gomarquette.com.
"It's a big weekend for our squad. We are excited to be home on Friday night and hope the 'Birdcage' will be rocking," said head coach Markus Roeders. "It's the start of a new season with BIG EAST play and USF will be a good team despite its current record. Our team didn't play well last year and we lost the game with less than two minutes to go. It was a disappointing result. It is a new year for us and we are playing well. I know the team is highly motivated."
The Golden Eagles (7-0-0) are off to their best start in program history and eager to return to their home pitch after spending the last three games on the road. Last week, Marquette defeated Green Bay, 2-0, and won the Colorado College Invitational by taking down Loyola (Md.), 3-1, and Rhode Island, 4-0. The goal MU surrendered against Loyola (Md.) was the first and only goal of the season Marquette has allowed. During the last three games, all 28 eligible players have seen action - a attribute to the squad's depth. The Golden Eagles are one of just four teams in the nation to be undefeated and untied. Stanford (6-0), South Carolina (7-0) and North Texas (7-0) are the others.
The Golden Eagles are 97-28-7 all-time at Valley Fields and are riding a five-game unbeaten streak in their friendly confines dating back to last season. MU is 9-1 in regular season BIG EAST play at the Valley.
Freshman Ashley Bares leads the Golden Eagles and the BIG EAST offensively with 12 points on six goals. Senior Christy Zwolski follows with nine points on four goals and one assist, while sophomores Michelle Compty and Anna Sawicki each have registered six points. Defensively, the Golden Eagles have been dominant holding their opponents to just 18 shots on goal. Junior Katie Kelly, reigning BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week, has been Marquette's secret weapon on offense again this season as she leads the team and the league with six assists. She also stands 10th in the nation for assists per game with 0.86. Kelly was named to both Soccer America's National Team of the Week and to the Soccer Buzz Elite National Team of the Week this week.
The Bulls, who were picked to finish fifth in the BIG EAST American Division, have struggled to find a rhythm early in the season and enter the game with the Golden Eagles 1-3-1 overall. USF tallied its first win, a 3-2 decision, at Miami last weekend. Autumn Browning leads USF with four points on two goals, while Lindsey Brauer has added three points with one goal and one assist. It will be the 12th meeting between the Bulls and Golden Eagles dating back to the 1996 season. Marquette holds the all-time advantage 8-2-1, but USF got the last laugh defeating MU in Tampa, 1-0, last season.
Wis.-Milwaukee (3-3-0) started the season on a high note defeating Washington (3-0) and Indiana State (2-1) en route to the Milwaukee Cup title, but has registered only one win since in four tries. The Panthers have also been on a scoring drought during their skid scoring one goal. Nicole Sperl leads Wis.-Milwaukee with four points on two goals, while Kate Megna and Erin Kreuser each have three points. Wis.-Milwaukee is 0-1 this season when playing nationally ranked teams. The Panthers fell to No. 8 Boston College, 1-0, last weekend.
Marquette and Wis.-Milwaukee will meet on Sunday for the 15th time since 1993, and the eighth time at Engelmann Field. MU is 1-3-3 when playing Wis.-Milwaukee on its home turf. The Panthers are 2-0 at home for the season.
"The UWM game is always interesting for the fans and we hope many Marquette supporters will head across town Sunday night," added Roeders. "It will be televised and the atmosphere should be terrific. They have a very good squad that reflects better than their current record. They are very organized and well coached, it will be a wide-open game and we need to bring our best performance. It should be a closely contest battle, it always is."