WSOC hosts Villanova Thursday in BIG EAST home opener

The Golden Eagles have outscored Villanova 12-0 in the all-time series, which dates back to 2006.

Sept. 26, 2017

2017 Marquette Women's Soccer - Match 12
rv Marquette (7-3-1) vs. Villanova (4-6-0)
Date Thursday, Sept. 28 | 7 p.m. CT
Location Valley Fields | Milwaukee
Stats/Video Gametracker | BIG EAST Digital
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MILWAUKEE - The Marquette University women’s soccer team will look for its first win in BIG EAST Conference play when it hosts Villanova at Valley Fields on Thursday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. for its league home opener.

The match will be broadcast live on the BIG EAST Digital Network through FOX Sports Go with Patrick Reed on the call.

All fans are encouraged to bring non-perishable food donations to assist Marquette President Dr. Michael R. Lovell’s ‘Stuff the Truck’ food drive in support of the Hunger Task Force, and the first 300 students will receive free gold Marquette t-shirts. Students will also have the chance to win one of five VIP packages for Marquette Madness on Oct. 6 or men’s basketball season tickets.

The Golden Eagles (7-3-1), who are winless in their last three matches after reeling off seven straight wins following the season opener, are 8-0 all-time against Villanova and have not allowed a VU goal. The Wildcats have been outscored 12-0 in the series that dates to MU’s BIG EAST entrance, and fell to MU last season, 2-0, while recording an own goal in the 47th minute.  

Marquette dropped its BIG EAST lid-lifter for only the third time on Sunday afternoon with a 3-0 defeat at Butler. Maddy Henry made three saves in net and freshman Kylie Sprecher recorded a pair of shots as MU fell to the Bulldogs in its second loss in a row to open BIG EAST play. MU was out-shot 11-7 in the defeat.

Graduate student Darian Powell leads the Golden Eagles with 10 points on three goals and four assists, while Sprecher if one of three MU players with seven points on the year.

Villanova (4-6) lost its league opener on Sunday, 1-0, at Providence on a 77th minute goal from Hannah McNulty. The Friars held a 16-8 edge in shots and VU keeper Emily Harris made four saves in net. Senior Emily Kuefler leads the Wildcats with nine points on four goals and an assist, while Amanda Vocelka has also scored three times.

VU owns wins over Delaware, Saint Joseph’s, Lafayette and Harvard this season and has lost two in a row following the win over the Crimson on Sept. 15.

The Golden Eagles will hit the road this weekend for a noon Sunday meeting with St. John’s in Queens, New York.


  • 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.


  • 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 178-67-32 since that time and a mark of 92-23-10 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.


  • Kylie Sprecher slid into the starting lineup on Aug. 27 at Louisville and has continued to produce, posting points in four straight 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.


  • 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.


  • Maddy Henry has held strong in net during the early portion of her sophomore campaign and recorded a new career high with 15 saves in Thursday’s scoreless draw with Illinois State. That mark is the highest single-match save total for an MU keeper since 2001 and tied for the fifth most in program history. Over the BU, URI and UWM matches, Henry saw 63 opponent shots after seeing 69 total in the first six matches of the year.
  • She notched a then-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.


  • 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 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.


  • 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.


  • 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 330-149-55, including a mark of 309-122-47 in Markus Roeders’ 22 years at the helm.




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