Marquette and DePaul clash for BIG EAST No. 1 seed
Oct. 27, 2016
MILWAUKEE - The Marquette University women's soccer team can earn a share of its sixth BIG EAST Conference regular season championship on Friday at 7 p.m. when it hosts DePaul at Valley Fields for Senior Night.
The Golden Eagles (10-6-2, 6-2-0 BIG EAST) secured a berth in the league quarterfinals on Sunday afternoon with a 2-1 overtime victory against Butler and would earn a bye through to the semifinals, and the No. 1 seed, with a win against the Blue Demons in the regular season finale.
DePaul (10-5-2, 7-1-0 BIG EAST) is currently first in the league standings and has earned at least a share of the league championship regardless of the outcome of the match. The Blue Demons defeated then-No. 7 Georgetown, 4-1, on Sunday to set up this showdown for the league's No. 1 seed.
Friday's match will air live on the BIG EAST Digital Network through FOX Sports Go with Patrick Reed (play-by-play) on the call and Chicago Red Stars defender Sarah Gorden serving as the sideline reporter.
Prior to the match, Marquette will honor its 10-player senior class, including All-BIG EAST honorees Liz Bartels and Morgan Proffitt, as well as Lisa Roman, Ashley Handwork, Alyssa Devine, Meegan Johnston, Andee Nelson, Cali Pyzdrowski, Molly Pfeiffer and Erin Holland.
The meeting is the 20th all-time between the long-time conference rivals, with the Golden Eagles holding a 13-5-1 advantage in a series that dates back to 1996. The series has been one of streaks as Marquette won the first seven meetings (1996-02) and then captured six in a row from 2005-13. DePaul is currently in possession of a three-match unbeaten streak that includes three narrow victories, two by one goal and one match won in penalty kicks.
MU's senior class defeated DePaul during the 2013 regular season and also topped the Blue Demons that same year as freshmen in the BIG EAST Tournament title contest, 2-0.
With a victory, Marquette would advance through to the BIG EAST semifinals which will be held on Friday, Nov. 4 in Washington, D.C. A loss would likely mean the Golden Eagles would host a quarterfinal match on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at Valley Fields, though MU could still earn the No. 2 seed and a quarterfinal bye. The Golden Eagles would need a Georgetown defeat coupled with a Providence loss or draw to earn the No. 2 seed if they were to lose.
KEY MARQUETTE STORYLINES:
Marquette's 10 victories surpass last season's win total of eight and give MU double-digit triumphs for the 20th time in program history.
A victory on Friday would give MU a share of its sixth BIG EAST regular season title and 10th regular season league championship overall.
Marquette has reached the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Tournament all 12 years it has been a conference member.
With a win over DePaul, MU would secure the No. 1 seed in the league tournament and a spot in the semifinals for the ninth time in 12 years.
Freshman Maddy Henry has started every game in net for MU and recorded the first three shutouts of her career in consecutive wins over St. John's, Xavier and Providence. She added a fourth on Oct. 20 at Villanova and is a two-time BIG EAST Freshman of the Week.
MU's Markus Roeders captured his 300th career head coaching victory on Oct. 23 against Butler. He is fourth all-time at Marquette in terms of overall victories behind former women's coaches Tat Shiely (basketball/volleyball) and Terri Mitchell (basketball) as well as current coach Jody Bronson (tennis).
Marquette's non-conference schedule included six RPI top-50 teams. MU sits 31st in RPI as of Oct. 24.
Golden Eagles are looking to make a return to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2013, which is also the year of their last BIG EAST title. MU has made the NCAA tournament 12 times in its history.
SCOUTING THE BLUE DEMONS:
DePaul (10-5-2, 7-1-0 BIG EAST) scored its biggest win of the season at No. 7/2 Georgetown on Sunday afternoon, 4-1, led by a pair of goals from Alexa Ben. Abby Reed leads the DePaul offense with 10 goals and six assists, while sophomore Franny Cerny has recorded eight goals, including five match winners, and five assists in 2016. The Blue Demons' win on Sunday handed the Hoyas their first conference loss and helped DePaul remain ahead of the second place Golden Eagles in the league standings. DePaul leads the BIG EAST in assists with 30 and sits at second in the league in shots (216), points (201) and goals (26). Reed is second in the conference with 63 shots and is tied for second in the league with 26 points.
BARTELS AGAIN SHOWING ALL-LEAGUE FORM
Preseason All-BIG EAST selection Liz Bartels has scored in two of the last four contests for the Golden Eagles and registered a match-high six shots in the win at Villanova on Oct. 20. Her increased production has come after head coach Markus Roeders altered the midfield and forward units midway through league play to put her up further in the attack. Bartels responded with goals in the wins at Providence and VU and her ability on the ball has generated numerous chances for Marquette's offense. The Omaha, Nebraska native was an All-BIG EAST First Team selection as a sophomore in 2014 and a second team choice as a junior in 2015.
POWELL SPARKS THE MU OFFENSE
Forward Darian Powell led Marquette in both 2014 and 2015 with seven goals in each of her first two seasons of action after sitting out both 2012 and 2013 with injuries. The La Porte City, Iowa native scored four of her seven goals in Marquette's final three regular season matches last season as MU defeated Villanova and Butler before falling at DePaul in overtime.
Powell has recorded four goals and an assist entering Friday's match against DePaul and has seen her production improve with an increase in minutes since her switch to midfield. She posted a goal and assist in the overtime victory over Butler, and after being named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Monday, Oct. 24, is on the precipice of breaking into the MU career record book. Powell is currently two goals away in 20 in her career, which would tie her for 10th in MU history, and one match winner shy of seven, currently the No. 10 spot in that category.
NCAA RPI RANKINGS RECOGNIZE MU'S STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
The NCAA's sixth RPI rankings of 2016 were released on Oct. 24 and showed the Golden Eagles second among all BIG EAST members with an RPI of 31. Georgetown paces its league counterparts in ninth place nationally, while Providence (No. 44), DePaul (No. 53), and St. John's (No. 91) also join MU in the top 100. Despite a .500 record (4-4-2) through non-conference action, Marquette's RPI ranking is boosted by pre-conference matchups with No. 1 Stanford, No. 19 Nebraska, No. 21 Kansas, No. 24 Northwestern, No. 44 Santa Clara and No. 48 Michigan.
WINS AT PROVIDENCE AND VILLANOVA KEEP STREAKS ALIVE
The Golden Eagles earned their fourth-straight win and third shutout in a row with a 2-0 victory at Providence on Oct. 9. That win gave Marquette its 11th victory all-time (11-0-2) against the Friars and its 11th shutout, as it has outscored PC, 32-2, in the history of the series. Providence's scoreless streak against Marquette dates back eight matches to Oct. 10, 2010 and a total of 693:42 of game time.
Marquette's 2-0 win at Villanova on Oct. 20 was the eighth all-time in as many meetings against the Wildcats, who have never scored a goal against the Golden Eagles. MU tallied a pair of goals in the win to push their goal advantage in the series to 12-0. Marquette's final goal on Thursday came on a Villanova own goal in the second half, meaning the Wildcats have scored more goals for MU than they have for themselves in the history of the series.
GOLDEN EAGLES CONTINUE TO GET IT DONE IN THE CLASSROOM
Twenty-five women on last year's 35-member team earned at least a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 during the 2015-16 academic year and were honored on the BIG EAST Conference All-Academic Team. That group includes three student-athletes who carried 4.0s through both semesters in redshirt freshman Courtney Dugan and juniors Caroline Fink and Kirsten Timmer. The Golden Eagles were also given the NSCAA Team Academic Award for the 2015-16 academic year with a cumulative GPA of 3.39.
HENRY IS A NEW FACE IN NET FOR THE GOLDEN EAGLES
Freshman Maddy Henry joins an exclusive club of Marquette goalkeepers as just the fourth primary starter since MU's entrance to the BIG EAST Conference for the 2005 campaign. The previous three keepers started in net for the length of their entire MU careers and each earned multiple All-BIG EAST accolades. Henry, a freshman from Omaha, Nebraska, hopes to join Laura Boyer (2005-07; Overland Park, Kansas) and Natalie Kulla (2008-11; St. Louis) as goalkeepers from America's Heartland to experience success in Blue and Gold. Amanda Engel (2012-15; Centennial, Colorado) graduated in 2016 and was a four-year starter and two-time All-BIG EAST selection.
The freshman has also posted her highest save totals against the best competition MU has faced this year, putting up seven saves at No. 2 Stanford and eight saves at No. 24 Northwestern. Her first shutout came on Oct. 2 as she made six saves against St. John's at Valley Fields and followed that up with shutouts at Xavier on Oct. 6 and Providence on Oct. 9. She has been named BIG EAST Freshman of the Week twice in 2016 and has also been named to the league's weekly honor roll once.
BARRINGTON HIGH'S PFEIFFER AND MADDEN BREAKING THROUGH
Forwards and Barrington High School products Molly Pfeiffer and Carrie Madden lead the Golden Eagles in points this season and are playing key roles up top for Marquette. Pfeiffer scored the match-tying goal in the 89th minute against Milwaukee on Sept. 9 and the match winner against Michigan on Aug. 28. She now has a career-best four goals in 2016 after tallying three in each of the last two campaigns, while Madden has led MU in points during BIG EAST action, and scored her first career goal against Cal Poly on Sept. 16.
PROFFITT RECOGNIZED AMONG NATION'S ELITE
Senior Morgan Proffitt has continued to rake in accolades following an All-BIG EAST First Team campaign as a junior, placing her among the top players in NCAA Division I. The Columbus, Indiana native began the summer with an invitation to U.S. Women's National Team Under-23 training camp in Charlottesville, Virginia and ended up making the 20-person squad for a tournament featuring Nordic countries in England during June. After a gold medal performance with the U.S. U-23 WNT, Proffitt was named to the watch list for the MAC Hermann Trophy, a candidate for the Senior CLASS Award and selected as the BIG EAST Conference Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Proffitt, the third MU player to ever be named to the MAC Hermann Watch List, has started 79-of-81 matches in her career and has recorded eight goals, including four game winners.
The senior has recorded goals this season to help the Golden Eagles defeat Michigan and St. John's and record a draw at No. 22 Santa Clara. She has been named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll three times and was the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week after scoring and helping MU shutout St. John's on Oct. 2.
LIVE COVERAGE AT AN ALL-TIME HIGH IN 2016
Outside of the Aug. 19 season opener at Nebraska, every match in 2016 will feature a live video broadcast, including eight of nine conference matches on the BIG EAST Digital Network through FOX Sports Go. The remainder of the home schedule will be streamed live through GoMarquette.com's All-Access player, while road non-conference contests will feature a video broadcast from the host institution. In addition to accessing FOX Sports Go online and through the iOS and Android applications, fans can now download FOX Sports Go to Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV.
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