Marquette faces Georgetown in BIG EAST semis
Oct. 31, 2017
MILWAUKEE - The fourth-seeded Marquette University women’s soccer team will face top-seeded Georgetown on Thursday in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Conference Championship at Shaw Field in Washington, D.C., in a rematch of last season’s league title match.
Jay Alter (play-by-play), Monika Moore (analyst) and Marissa Pilla (sideline) will broadcast the contest for the BIG EAST Digital Network, which will air live through the FOX Sports Go application at 1 p.m. Central time.
The Golden Eagles (13-6-1) earned a spot in the league semifinals for the 10th time in the last 13 seasons by defeating Xavier, 3-0, on Sunday afternoon at Valley Fields. Senior midfielder Eli Beard scored a career-high two goals in the victory, while All-BIG EAST First Team selection Carrie Madden assisted on one of Beard’s tallies and freshman Kylie Sprecher’s 11th minute match winner.
Madden leads MU into the semifinals with a team-best 19 points on seven goals and five assists, while Beard, Sprecher and sixth-year graduate student Darian Powell all have at least 12 points. It was Madden who lifted MU into the 2016 league title match by scoring twice, including the overtime winner in MU’s 2-1 semifinal win over St. John’s at Shaw Field.
Madden was joined on the 2016 all-tournament team by then-freshman goalkeeper Maddy Henry, who enters Thursday’s contest with a 0.95 goals against average and a .833 save percentage. She has been MU’s keeper of record in all 20 matches this season and has posted 10 shutouts, including clean sheets in each of MU’s last three contests.
The BIG EAST regular season champion Hoyas (12-3-3) have allowed their opponents to score just seven goals all season and league goalkeeper of the year Arielle Schechtman leads the NCAA with 14 shutouts. She helped a stout GU defense blank MU, 3-0, in the last meeting between the two squads on Oct. 19 in D.C. The Hoyas led MU, 2-0, at the half and added an 84th minute marker from Amanda Carolan as Georgetown outshot Marquette, 22-3.
Carolan is GU’s goal leader with nine, while BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year Rachel Corboz has a team-high 22 points on six goals and 10 assists. Carolan, Corboz and Schechtman were joined on the All-BIG EAST First Team by the conference’s defensive player of the year Elizabeth Wenger and junior forward Caitlin Farrell.
Georgetown is 5-3-1 all-time against Marquette, including 1-1 in BIG EAST tournament action. MU topped GU, 1-0, in the 2012 league title contest and lost 2-0 at GU in the 2016 final.
The winner of Thursday’s semifinal will play in the league title match, which is slated for Sunday, Nov. 5 at the home venue of the highest remaining seed.
MARQUETTE QUALIFIES FOR 13TH BIG EAST TOURNAMENT
• The Golden Eagles own a pair of BIG EAST tournament crowns from 2012 and 2013 and have qualified for the league quarterfinals in all 13 of their years affiliated with the league (13-10 overall record entering Thursday’s semifinal). MU has also reached the league’s semifinals all but three years (10 times total) and has advanced to four league championship matches. Marquette fell at eventual College Cup semifinalist Georgetown in last year’s league title contest after advancing to the finals on a semifinal overtime goal by Carrie Madden against St. John’s.
MADDEN PROVIDES SPARK TO MU OFFENSE
• Redshirt junior forward Carrie Madden’s return to the starting eleven from an early season quad injury has paid dividends in conference play with her ability to generate scoring chances. She owns a pair of two-goal matches this season in conference play at DePaul and against Creighton and leads MU with 19 points on seven goals and five assists. The 2017 All-BIG EAST First Team selection also posted two assists in the BIG EAST quarterfinals against Xavier on Kylie Sprecher’s match winner and Eli Beard’s first goal.
• Through her first two years at Marquette, Madden played in a total of one match and did not record a point. That lack of playing experience didn’t hinder her ability to contribute offensively in 2016 as Madden proved to be Marquette’s most potent finisher. She led MU with six goals and 17 points in 2016, including four match winners. Madden scored against Butler on Oct. 23 in the 93rd minute to keep Marquette in the hunt for the BIG EAST regular season title and scored on a phenomenal finish behind her against St. John’s in OT of the league tournament semifinals. Madden was named to the 2016 All-BIG EAST Championship Team and was the only MU player named to the 2017 All-BIG EAST Preseason Team.
BEARD AND BUGAY STEP UP IN 2017
• 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 in 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.
• Bugay has made herself an invaluable member of MU’s midfield this season, playing a role similar to that of 2016 BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year Morgan Proffitt. Bugay earned most valuable defensive player honors in the Marquette Invitational earlier this year and has been a mainstay at the top of MU’s defense.
• Beard posted two goals in MU’s 3-0 win over Xavier in the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Championship on Oct. 29 and leads the squad with 45 shots this season.
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 posted points in six of the squad’s first eight matches and sits second the team with 14 points on five goals and a career-best four assists.
• Powell’s overtime winner against Xavier on Oct. 14 leaves her alone in eighth in program history with 23 goals and was her 10th match winner, tying her for sixth all-time at MU with current assistant coach Ashley Bares.
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. In the program’s 25th campaign, Marquette has posted an overall record of 336-152-55, including a mark of 315-125-47 in Markus Roeders’ 22 years at the helm.
SPRECHER EMERGES AT FORWARD
• Kylie Sprecher slid into the starting lineup on Aug. 27 at Louisville and produced immediately, 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. The 2017 BIG EAST All-Freshman Team selection also notched a career-high two assists on both of Carrie Madden’s goals in MU’s 2-0 win at DePaul on Oct. 5.
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