No. 12 Marquette Set to Host Illinois State in NCAA First Round
Nov. 7, 2012
MILWAUKEE - For the fifth consecutive season and 11th time in program history, the Marquette women's soccer team (16-2-2) has earned a berth into the NCAA Championship. The No. 12 Golden Eagles will face Illinois State (13-4-2) on Friday at 7 p.m. at Valley Fields.
The Golden Eagles earned a No. 4 seed in the 2012 NCAA Championship on Monday afternoon and if they advance past Illinois State will see the winner of Princeton and West Virginia at a to-be-determined site.
MU earned the BIG EAST's automatic berth into the Championship after claming the league title for the first time in program history. The Golden Eagles defeated Georgetown, 1-0, in the final game.
The Redbirds won the Missouri Valley Conference championship to earn the league's automatic berth. This was ISU's second consecutive conference title after topping Indiana State in the finals, 5-1.
Friday will be the first meeting between the two squads, though the teams have played each other in the spring season.
Unbeatable Golden Eagles: Marquette heads into Friday with an unbeaten streak of 14 games. The Golden Eagles have not lost a game since Sept. 9 at then-No. 4 Duke. The lone blemish in that streak is a 1-1 double overtime draw at Connecticut on Oct. 7.
Winning Ways: The senior class, (Ally Miller, Lisa Philbin, Megan Jaskowiak, Rachel Brown, Rachael Sloan and Sam Vicker) owns a 65-16-8 record since 2009 to rank seventh in the NCAA among active senior classes. The six seniors won regular season titles in each year at Marquette, which is a first for the women's soccer program.
No Scoring Allowed: Marquette has recorded 15 shutouts this season, which ties it with UCF for tops in the NCAA and the shutout percentage of .750 is the best in the nation. The Golden Eagles are 14-0-1 when producing a shutout as the lone tie came in a 0-0, double overtime draw against Central Michigan. In the BIG EAST Championship, MU gave up no goals, just four shots on goal and seven total shots in the two games against Notre Dame and Georgetown.
D-D-D Defense: Marquette is allowing less than one goal (0.60) scored per game this season. Opponents are taking just 6.9 shots per game and have scored just 12 goals against the Golden Eagles this season. Goalkeeper Amanda Engel leads the BIG EAST and ranks 3rd in the NCAA with a 0.45 goals against average. In her first season Engel has compiled a 12-0-1 record.
Hot Shooting: The Golden Eagles have dominated possession of the ball in recent outings. For the season, MU has taken 382 shots and is averaging 19.1 shots per game. The Golden Eagles lead the conference in shots and rank sixth in the nation scoring 2.65 goals per game. When outshooting opponents, MU is 16-0-2.
Helping Handouts: The Golden Eagles are among the best in the BIG EAST in giving out assists with 2.60 each game. In 20 games this season MU has totaled 52 assists. Individually, junior Maegan Kelly leads the league with 12 and ranks fourth in the NCAA, dishing out 0.60 per contest. Of 53 total goals for the Golden Eagles this season, just one came unassisted; an own goal by Connecticut in the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Championship.
Welcome to the Big Show: Marquette is set to play in its 11th NCAA tournament in program history. The Golden Eagles have received bids in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. They are 7-8-3 all-time in the NCAA tournament, 6-3-1 in first round games, while advancing to the second round five times. MU's longest run in the NCAAs came during the 2005 and 2010 seasons when the Golden Eagles advanced to the third round.
Home Field Advantage: For the third consecutive season MU is hosting an NCAA first round game. The Golden Eagles have excelled playing on their home field at Valley Fields, compiling a 38-3-5 record in the past four seasons. The last time Marquette lost at the Valley was Oct. 30, 2011 against Notre Dame in the BIG EAST Quarterfinal round.