Following a 2-2 draw to No. 24 Providence Saturday night, the Marquette men’s soccer team sought for its second BIG EAST win of the season Wednesday night at Valley Fields hosting the winless Xavier Musketeers.
However, the Musketeers had other aspirations as they defeated the Golden Eagles 2-1 handing Marquette its second conference loss of the season.
“We didn’t start the game how we wanted to start the game,” Marquette head coach Louis Bennett said. “A lot of the time we were frivolous with the ball and we didn’t move the ball in any given direction. When we create opportunities, we have the players to finish them, we just didn’t create many opportunities.”
For the fifth time this season, Marquette found itself in an early deficit.
In the 24th minute, redshirt senior midfielder Justus Kauppinen put one pass Marquette redshirt junior goalkeeper Chandler Hallwood off a pass and go set from first-year forward Taylor Rhinehart.
Marquette would record its first shot of the night in the 27th minute from first-year midfielder Edrey Caceres but the Houston, Texas, native’s shot went wide right.
Despite creating some opportunities towards the end of the first half, the Golden Eagles headed into halftime with the 1-0 deficit.
“We gave them (Xavier) opportunities to attack us, and they took full advantage of that,” Bennett said. “They (Xavier) had some great breaks in the first half.”
Marquette’s start to the second half would not be much different.
The Golden Eagles’ deficit double in the 53rd minute when redshirt sophomore Cameron Phillips found the back of the net. Phillips goal marked the 15th goal that Marquette gave up on the season and seventh in the last five games.
“I believe it was a mix-up that allowed them (Xavier) to get a free header in the box. It was very disappointing,” Bennett said. “When it comes to style of play, “we (Marquette) have a floating formation and we can change two different ways…it just took us a long, long time to get going,” remarked Bennett.
As the clock ticked down in the 83rd minute, redshirt junior midfielder Zyan Andrade and redshirt junior defender Gabe Kash strategically set up redshirt first-year forward Beto Soto with an opportunity to trim the lead for Marquette.
Soto drove the ball into the net with a bicycle shot for his third goal of the season.
“I was looking at the air and I knew I was going to try to hit it the first time, and once I felt the connection with ball, I knew it was going in,” Soto said.
Meanwhile for Bennett, he was pleased with the build up of Soto’s goal.
“It was a great goal,” Bennett said. “If we create those opportunities, we’ve got players to finish those opportunities, we just didn’t create enough of them.”
The Golden Eagles were unable to tie the game or take the lead in the final seven minutes following Soto’s goal.
Xavier outnumbered Marquette in nearly every category, including outshooting the Golden Eagles 13 to seven.
With Wednesday night’s loss, Marquette is now 0-5 on the season when its opponent scores first.
“I am sure even Beto is not happy even though he scored, no one is happy in the locker room. Holding our own ground and getting wins at home is our expectation,” Bennett said. “We always have high expectations; we always will have high expectations…they are not high in the sky—they are true.”
Marquette (4-5-1, 1-2-1 BIG EAST) will now travel to Omaha, Nebraska to face Creighton Saturday at 7 p.m. CST. The Golden Eagles will look for its second win of the season on the road against the Blue Jays who are winless in conference play through three games.
“We have to dust ourselves off and prepare for a very talented Creighton team,” Bennett said. “We’re going to have to go into the lion’s den it would seem.”
This article was written by Ava Mares. She can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @avamaresMU.