Eagles hold off Pirates, fall to Badgers

The Golden Eagles (7-6-1, 4-1-1) got their scoring started early, as freshman forward Matt Blouin put the match's first shot past East Carolina goalkeeper Brian Pope from six yards out in the first 37 seconds. Senior midfielder Matt Darby and senior forward Derek Gutierrez assisted on the play.

Head coach Steve Adlard said the "textbook" goal did more than spark the team mentally.

"Yes, it psyched them up," he said. "But the second thing is it was such a good goal, a team play, that you look at it and say, 'That was really good football' and you're up now. That makes a difference."

Marquette's next goal came in the 32nd minute, when junior forward Chris Lee scored the first of his three goals on a pass from Gutierrez by way of senior defender Zach McCallum. He completed his hat trick with two more goals in the 52nd and 58th minutes. On those two plays, McCallum, Gutierrez and Darby earned additional assists.

Adlard said Lee, who is tied for the conference with 10 goals, looked very impressive Saturday.

"He scored three and he finished well, which is good," Adlard said. "He had a couple of more near misses as well; he could have had more. It's great for his confidence, the team's confidence, and he's very quick off the mark at this point in time and a number of our opponents are having a problem keeping up with that speed."

Sophomore midfielder Blair Kohlmeyer netted a goal in the 67th minute to complete the scoring.

For the game, the Golden Eagles fired 16 shots, including 11 on goal. Pope made five saves for the Pirates, while the team recorded one more.

By comparison, Marquette's senior goalkeeper Adam Ubert had a quiet night. He faced only four shots, none on goal.

Adlard said he was pleased with the performance of the team, which was playing without two starters — junior defender Danny Mullin and freshman midfielder Bryan Dahlquist — after they were handed red cards in the team's tilt at Wisconsin.

"It all fell into place, and I'd like to think it would continue," Adlard said.

On Wednesday, Marquette fell to Wisconsin, 2-1.

The Badgers started the scoring on a failed clearance by the Marquette defense. Wisconsin forward Phil Doeh beat Ubert to the loose ball, heading it into the net near the 8-minute mark. Forward Matthew Jelacic added a second goal in the 12th minute from close range on a Nick Van Sicklen pass.

Following the two goals, the match took an even more difficult turn for the Golden Eagles as Mullin drew a red card in the 23rd minute. Adlard said the call was unjustified and hurt his team.

"I think it was devastating for a while," he said. "It's clear that it ignited us into action because we took over the game at that point, but the problem was that (the call) was unreasonable and wrong. If you've committed an offense and know that it's wrong it's easier to accept, but when there is none of that involved it creates a problem."

Mullin's ejection "was never explained directly by the referee," Adlard said. "He indicated it was for foul language, but everybody in the place knows there was no foul language."

Despite being a man down, Marquette countered with a goal in the 34th minute. Blouin scored on a pass from senior Brian Schnell in front of the net.

Marquette played aggressively despite the one-man disadvantage, firing 15 shots compared to Wisconsin's five. Only six were on goal.

The Golden Eagles, in a three-way tie atop C-USA, return to action against the 9-5-1 Louisville Cardinals (4-2-1 in C-USA) at 6 p.m. Wednesday in Louisville.