The men's soccer team probably knew that their matchup with the Milwaukee Wave United, an A-League professional team, wouldn't be an easy one.
After all, Milwaukee had already run its preseason record to 3-0 by handily beating collegiate teams Wisconsin, UW-Parkside and Northwestern.
Last year's A-League regular season champions weren't any easier on the Golden Eagles, handing them a 4-0 loss in whipping winds Wednesday at Uihlein Soccer Park to close out Marquette's spring season.
"We were competitive in spells but we weren't when it mattered," said Marquette head coach Steve Adlard.
Milwaukee's first goal came 10 minutes into the game off what looked like a crossing pass. From the right side of the goal, forward Nick Walls played a left footer that got caught up in the strong wind and dipped into the net over senior goalkeeper Adam Ubert.
The Wave United increased their lead less than 10 minutes later on a free kick set up on a foul by freshman defender Nathan Sabich deep in Golden Eagles' territory. Forward Digital Takiwira, a two-time Major League Soccer All-Star with the Kansas City Wizards, played the ball over a wall of Marquette defenders to give Milwaukee a 2-0 lead.
The goal was Takiwira's seventh in three games. The four-year Wave United veteran also scored twice Saturday against UW-Parkside and four times Sunday against the Badgers.
"He's a very high profile player," Marquette head coach Steve Adlard said. "The guy can play. He's got a very good sense and feel for the game."
Despite being backed up in their own end for much of the half due to the winds gusting toward their goal, the Golden Eagles were able to generate a few late scoring chances. Sophomore midfielder Blair Kohlmeyer shot a free kick from 20 yards out that went over the goal, and freshman forward Ryan DuBois also had an opportunity to score off a corner kick but the chance was snuffed out by the Milwaukee defense.
With the wind at their backs in the second half, the Golden Eagles were able to better control their possessions.
"We got into a groove and started playing the ball to feet more because the wind was horrible it was just blowing like crazy," freshman defender Nathan Sabich said.
Marquette's best scoring chance came early in the half off a crossing pass from Kohlmeyer. DuBois collected it and put a hard shot on goal that bounded off the right post.
Milwaukee soon added another goal off a pass from Kyle Lace to Sam Sloma, who promptly made it 3-0.
Sloma added another goal a few minutes later on a breakaway chance against Ubert.
Sabich said the Wave United's offensive attack was difficult to handle.
"When you have all that talent working together it's just a force coming right at you," Sabich said. "We were kind of left standing on our heels."
Two Marquette soccer alums forward Sean Reti and defender Steve Lawrence turned in solid games for the Wave United and made life difficult on their former coach.
"I thought Reti had a good game," Adlard said. "He was very quick and moved the ball well. Lawrence was his efficient, smooth self at the back and was hard to ruffle."
Junior forward Chris Lee, who led Conference USA in scoring last year, missed the game along with junior defender Danny Mullin because of class responsibilities.
Lawrence, who played with Lee and Mullin two years ago, said he was disappointed he couldn't play them."
"It would have been nice to go up against those guys," he said. "It definitely would have added a little more to it."
Despite the loss, Adlard said he was pleased with his team's play during the spring.
"We've played nine games and (in) the balance of them our record is very pleasing and the results have been good," he said.