Blouin’s score grounds Wright State

For much of the season, men's soccer coach Steve Adlard has preached patience. There are 20 underclassmen on the 26-man roster and Adlard knew it would take time for them to become acclimated to the college game.

Following Friday's 1-0 victory against Wright State in Fairborn, Ohio, he feels the time might be now.

"We're beginning to get the big picture," Adlard said. "They are learning that the game is not determined by possession or out-shooting an opponent.

"It's about not giving up something at the other end. One shot, like Friday we got one, one moment can make the game."

Marquette capitalized on its chance early.

Five minutes into the game defender Danny Mullin played a long ball to fellow senior captain Chris Lee. Raider junior goalkeeper Jason Balach saved Lee's shot, but sophomore Matt Blouin pounced on the rebound and deposited it into the left side of the net.

"Chris Lee had a defender on his side, he took the ball into the goal and he took a shot," Blouin said. "I had followed the play in hopes that he would cross it. The ball was deflected to me and I shot as quick as I could."

That was Blouin's fifth goal in the past six games, and when you figure in his assist on Lee's goal at Wisconsin-Milwaukee Tuesday, it was his sixth straight match with a point.

"He's beginning to have confidence and play with the belief that something good is going to happen," Adlard said. "And his form is better. There's a spring in his step.

"He's definitely a good prospect and there's a lot more good inside of him that we're going to try and bring out."

Marquette had multiple chances to add an insurance goal. Balach stopped another shot by Lee, sophomore Pat Knoelke was unable to convert two good chances and Blouin "missed a glorious opportunity," according to Adlard.

Wright State had a fair number of chances to get on the board, too.

Sophomore midfielder Jake Slemker's blast from 30 yards out in the 9th minute hit the crossbar and in the 84th minute Marquette goalie Steven Grow tipped a drive by Slemker just wide.

Grow teamed with fellow freshman Andy Kroll, who played the first 63 minutes, to earn the shutout.

"There's a feeling that they both deserve playing time," Adlard said. "Kroll did a solid job. He did a couple things I liked and Grow did too. (Grow) made a great save at the near post and came out and headed the ball outside of the 18-yard box when there was a dangerous situation."

According to Kroll, their success had a lot to do with the play of the defenders in front of them.

"We changed back to our old formation, because of a suspension, with four defenders in the back," he said. "Raiders' senior forward Ricky Strong is big, tall and thick, but the defense took him out of the game."

With Bryan Dahlquist serving the mandatory one game suspension for accumulating five yellow cards in a season, Adlard was also pleased with the Golden Eagles' play in the back.

"Our clearances were much more efficient than they generally have been throughout the season," he said. "I think they went to areas that allowed us to regroup and there were people on the other end who could contest for the ball.

"I think we're beginning to understand the game better."

That theory will be tested tomorrow when the Golden Eagles host Wisconsin at Valley Fields at 7 p.m.

The match is the final home game of the season and before the opening whistle Marquette will honor its three seniors — Lee, Mullin and Kellan Walsh.