Extra studying helps Eagles gain road win

While most undergraduate students had wrapped up their midterm exams by Wednesday, members of the men's soccer team spent Thursday and Friday studying for one of their biggest tests of the season.

After squandering a 1-0 lead with less than three minutes to play in regulation and then losing 2-1 in overtime at DePaul Wednesday, the squad had review sessions before Saturday's road match against South Florida, the No. 11 team in the country.

Head coach Steve Adlard asked his players Thursday to create a list of things they should and should not do when on the road and leading by a goal with three minutes left on the clock.

Then Adlard compiled all the answers, added his own thoughts and gave everyone a copy of the list at Friday's practice.

The following evening Marquette followed the study guide and earned its first conference victory of the season by defeating the Bulls 1-0 at USF Soccer Stadium.

"It was immensely helpful," Adlard said of the list. "The team alone came up with 42 points … it became the team's Bible."

"Mostly, we wanted to waste time," sophomore forward Matt Blouin said. "Kick the ball as far as possible, play it to the corners. We did a good job of that."

Due to the team's resolve near the end of regulation, Blouin's goal in the 78th minute was all the Golden Eagles' needed to win.

The play began when freshman defender Mike Carlson took a pass from sophomore Pat Knoelke. Carlson then drove a low cross across the front of the net that Blouin headed home.

"Blouin ran across his man, that's what we preach," Adlard said. "He put his head on it without jumping so he got more power. He headed it down and it traveled like a bullet to the near post so there was no time for the goalie to react."

South Florida's best chance to tie the game came 10 minutes later when they were awarded a penalty kick after sophomore defender Nathan Sabich was whistled for a foul.

Freshman midfielder Christian Jimenez took the kick for the Bulls but goalie Andy Kroll made a diving, one-handed save to his left to block the shot, preserve the lead and thwart his former classmate.

Both players attended the Edison Academic Center in Bradleton, Fla. while training at the IMG Soccer Academy.

"We had a class or two together and I had a feel for his style of play. He's a flair player," Kroll said. "It was kind of instinctive and I looked at his run up. I thought he might go one way and fortunately he put it that way."

Kroll and the Golden Eagles' weren't as fortunate against the Blue Demons three days earlier at Wish Field in Chicago.

After Blouin knocked a rebound past senior goalkeeper Brian Allen at 78:54, DePaul freshman midfielder John Kornfeld got the equalizer when he beat a pair of defenders and then Kroll with a shot to the lower right corner.

"With two-and-a-half minutes to play they scored on a breakaway," Adlard said. "It was immensely disappointing. We didn't manage the clock. We pushed forward when we should have made more conservative plays."

Then, seven minutes into the extra session sophomore John Partyka took a free kick from near the right corner flag that junior midfielder Anthony Minnit collected and played to sophomore Patrick Ferrell. Farrell buried the shot for the game winner and the first goal of his career.