Once, twice Lee times a Marquette victory

Wednesday night Marquette senior forward Chris Lee netted three goals and led the Marquette men's soccer team past host Wisconsin-Green Bay, 3-1, at Phoenix Field.

Lee scored in the 27th, 66th and 87th minute for the third hat trick of his collegiate career. Lee now has eight goals on the season.

Marquette jumped to an early 1-0 lead when sophomore midfielder Bryan Dahlquist won the ball off a Phoenix goal kick and played it to Pat Knoelke. Knoelke, also a sophomore midfielder, played the ball out wide for Lee to run to.

Lee gathered the ball, beat one defender and scored from five yards out.

Another sophomore midfielder, Ryan Nikchevich, is due credit for Lee's second goal.

"Nikchevich made a great play to earn the foul and I scored the second goal on a PK (penalty kick)," Lee said.

Lee scored the insurance goal from half field after some miscommunication along Green Bay's back line.

Lee wasn't the only Marquette forward who had a strong night. Sophomore Matt Blouin had a goal called back and created chances for his teammates.

"In the second half Blouin made some (nice) plays," Marquette head coach Steve Adlard said. "His first touch was effective. He got it into space and he was on the move.

"This created opportunities for himself and teammates. It put panic in the defenders. He got the ball out from underneath his feet and that was a positive."

As impressive as the score was, Adlard didn't believe it told the story of the entire game.

"We worked extremely hard," he said. "We defended for long stretches and that helps us be more effective. We're more dangerous when we have less possession."

To sports fans accustomed to American football, that might seem like an odd concept, but playing solid defense can create chances for a team's offense.

"It's good to have numbers behind the ball," Adlard said. "It creates counter chances and soccer is still about counterattacking."

While Marquette made the most of its attacking chances, Green Bay was at its best on set pieces.

In the 34th minute Phoenix sophomore forward Joshua Okoampa scored his sixth goal of the season when he headed freshman defender Chris Knepper's corner kick past Marquette freshman goalkeeper Steven Grow.

"They had good plays on corner kicks," Adlard said.

"To their credit they got their heads on the ball. They had one hit the top bar … and go over, they had a couple roll wide and a couple times they were first to the ball. They created good goal mouth incidents," he said.

Green Bay had ten shots, but Grow only needed to make one save to earn the victory. At the other end of the field junior Pat Czuprynski made five saves in the losing effort.

"A win is a win. We're looking to take this momentum to East Carolina," Lee said.

The Golden Eagles will be without Nikchevich for the match because he was assessed two yellow cards in the second half.

"In our view, that was unjust," Adlard said. "He received two yellow cards in a minute (78:23 and 81:43). We played a man down the rest of the match but we did fine."

Marquette, still in search of its first Conference USA win, travels to Greenville, N.C. for a showdown with the Pirates on Sunday at 11 a.m. CDT.