Bison in for afternoon battle

MSOCCFor the first time under coach Louis Bennett, the Marquette men’s soccer team has the possibility of making it to the Big East Tournament. Currently, the team sits sixth in the Big East Blue Division standings and needs only a few points out of its remaining four games against Big East opponents to make it.

“We would be biting our nails if we got four more points,” Bennett said. “I think if we get two wins and a tie then we are definitely in.”

However, before the Golden Eagles can look to November during tournament time, they must go up against a powerful Bucknell team later today to preserve the momentum they need.

“Bucknell is going to be tough,” freshman Matthew Leonard said. “I know they have a good record. They’re playing well and they’re getting good results. I think we will have confidence going into the game.”

Bucknell enters Tuesday’s game 9-3-0 and owns a .455 shot-on-goal percentage. The Bison sit second in the Patriot League standings with a record of 2-1-0 in conference, and a win today would certainly give the team momentum as it moves on in conference play.

The game comes following Marquette’s 0-0 draw against Seton Hall over the weekend, but Bennett is confident in his squad.

“It comes a little tight but it will be a good game because we can get a little momentum,” he said.

Out of the four games Bucknell has played on the road this year, the team has taken three wins and will look to pose a threat to the Marquette defense, which has given up 15 goals this season.

Bison forward Conor O’Brien has already scored nine goals this season, which is three more than the entire Marquette team has scored. But Bennett will focus on the entire Bucknell team rather than just one player.

“They are a team that can win on the road,” Bennett said. “Obviously they are doing something right. As always, we need to be prepared. I don’t think they’re just a one-horse team. We are not going to treat this game any more or less than any other game. We are not going to underestimate any team.”

Marquette will look to gain momentum from the draw against Seton Hall Saturday and Bennett believes they can shut out the Bison as well.

“I think tactically we will press them a little higher,” Bennett said. “Our issue is to not shoot ourselves in the foot. Now we’ve gone through a shut-out game at Seton Hall … we know it’s a possibility, now let’s do that at Bucknell.”

Freshman Andrew Krynski, who had the best chance to score against Seton Hall, is anticipating that the team will be motivated by the opportunity of  a Big East Tournament

“I think we can shut them down,” Krynski said. “Keep them close and don’t let them get the shots off. Right now we are in playoff position for the Big East Tournament, so that’s a big improvement over what we’ve had for the program.”