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Men’s soccer rallies from two-goal deficit in preseason finale

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Photo by Vale Cardenas/valeria.cardenas@marquette.edu

Photo by Valeria Cardenas/valeria.cardenas@marquette.edu

The men’s soccer team concluded the preseason with a 3-2 win on the road against Ohio State Friday and rallied for a 2-2 draw at home against Wright State Sunday.

The Golden Eagles began their weekend in the Shindigz Soccer Festival in Fort Wayne, Ind. with a 3-2 victory against the Buckeyes Friday night. It was a back-and-forth battle for Marquette, who rallied back with two goals in the second half by redshirt junior C. Nortey.

Marquette struck first when redshirt junior David Selvaggi drilled an impressive bicycle kick past Ohio State’s keeper off of a corner kick from sophomore midfielder Louis Bennett II in the 25th minute. The Buckeyes answered just one minute later when Hunter Robertson scored off a free kick from 20 yards out. Ohio State assumed control in the 31st minute, when Max Holler found the net on a volley that squeaked past redshirt senior goalkeeper Charlie Lyon to give the Buckeyes a 2-1 advantage.

After a few near misses in the second half of action, Nortey headed home the equalizer off of a Bennett II corner kick. The Golden Eagles kept the pressure, getting five corner kicks in only a two-minute span. Marquette could not find the net until the 77th minute when Nortey made a sliding kick on a cross from redshirt freshman Jack Alberts to give Marquette the lead.

The Buckeyes nearly tied the game for a third time on a golden opportunity in the last seconds of action, but it sailed over the crossbar and sealed a Golden Eagle victory.

The Golden Eagles then closed out their preseason slate Sunday afternoon with a resilient rally and a 2-2 draw against Wright State in a game where the Golden Eagles erased a two-goal deficit.

Wright State netted its first goal of the afternoon when Jalim Bayo converted on a through ball from Zach Zwiesler with a header inside the penalty box. Marquette tried to respond with multiple opportunities, but could not convert. The team’s best chance came from a pass across the box from Nortey to sophomore forward Coco Navarro, who was robbed by the goal post.

The Raiders padded their lead in the 25th minute on a strange corner kick by Eric Lynch that looped through the penalty area and deflected off Lyon’s hand and into the net.

Marquette responded early in the second half when Selvaggi capitalized on a penalty kick in the 55th minute after getting taken down in the box while trying to field an errant cross. The Golden Eagles continued to knock on the door with enticing chances, but could not prevail in the first 90 minutes. The teams played a 25-minute extra period, when freshman defenseman Colin Koerber netted the equalizer with about 13 minutes remaining in overtime.

Head coach Louis Bennett said there was a mix of everything for his squad in the last weekend of the preseason.

“I thought there were some signs being in midseason form,” Bennett said. “There was some good, there was some bad and there was some ugly. We just have to squeeze out the bad, accept the ugly and get a little bit more good.”

The No. 12 Golden Eagles begin their regular season with a trip back to Indiana, as they will play in the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic in Bloomington against the Hoosiers and Notre Dame next weekend. Bennett said he is looking forward to the challenge of facing the defending champion and No. 1 Fighting Irish next Friday.

“Early season results can be a bit quirky, but I think we’re well on our way to being prepared,” Bennett said. “It’ll be a good yardstick of exactly where we are.”

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