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Two late goals propel Marquette past Northern Illinois

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

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

Although the box score looks comfortable for Marquette,  the game was not. In the waning minutes of the match it appeared Marquette and Northern Illinois were heading to extra time, but two goals a minute apart helped Marquette walk off winners for the fifth straight contest.

Redshirt freshman defender Jack Alberts broke the ice in the 80th minute, heading in a free kick from sophomore Louis Bennett II. Alberts’ first goal came in Marquette’s last game, a 2-0 victory over Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Sophomore forward Coco Navarro cushioned the finish when he scored his first goal of the season a minute later. His goal came off a tipped corner kick.

The match was the fifth straight shutout for redshirt senior goalkeeper Charlie Lyon, who has not given up a goal since the opening weekend tournament. He had three saves on the night.  Lyon now needs only one more shutout to set the Marquette record. The single season record of 12 shutouts is also on the radar. This is the first time Marquette has recorded five straight shutouts in program history. The team hasn’t allowed a goal at home since November 2, 2o13, setting the record for the most minutes without surrendering a tally.

The win streak has helped the Golden Eagles move up in the rankings this week. Marquette is 17th in the coaches poll after being unranked last week. This is the first time that Marquette has cracked the poll this season. They remained at 13th in the Top Drawer Soccer rankings.

Marquette will have plenty of time to prepare for its next match, as the team is off until Saturday when it hosts Providence, its first Big East match of the year.

Marquette players honored by Big East

This week was a big one for Marquette in terms of Big East honors. Redshirt Freshman Jack Alberts won both Big East Rookie of the Week and was also named to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week.

Redshirt junior Axel Sjoberg was named the Big East Defensive Player of the Week for the second week in a row. A Marquette player has now been given the award three weeks in a row, as John Pothest received the honor before Sjoberg. The defensive unit as a whole has played a huge part in the team’s shutout streak, allowing minimal dangerous opportunities.

“There have been instances where being have had to do extraordinary things,” coach Louis Bennett said. “They showed talent and real skill to get it done. For the most part defensive organization, discipline, and real strong focus has been a common thread that allows us to do that.”

Louis Bennett II ninth in the NCAA in assists

Sophomore midfielder Louis Bennett II is currently tied for ninth in NCAA Division I soccer with four assists on the season. He only needs one more assist to match his total from his freshman year.

Bennett II is coming off of an impressive freshman campaign where he was named to the College Soccer News All-Freshman second team and was chosen as the Marquette freshman of the year. He’s impressed in the past two matches, notching assists on timely free kicks.

Marquette set to open Big East play

Marquette opens up its Big East slate Saturday when they face the Providence Friars. Providence has had a successful start to its season, starting off with a 5-2-0 record in non-conference play. It’ll be an interesting match-up to follow as Providence’s high power offense, which is averaging more than two goals a match, takes on the impressive Marquette backline.

“The conference is so competitive,” Bennett said. “The Big East is the most important thing in our schedule, without a doubt. We want to take care of business.”

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About the Writer
Jack Goods, Sports Editor

Jack Goods is the sports editor of the Marquette Wire, covering the men's soccer, basketball and lacrosse teams. He is a senior from Buffalo, New York...

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