Women’s soccer extends unbeaten streak to six games

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

The Marquette women’s soccer team extended its unbeaten streak to six games when the team defeated Xavier 1-0 Sunday afternoon.

Marquette (7-5-2, 3-0-1) was back at home after tying St. John’s in New York Thursday night. The team looked slightly sluggish when the starting whistle blew, as the Golden Eagles couldn’t establish a solid flow to the game. Also aiding to the difficult start was Xavier’s physical play, as the Musketeers racked up 15 fouls in the game, seven coming in the first half.

Sophomore forward Darian Powell said it took a little bit for the Golden Eagles to get going.

“Xavier is a really defensive team, so it was hard for us to get going at the beginning,” Powell said. “But I think we adjusted well.”

Coach Markus Roeders said the physicality of Xavier’s game comes from its style of defense.

“The scouting report was you have to be patient against (Xavier),” Roeders said. “They’re not an easy team to break down. Really, in all the games they’ve played this year, nobody’s really beaten them by a large margin.”

The Golden Eagles were able to establish more and more possession in the attacking zone. Sophomore midfielder Meeghan Johnston launched a shot over the net in the 27th minute, and two corner kicks in the 35th minute led to Marquette scoring chances, but the team couldn’t convert.

But in the 37th minute, senior Mary Luba gave Powell a back heel pass. Powell caught the pass and then went upper-90 into the right corner to give Marquette its only goal of the game. Powell’s goal was her first since she scored two in a thirty second span in the Golden Eagles’ victory against Loyola-Chiacgo in the season opener.

“It was good. It’s been a while,” Powell said of her goal. “I was just in the right place at the right time.”

Roeders said it was nice to see Powell get back on the score sheet.

“Some of the chances we had were good,” Roeders said. “I’m happy Darian, not being 100 percent herself, was able to finish the chance she had.”

Marquette got another solid scoring chance when sophomore midfielder Liz Bartels nearly hit a crossing Powell, but the two couldn’t connect and the ball went straight into the Xavier keepers’ hands.

The second half saw more of the physical play between the two sides, which again didn’t allow for a steady ebb and flow between the two teams. Xavier pushed in the 68th minute, when the Musketeers got a quality shot on net, but Marquette keeper Amanda Engel got over to make the save.

Marquette immediately countered, and two minutes later, the Golden Eagles got its best scoring chance of the half. Senior forward Shalese Miller and senior midfielder Mary Luba got two shots off in the box. Miller’s was blocked, and the rebound went immediately to Luba, who tried to go far post. The Xavier keeper had to make a diving save in order to keep the ball outside of the net.

The two sides continued to battle, but Marquette sustained possession and didn’t let Xavier get any quality scoring chance. When the final buzzer sounded, Marquette was again the victors.

The Golden Eagles have a week off before traveling to Washington, D.C., to take on Georgetown Sunday afternoon at 12 p.m.

Roeders said the game against Georgetown is going to be one of the biggest games of the season for Marquette.

“We have a whole week to prepare now for Georgetown and we know that’s going to be a good game on the road for us,” Roeders said.