Offensive struggles continue in 1-0 loss to Xavier

Photo by Valeria Cardenas/

Marquette had a stellar opportunity to turn things around against No. 16 Xavier Saturday night. However, a shot trickled past redshirt senior goalkeeper Charlie Lyon’s outstretched hands and the offense again struggled to convert on its opportunities in a 1-0 shutout loss to the Musketeers. Thus, Marquette’s slump continues.

The Golden Eagles have not won a match since their eight-match shutout streak was ended, losing two and drawing two. Saturday was the first time Marquette was defeated at home in 10 matches.

The match started off as slow as one could imagine, with neither squad recording a shot until sophomore midfielder Louis Bennett II’s free kick in the 26th minute.

Xavier is known for making the most of their chances, as the Musketeers are second in the conference in points despite being eighth in shots on goal. That script continued against Marquette, as sophomore forward Jalen Brown scored in the 38th minute on Xavier’s first shot of the night. Brown was given a prime location in the center of the box, and although Lyon was able to get a piece of his shot, the ball continued to slowly roll toward the back of the net.

The best chance for Marquette came in the 41st minute, when a shot from the top of the box by Bennett II rung off the crossbar.

The winless streak is heavily tied to the Golden Eagles’ scoring drought, despite outshooting their opponent in all but one of the matches. The team has scored only two goals during the skid.

“The opportunities that we are getting are obviously not clean enough,” Marquette coach Louis Bennett said. “I thought (Xavier’s) tactics were spot on to stop us from doing certain things. When we do get opportunities we have to take advantage of them.”

Bennett chalks up his team’s frustration to competitive nature.

“I’m sure the whole squad is frustrated right now,” Bennett said. “When you have a lot of the ball, when you do create opportunities and don’t win games, there’s a definite trend to get a little frustrated. But we’ll have to be disciplined.”

Despite the loss, the defense had a nice night. The unit did not allow a shot in more than 30 minutes of game action.

“They didn’t have many chances at all, unfortunately the one they did went in,” redshirt sophomore defender John Pothast said. “Soccer’s a cool game like that, where you only need one chance to score.”

The victory extends Xavier’s winning streak to nine matches and pushes them into a tie with Providence for first place in the Big East.

The Golden Eagles move to 7-4-3 with the loss (1-2-3 in Big East play). Marquette, picked as a co-favorite to win the Big East in the preseason, dropped to sixth with the loss.

It doesn’t get any easier for the Golden Eagles, as they face a hefty challenge Wednesday at Creighton. The No. 2 Bluejays are coming off of a tough loss in their heavyweight battle with No. 17 Georgetown.